The Light Flyweight division is one of the most interesting right now and today we saw interesting changing of the guard as the WBA Light Flyweight "Super" title was ripped from the hands of South African Hekkie Budler (32-4, 10) by Japanese sensation Hiroto Kyoguchi (12-0, 9) [京口 紘人], who became the first man to score a stoppage over Budler.
From the opening round Kyoguchi pressured the champion. That pressure wasn't successful early on, with Budler countering well, and making Kyoguchi pay for his technical mistakes. It was however pressure that began to pay off as early as round 2, when Kyoguchi began to land on the body of the champion with regularity. That regularity seemed to take a toll on, even if Budler was himself landing plenty of solid blows of his own.
In round 3 Kyoguchi continued to find the body of Budler, and also found success with more and more headshots, Budler seemed to have felt the power of Kyoguchi and was less willing to take risks, but used his speed, reach and footwork well to fight at range, a range heeded to be out. Sadly for Budler round 4 was his last with any notable success, as he seemed to grit his teeth, sadly the body shots seemed to take away some of his movement and he was being given more and more punishment, being stung notably in the later stages of round 5. From then on it was essentially more and more dominant from Kyoguchi.
The shots from Budler sounded like they were slapping blows, rather than real punches, whilst Kyoguchi was digging in his shots, really trying to hurt the champion. Something he did visibly in round 7, to both head and body. The consistency of Kyoguchi's work seemed to be slowly beating the fight out of Budler who was taking an increasing amount of head shots as the bout went on, especially uppercuts to the head. Budler's legs were still their but they were no longer getting him out of danger.
By the end of round 9 it seemed less a case of whether Kyoguchi would win, and more a question of whether he would stop Budler, who had been beaten up, battered and taken a lot of punishment. That question was answered at the end of round 10, a round that had seen Budler really dig into his reserve of toughness. That toughness was too much, and he was pulled from the bout between rounds 10 and 11, with his corner deciding enough was enough.
Despite a competitive start Budler began to look like an old fighter by the middle rounds, a combination of the body shots from Kyoguchi and his long career. When that happened Kyoguchi just broke his man, round by round.
For Kyoguchi this wasn't an amazing performance, it was a solid one though, but it was a fantastic result as he became the first man to stop the South African veteran, and a 2-weight world champion in just 12 bouts! A potential unification fight with Kenshiro looks on the cards and would be a massive fight for Japanese boxing. This also saw him gain revenge for stablemate Ryoichi Taguchi, from whom Budler took the title from earlier this year.
For Chinese boxing to really take off it needs a hero that's not just a big name, like Zou Shiming, but also successful. Today we found out that Ma Yi Ming (12-6, 7) was certainly not going to be that hero as he was obliterated inside a round by exciting Filipino Randy Petalcorin (23-1-1, 18), who made the first defense of his WBA interim Light Flyweight title.
For many this was a mismatch when it was signed, for others it was merely a disappointment. In the ring however it proved to be both.
From the opening bell it was clear that the two men were on different levels. Ming tried to march forward behind a high guard but the razor like Petalcorin split the guard and found a home for his lighting quick strikes. Ming had no immediate response, almost amazed that his guard was being breached as easily as it was. Within a minute the challenger was down. Ming showed his grittiness to get back up but it did him little good with Petalcorin continuing to abuse him until the referee gave another count against the Chinese fighter.
From then on Ming finally realised he had to fight back. He did so flailing his arms widely in the hope of landing something, anything. Sadly for him his wild shots just gave even bigger openings to Petalcorin who hurt him against and forced referee Raul Caiz Jr to call an end to the very 1-sided contest.
Whilst Ming was truly awful Petalcorin looked really impressive. He was sharp from the off, showed amazing speed and every punch looked crisp. It was as good a showcase performance that he could have hoped for and now deserves to be followed up by a genuinely meaningful bout. Although the Light Flyweight division isn't the most stacked it does have some interesting contender type fighters floating around, such as Yu Kimura, Ryo Miyazaki, Rey Loreto, Jonathan Taconing, Paipharaob Kokietgym and even Palangpol CP Freshmart. If we could see Petalcorin in with a fighter of that level next time out then we'll find out how good he really is. If he fights someone at this level again however questions do need to be asked about what his team are doing and whether they lack the belief in him to really over-come fellow world class fighters.
Although there are a number of interesting contender types out there for Petalcorin we would most like to see him face WBA "regular" champion Ryoichi Taguchi in would would be a really good bout later this year. We may however need to wait for that one with Taguchi likely to defend his title against Ryo Miyazaki in the Autumn.
The journey of Randy Petalcorin (22-1-1, 17) has been a long one. He turned professional way back in March 2009 and was pencilled in as a potential world champion way back then. Now, almost 5 and a half years later, he has managed to take a big step towards being a recognised world champion as he is now the proud owner of the WBA interim Light Flyweight title.
Petalcorin won the title earlier today as he travelled to Shanghai and over-came Panama's Walter Tello (20-8, 8), in turn taking his first big chance and grasping it with both hands.
From the off Petalcorin looked the better fighter whilst Tello looked like a man who knew his chances would be limited. Rather than fight fire with fire Tello tried to make the fight frustrating for Petalcorin and catch him with counters whilst fighting with a defensive and cautious mindset.
By the end of round 4 the fight was becoming a lost cause for Tello who was losing round after round courtesy of Petalcorin's sharp jab. It was then that the Filipino amped up the work rate, moved up a gear and started to have ever growing success. This caused Tello to become even more defensive. The smart defensive work and counters from earlier in the bout were vanishing with Tello beginning to do little more than surviving.
At the end of round 6 it seemed likely that we were going to head towards a shut out though Petalcorin wanted more than to just win the title. He wanted to impress. And that's exactly what he did in round 7 as he scored the bouts only knockdown with beautiful combination of razor sharp shots. The Panamanian got to his feet before the count though referee Raul Caiz Sr had seen enough and waved off the bout.
The performance was a great one from Petalcorin who was in control of the bout from the opening round with his south paw jab and counter uppercuts. He was, however still made to work for the victory which was certainly not given to him from Tello. At the end however Tello was out classed and although the stoppage was questionable few would argue with Tello have had a shut out through 6.
From what we understand the new "interim" champion is likely to be lined up for a world title fight against "regular" Alberto Rossel early next year.
(Image courtesy of the13thround)
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.