Earlier today fight fans in Osaka saw OPBF Bantamweight champion Takahiro Yamamoto (18-4, 15) [山本 隆寛] record the second defense of his title as he easily over-came Filipino challenger Rex Wao (11-3, 9) inside a round.
On paper the bout looked like a firefight but in the ring there was only one man with a gun and that was Yamamoto who dropped Wao within a minute. The Filipino challenger got back to his feet but struggled to find his way into the bout and a follow up from Yamamoto dropped him a second time, with Wao staying down well past the 10 count courtesy of a vicious body shot.
The official time was 2 minutes 28 seconds of the first round, thus giving Yamamoto his 4th career opening round victory, his first since 2009, and his second quickest!
For Wao the loss was his 3rd defeat in 5 bouts and it seems likely that his career is essentially over as a title contender, even on the Oriental scene. It was the second stoppage loss of his career, following a loss to former world title challenger Silvester Lopez, and by far the quickest with Wao lasting until round 7 against Lopez.
The win for Yamamoto looks great on paper, and looked good in the ring, but was a second blow out of an over-matched opponent for the champion, who beat Yuki Strong Kobayashi back on New Year's Eve. Given the domestic scene in Japan, and the Orientalscene at large, it's now time Yamamoto looked for a defining defence against someone like Japanese champion Kentaro Masuda or former Japanese champion Shohei Omori or top contender Mark John Yap, or visitors like Arthur Villanueva, Jason Canoy, Oleydong Sithsamerchai or Suriyan Sor Rungvisai. If he's wanting a world title bout wins over those guys should be his next target as opposed to another over-matched foe like Wao or Kobayashi.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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