Earlier today Japanese fans got a rare all Japanese world title bout for the WBA Light Flyweight title. The bout resulted in defending champion Ryoichi Taguchi (25-2-1, 11) [田口良一] recording the 4th defense of his belt as he took a wide, but fun to watch, decision over former WBA Minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki (24-2-3, 15) [宮崎 亮].
The bout, the main event of the Watanabe promoted show in Tokyo, had been highly anticipated inside of Japan
The fight started cautiously with both men looking to establish their jab, that was of course a style better suited to the much taller Taguchi who quickly found a right for his jab and looked to follow with straights. Miyazaki, to his credit, got through with some jabs of his own and used his guard well. The fight quickly began to warm up and in round both managed to find success with their power hand, but it was clear that Taguchi's shots had more sting on them and that he was in control of the action.
Taguchi's control over the bout tightened in rounds 3 and 4 and although Miyazaki was finding success he always seemed to be a step behind the champion who was starting to force the issue more frequently. There were some good counters from Miyazaki but they never seemed to really trouble the champion who usually had the last word in an exchange.
In round 5 the crowd picked up, chanting the names of the men, whilst the pace raised slightly. The two men continued to fight at mid range, taking their turns to try and open up the other's guard and unload more telling shots. The pace increased again in round 6 as they began to close the gap and lets shots go up close, with Taguchi's right uppercut being particularly effective and causing Miyazaki to come off second best.
The success of round 6 saw Taguchi continue to push the action as Miyazaki began to look like a man needing time to think of a back up plan. Whilst Miyazaki was thinking Taguchi was working landing the straight right and left hooks on the challenger. Miyazaki tried to turned things around in round 8 and had his moments but couldn't avoid the uppercuts coming back as he unleashed his own shots in an action packed round. Miyazaki tried to again cut the distance in the following round but took some spiteful body shots and got tagged hard around the right eye as Taguchi resumed control of the fight.
Going in to the later rounds it was clear that Miyazaki had a lot of rounds to make up whilst Taguchi could cruise to his 4th defense. Despite being able to cruise Taguchi stayed sharp and continued to try and control the pace, and landed plenty of solid hooks. In credit to Miyazaki however he wasn't willing to just give up and landed a nasty right hand hand at the end of round 10. Unfortunately for the challenger the shot came too late to allow him to build on it and in round 11 it seemed his right eye was bothering him.
Despite being well behind and in discomfort from his eye Miyazaki gave his all in round 12, knowing it was now or never. It was however a case of needing a KO that he was never to going to get against someone as tough and resilient as Taguchi.
At the end of 12 rounds everyone knew Taguchi had retained and the scorecards agreed with scores of 116-112,117-111 and 119-109 in favour of the defending champion.
Taguchi will likely return at the end of the year in the next defense of his title, and he's stated he wants to face a top fighter next. Although Miyazaki was a mandatory he had, in fairness, done very little to deserve the mandatory position. As a result we could see Taguchi in an interesting bout before the year is over. Sadly though Watanabe may look to protect him given that he's their only current world champion.
For Miyazaki the result probably shows that he's not a world class Light Flyweight, however bouts with more stylistically well matched fighters, for example Akira Yaegashi, would certainly make for a competitive bout than this one, with Taguchi seemingly too big and too good for the Ioka man.
Japan's Ryo Miyazaki (20-0-3, 11) really doesn't seem to know how to have an easy fight. He appears to make every fight look difficult for himself and appears to look a little disappointed if he's not bleeding from multiple wounds.
Earlier today Miyazaki was again given a hard, rough bout in which he suffered several cuts, swelling around both eyes and came incredibly close to losing his unbeaten record as he defended his WBA Minimumweight title for the second, and likely final, time.
Facing off against Mexico's Jesus Silvestre (27-4, 20), it seemed obvious that Miyazaki would have a tough contest on his hands and this time around he wasn't going to have a choice as to whether the fight was going to be easy or hard.
The fight started with the naturally bigger looking Silvestre on the front foot almost forcing Miyazaki in to becoming the boxer. Although we got some trading segments as Miyazaki's natural fighting heart came out he did look like he knew he had to fight within himself in the early rounds.
Unfortunately for Miyazaki he would end up shaken up in the second round following a nasty clash of heads. It was head clashes that ultimately gave Miyazaki his sense of feeling as another clash in round 5 left both men reeling in pain.
Between the head clashes in round 2 and 5 we had a very close fight with neither man managing to get the upper hand in a bout that really was even. The work of Silvestre certainly looked to be the more numerous stuff but the shots of work of Miyazaki raised cheers from the partisan crowd time and time again.
By round 6 the blood was seeping out of Miyazaki's left eye and it seemed to almost force him to become more and more of a boxer. Unfortunately the "boxer" role isn't one that tends to suit Miyazaki and his warrior spirit though it's something he actually did well to start the second half of the fight.
Of course anyone who has seen Miyazaki fighting knows that even if he's forced to box he won't ever do it for long and in round 10 the hard fighting returned as both men seemed to realise that they might not be "winning" the bout.
If the warrior mentality of Miyazaki's returned in round 10 then it was in full flow by the end of round 11 as both men stood and traded bombs, with 2 huge shots tagging the champion in the closing seconds.
The action that had ended round 11 seemed to return in the final round, again with Silvestre getting the best of it. The Mexican, aware that he was fighting away from home may have secretly known that the fight was too close for him to get the win though unfortunately he was unable to change that in an excellent final round.
Due to the close nature of the bout no result was going to be wrong, and a majority decision in favour of Miyazaki with scores of 115-113, 115-114 and 114-114 showing a fair reflection of the fight. Of course Silvestre will feel as if he deserved the victory though fighting away from home he probably did need to do just a little bit more than he managed.
The loss for the Mexican isn't all bad, he's proven he belongs to be in the ring with any elite Minimumweight, and in fact a fight with someone like Katsunari Takayama, the IBF champion, could well be something special.
For Miyazaki the fight seems likely to have been his last at 105lbs with his post fight interview indicating that he's likely to vacate his world title and move up the Light Flyweight in his next contest. It was at 108lbs that Miyazaki did really begin his career and it would seem likely that he's genuinely struggled with those final 3lbs so the move up will seriously help his career.
Courtesy of boxrec.com
Japanese fighter Ryo Miyazaki (19-0-3, 11) may be over shadowed by stablemate Kazuto Ioka but today he certainly stole the headlines with an eye catching, KO of the year contender victory.
Making the first defense of his WBA Minimumweight title Miyazaki took on Mexican challenger Carlos Velarde (23-3-1, 13) and the two men put on quite a show.
The bout started in fantastic fashion with neither man feeling the need for a typical "feeling out" round. The way both men went at it from the off made it clear that we were unlikely to see a distance bout though we were almost certain to have a cracker on our hands.
If the first round was good the second was better as Velarde ramped up the pressure and forced Miyazaki to fight back hard. Although Miyazaki looked to be the better boxer he was seemingly getting dragged in to a war with the challenger.
With the first 2 rounds being genuinely enjoyable it was little wonder that round 3 was also a fantastic round, arguable one of the best of the year as the men stood in front of each other an traded shots to both the head and body. The round seemed to see both men hurt at one point and neither got the upper hand in a round that seemed very even.
At the start of round 4 the champion seemed to have a change in tactics and rather than fighting the challengers fight he started to try and fight his own fight. With Miyazaki now on the move Velarde was forced to amp up the pressure and really put the champion on the back fought in a round that perhaps suggest Miyazaki was having a tough time with his determined challenger.
After the fantastic start it was obvious the pace had to slow down at some point and that's what it did in round 5 as Miyazaki continued to box and used his feet arguably more than his hands. This forced Velarde to chase him and with that the challenger started to become a bit predictable and easier to pick off. It was whilst Velarde was stalking Miyazaki he landed a lovely 2 punch combination and out of nowhere Velarde was lying on his back and taking the full count. The KO, from a straight right hand-left hook combination was stunning to say the least and genuinely was a highlight reel KO that will be repeated numerous times in the future.
World Title Results
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