Yesterday we reported that Japanese fighter Suguru Muranaka (22-2-1, 7) had failed to make weight ahead of a Japanese Flyweight title defense against Tetsuma Hayashi (25-3-2, 9), and had been stripped of the title.
Today those two men traded blows with Muranaka looking to put the weight issues behind him, despite losing his title on the scales, and with Hayashi coming to the ring in the hopes of winning the title at his second time of asking.
To begin the fight it was Hayashi who started well. He started fast and got off to an early lead and seemed to win the first 3 rounds. The good start for Hayashi saw him being in the lead on a couple of cards with when they were announced at the end of round 5. At that point he was leading with scores of 48-47 and 49-47, though the other judge had Muranaka in the lead with a score of 48-47.
In the second half of the fight however it was Muranaka who took over. He showed his championship level experience with rounds 7 and 8 being big and clear rounds for the former champion who managed to get inside and control the bout at close range. It was amazing to see Muranaka fighting at such a pace so late into the fight considering his issues with the scales, though his trademark stamina certainly wasn't failing him.
By the final bell it seemed like there was only going to be one winner, Muranaka. He had taken the bout by the scruff of the next in the later rounds and made it his. The judges agreed awarding him the decision with scores of 97-93, and 96-94, twice. It was a deserved win for the former champion but one he'll have been disappointed with in some ways due to losing his title.
The next decision for the former champion is what he does next. He may well find himself controlling his weight better and continuing on as a Flyweight or, alternatively, making a move to Super Flyweight. Whatever the next move it's going to be interesting to follow the career of the always fun to watch Muranaka.
As for Hayashi we're hoping to see him come again. He's talented and young fighter with a lot to still achieve before his career is over.
Suguru Muranaka stripped of Japanese Flyweight title after failing to make weight
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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