On Sunday evening Japanese fight fans were left shocked as the hugely popular Akira Yaegashi (25-6, 13) [八重樫 東] lost the IBF Light Flyweight title to Filipino Milan Melindo (35-2, 13) in just 165 seconds.
The bout saw Melindo drop Yaegashi 3 times inside the opening round to become a world champion in his third shot at a world title. It also saw Yaegashi suffer his third stoppage loss, following previous stoppage defeats to Roman Gonzalez and Pedro Guevara.
Sadly for Yaegashi the bout has actually set a record, with hit being the shortest ever Light Flyweight world title bout, setting a new record by a single second.
The previous record, of 166 seconds, had been set back in March 1987, when Korean great Myung Woo Yuh defended the WBA title against Panamanian challenger Eduardo Tunon. That bout was Tunon's only world title bout, and a loss to Yuh is nothing to be ashamed by. Sadly for Yaegashi this was his 13th world title bout, and as the defending champion no one would have expected such a shocking loss to someone like Melindo, who is known for his technical ability not his power.
At the moment it's unclear whether Yaegashi will retire, but the view seems to be that he is now at the very end of his career and that a retirement is likely to be announced in the coming days, or weeks.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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