Saturday wasn't all about the OPBF and Japanese Middleweight title fight between Akio Shibata and Hikarua Nishida and the card featured another, arguably more interesting, contest between former Japanese Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi (20-2-1, 8) and former IBF Minimumweight champion Florante Condes (27-9-1, 23), of the Philippines.
The bout, an 8 rounder agreed at a 106lb catch weight, was arguably the show stealing bout and had everything including major drama and competitive action.
It was Condes who scored first blood scoring a knockdown of the Japanese fighter in the second round. Condes, a major puncher, went for the kill as Taguchi got up and the bout could have been stopped had the referee deemed fit to do so, Taguchi was staying in on heart alone before the bell saved from what would have been his first stoppage loss.
Condes continued to be a danger in rounds 3 and 4 though as we entered the second half of the fight the Japanese fighter seemed to begin to take control of the action and did enough to over-come the 10-8 second round. It seemed that Condes, aged 34, simply begin to show signs of his age which allowed Taguchi, the younger man at 27, to come on strong with his younger legs.
Although, at the time of writing, Boxrec.com are stating the result was a split decision with Taguchi winning with scores of 76-73, twice, and losing on the third card by a score of 74-75 we've been informed from our Japanese sources that the scores were all in favour of Taguchi and read 77-74, twice, and 76-75. We're unsure where the confusion has come from but, for now, we'd take the result as out Japanese friends have reported it. Oddly all the cards differ by 2 points which could indicate confusion over the knockdown.
Although Condes lost his manager does seem hopeful of securing him another world title fight somewhere down the line. Unfortunately for him the Minimumweight division is packed with fighters all inking up big fights however if he chooses to campaign at Light Flyweight he might well find openings for himself in some very tasty looking bouts. As for Taguchi, who lasted the schedule in a great effort against Naoya Inoue, this will likely see him reassess his future and we imagine he will be staying at Light Flyweight if not actually moving up to Flyweight. If Taguchi intends to remain at Light Flyweight we would love to see him facing off against OPBF champion Jonathan Taconing in what would be a thrilling contest between under-rated fighters.
For those who are interested in watching the Inoue/Taguchi fight we've uploaded the video here. We hope to add the Taguchi/Condes fight to our library as well, though at the moment it's not become available for ourselves.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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