Earlier today in Kobe fans saw a genuinely notable upset in an OPBF Bantamweight title bout, a bout that saw world ranked slugger Takahiro Yamamoto (18-5, 15) [山本 隆寛] lose his title to Japanese based Filipino Mark John Yap (23-12, 11), who scored the biggest win of his career, and claimed his first title.
Yamamoto, who was #4 ranked by the IBF, had been hoping to record his third defense of the title but came up against a determined challenger who landed counter shots smartly in the opening round before picking up the pace in the second round and forcing Yamamoto onto the back foot. Like many punchers Yamamoto looked unsure of himself when being backed up and by the end of round 3 it was clear that he was struggling with Yap's skills, aggression and determination.
Yamamoto tried to turn the bout around in the 4th round and had some success, tying the scores on one card when they were announced. Despite Yamamoto's success in round 4 he was still behind on two of the cards. In the end however the cards didn't matter as Yap dominated round 5 scoring 3 knock downs to force the stoppage after 139 seconds.
The win for Yap sees him continue a remarkable career turnaround that had seen him slide to 19-12 (10) just 2 years ago, following a 0-3 run. Sadly for Yamamoto it ends all talk of him getting a world title eliminator in 2017, with their previously being talk of the Ioka man being in the running for a shot at Lee Haskins' IBF Bantamweight title.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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