To begin today Japan had all 4 of the Light Flyweight world titles, though sadly for those hoping for a 4 man Japanese unification those dreams were shattered today as long term warrior, and 3-weight champion Akira Yaegashi (25-6, 13) [八重樫 東] lost the IBF title within a round to Filipino Milan Melindo (36-2, 13), who entered the bout as the "interim" champion and left as someone looking like a star.
The bout started with both men lookign to establish their jab, and it seemed liek Yaegashi was the quicker man as he began to move in and out, and he in fact landed the first blows of note. It was however short lived success for the popular warrior who was dropped when the two traded blows. It wasn't a hurtful knockdown, but it was a shock.
Yaegashi looked clear headed when he got back to his feet but was down moments later, and this time he looked hurt, and was clearly buzzed. The warrior spirit saw him get to his feet but Melindo could smell his prey and went on the hunt, dropping the Japanese fighter with a huge right hand, and this time the referee had seen enough, and Yaegashi looked like he was clearly in need of being saved.
It's a sad way for a warrior like Yaegashi to lose his title, in just 165 seconds, but it's fair to say that his history of wars have taken their toll on him and his punch resistence isn't what it once was. His wars with the likes of Pornsawan Porporamook, Kazuto Ioka, Toshiyuki Igarashi, Roman Gonzalez, Pedro Guevara, Javier Mendoza and Jose Martin Tecuapetla have all taken a toll on him. At the age of 34, and with a lot of miles on the clock, this is probably the end for Yaegashi, though we've said that before only for him to bounce back.
As for Melindo it was third time lucky, finally winning a world title after coming up short against Juan Francisco Estrada and Javier Mendoza, and it was the performance that puts him in the mix for some amazing fights down the line. He looked strong and powerful here and could well be offered some big money to come back to Japan for a unification bout.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.