From the first round the tactics of the challenger were clear. Kwanthai was coming in to apply a lot of pressure and neutralise the height and reach of Taguchi. Those tactics however weren't done in the best way and in the opening round Taguchi used his jab and movement to tag the challenger on the move and land some solid shots when Kwanthai did get close. It was much the same in the second round though the round was punctuated with Taguchi dropping the Thai with a hard right hand.
As the bout went on the champion became more and more confident in holding his feet. That was bad new for the challenger who had his only game plan used against him with Taguchi alternating between boxing and fighting, picking his spots to go go to war.
In round 5 Taguchi scored his second knockdown of the fight with Kwanthai being dropped very late in the round from a clean 1-2. Unfortunately the bell came before Taguchi was able to close the show. The champion smelled blood going into round 6 and went for the kill early though saw Kwanthai survive the storm until being dropped in the final seconds of the round.
Kwanthai was drown for the 4th time at the end of round 7 as Taguchi landed a hard right, though again the bell saved the Thai who was falling a long way down on the cards. It was to Kwanthai's credit that he was continuing to fight but he was looking done and a more compassionate corner may have stopped him between rounds 7 and 8.
Taguchi started fast for round 8 and went searching the stoppage with some huge right hands, a left to the body then unsettled Kwanthai who was dropped seconds later. This time the knockdown had come early in the round and it was clear that if Kwanthai was to continue he'd be down again. Instead the referee waved the bout off with Kwanthai having beaten the count but looked thoroughly out of his depth.
For Kwanthai this is almost certainly the end of his career at world level. As for Taguchi the future looks really exciting and promising with possible bouts against Randy Petalcorin or Ryo Miyazaki both being mentioned. Either of those bouts would be mouth watering contests and make up for some of the recent mismatches all 3 have been involved in recent times.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)