Earlier today fans in Osaka saw the OPBF Light Middleweight title change hands, with Yutaka Oishi (14-6, 7) [大石 豊] losing the title in his first defense, against Thai challenger Ratchasi Sithsaithong (8-3, 6), who helped rebuild pride in Thai boxing after a less than great week.
The Thai started well,claiming the first round whilst Oishi looked to ease his way into the contest. Realising that Ratchasi was better than his record suggested the champion looked to get things going in round 2 and managed to drop the challenger, securing a 10-8 round.
The success of Oishi built to more success as he took a the next few rounds and was comfortably up on all 3 cards after 4 rounds, leading 39-36 across the board.
The champion continued to show better skills through the middle rounds, with Ratchasi being deducted a point in round 7 for a series of fouls. That deduction essentially ended any hopes of Ratchasi winning a decision, and he was down by a long way on all 3 cards when they were announced after 8 rounds.
Although a mile behind Ratchasi began a fight back in the later stages, taking rounds 9,10 and 11 on two of the score cards. It was as if he still felt he had a chance to win, despite being a hole.
The fact back from Ratchasi refused to end and in round 12 he went all out. Remarkably Ratchasi's attack saw him stiffen the legs of Oishi and a follow up forced the referee the save the Japanese fighter from further punishment, ending his short reign.
Amazingly Oishi entered the bout ranked #5 by the IBF, with positions #1 and #2 vacant, and whilst he'll obviously lose that ranking it would be remarkable for the IBF to give a similar position to Ratchasi. For the Thai however this was a second notable win over a Japanese fighter, having beaten Cobra Suwa last year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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