The main event of the show was an OPBF Flyweight title bout between the usually exciting Koki Eto (16-3-1, 12), the defending champion, and the gutsy but light punching Filipino challenger Cris Paulino (14-2, 4), who entered the bout as the #1 ranked contender for the title.
Early on the bout was a chess match of a contest with Paulino boxing on the back foot whilst Eto came forward. At times it seemed like the champion was unable to judge the distance and timing of his challenger who won the only clear early round, round 3, as he managed to pin Eto in the corner unleashed on him before Eto taunted his Filipino foe. The assault from Paulino was eye catching though showed his lack of power as Eto seemed to pretty much shake it off. Despite the clear round being Paulino's the cards oddly favoured the champion with cards reading
In the middle of the bout we saw more of the same as Paulino impressed with his back-foot boxing, his movement, timing and feisty raids that appeared to be catching the eye time and time again, at least they caught our eye. Amazingly however the judges all had Eto well in the lead on the cards with some mystifying scoring in favour of the champion who appeared to be working very hard to just get close to the Filipino.
Sadly for Paulino his spirit appeared to begin breaking in round 9 as Eto began to land with more frequency and in round 10 an assault by Eto was punctuated by a body shot that dropped Paulino. The Filipino started to rise at 9 though by then it was too late for the challenger who had the bout waved off as he arose to his feet.
After the fight Eto dedicated the win to his wife, who he married to in March, and stated that he had no intention in defending his OPBF title any longer preferring instead to focus on a world title in 2015. On this performance we would assume Eto would struggle to really make an impact on any of the world champions at Flyweight though if Roman Gonzalez is looking for an opponent we dare saw he could pick a lot worse than Eto who generally is exciting to watch,m even if this wasn't the most fun to watch bout that we've seen Eto in.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)