We're getting breaking news from Japan that once beaten Japanese fighter Ryosuke Iwasa (16-1, 10) has stopped the hard hitting Hiroki Shiino (10-3, 9) in 5 rounds to claim the OPBF Bantamweight title.
This bout, one of the bouts on today's excellent Japanese card, wasn't televised on Fuji TV like a number of the other contests but from reports we've been getting it was a brilliant performance by Iwasa. Despite the lack of live TV we'll be hoping that footage of this contest becomes available over the weekend as it looked, on paper like a must watch.
Although Iwasa has just won the title there are many thinking he may well be about to give it up to challenge for a world title. Interestingly his sole loss to date has come against current WBC champion Shinsuke Yamanaka. We'd not favour Iwasa in a rematch with Yamanaka however if he can secure a bout with Tomoki Kameda or the winner of the upcoming Stuart Hall/Vusi Malinga bout then there is a very strong possibility that he could become world champion in 2014.
For Shiino this ends a very short reign as OPBF champion. He won the title less than 6 months ago, stopping an an over-weight Dennis Tubieron in 2 rounds and avenging a loss to Tubieron in the process.
Having lost his title in his first defense we expect Shiino, who was the #9 WBC ranked fighter to drop significantly in the rankings. Oddly despite being the OPBF champion going in to this bout Shiino was ranked a long way behind Iwasa, who held a #1 WBC ranking going in to this contest.
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