In the first of 3 world title bouts today Japanese fans at the Ota City Gymnasium saw WBA Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi (24-2-1, 11) [田口良一] retain his title, and record his third defense, with an 11th round win against Venezuelan veteran Juan Jose Landaeta (27-9-1, 21), who was stopped for the first time in his career.
Early in the bout things seemed relatively competitive, with Taguchi's speed giving him the edge, but Landaeta was certainly not being dominated during the early exchanges, in fact he was often holding his own occasionally getting the better off the action.
As the bout progressed however Landaeta began to show his age, and those 37 years seemed to have aged more than he had expected. In fact as early as round 5 he was beginning to slow down notably and leave more openings for Taguchi, who started to turn up the heat.
In round 8 it seemed Landaeta was beginning to break down with the body shots from Taguchi taking a real effect on the challenger, who was dropped the following round from a right hand to the body. Follow up body shots almost finished off Landaeta who was beginning to look very much like a spent fighter.
Knowing that Landaeta was fading Taguchi set off for round 10 with the intention of stopping the Venezuelan, who was dropped again, though the bell came to his saviour here. Had the round been just 30 seconds longer the odds are the that Landaeta wouldn't have seen out the round, following a third knockdown of the fight.
With Landaeta just surviving round 10 it seemed to a big question of whether Landaeta still had 6 minutes left in his body. Taguchi again set off seeking a stoppage and dropped Landaeta early in the round, before scoring another knockdown later in round 11 to really put the bout to bed in terms of the scorecards. Amazingly however Landaeta managed to see out the 10-7 round.
Despite having seen out round 11 Landaeta wasn't fit to come out for round 12 and his team pulled him from the contest, giving him his first stoppage defeat in a career that goes back to 1999. We're now expecting to see him retire from the sport.
As for Taguchi the world is his oyster and there are a lot of very interesting match up that could be made later this year, including a potential show down with fast rising youngster Ken Shiro or a bout with current IBF champion Akira Yaegashi, both of which would be very good fights.
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.