Last December we saw former world champion Kohei Kono (33-10-1, 14) [河野 公平] suffer his first stoppage loss, being take out by the sensational Naoya Inoue. That loss was the first stoppage defeat of Kono's career and seemed to suggest the "Tough Boy" was now cracking.
Earlier today, on the under-card of the double world title show in Tokyo, Kono returned to the rign for the first time since that loss, and returned to winning ways as he stopped an over-matched Thai opponent in 5 rounds. Bothing shaking some ring rust and scoring a confidence builder after two defeats in 2016.
The Thai was down in round 4 before being stopped, following another knockdown, mid way through round 2. He's now expected to return to action in a few weeks to fight against rising Hong Kong star Rex Tso in what is essentially a world title eliminator.
Also on the under-card was fast rising prospect Hironori Mishiro (3-0, 2) [三代大訓], a former amateur stand out. The talented youngster was also up against a Thai and made light work of his foe. The Thai was ruined by body shots, dropped and later stopped as Mishiro moved one step closer to facing a real test. He's a talent and he's now ready to be stepped up significantly.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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