Just a few moment ago Japanese Flyweight champion Suguru Muranaka (20-2-1, 6), pictured, completed the first defence of his title as he stopped former Japanese Light Flyweight champion Masayuki Kuroda (21-5-3, 13).
Kuroda had held the Japanese Light Flyweight title from May 2011 to when he gave up the belt to fight Juan Carlos Reveco for the WBA Flyweight title. On that night he gave Reveco something of competitive contest though lost a clear decision against the talented Argentinian. Unfortunately for him his career has failed to recover and this fight may be the end of it.
To start with Kuroda looked brilliant. His jab was on fire and he was shutting down any openings Muranaka was seeing. It was all about Kuroda and his jab and speed.
By the mid way point of the bout it seemed that Kuroda was in charge of Muranaka who could almost feel his title slipping away. The however the champion managed to find his way back in to the bout. He managed to force Kuroda to take more shots, as if he was finding a new gear within himself. This was bad news for Kuroda who's toughness was being called upon.
Kuroda appeared to know that he needed to fight back, just surviving the distance may not quite have been enough but unfortunately for him he failed to even reach the final bell as he was stopped by Muranaka with just 88 seconds of the bout remaining.
Although this loss could be the last time we see Kuroda in a major fight the 27 has got time to bounce back. He does however need some confidence building wins. This was his his 5th bout with out a victory and you now need to go all the way back to November 2011 for his last victory. He needs an easy one and he needs it soon.
For Muranaka, who is ranked by all 4 major bodies, this was a big win. He may not yet be ready for a world title fight but he knows he could get one if he wanted and perhaps with another defence or two of his national title he'll be ready for it. He will however have to performance much better than he did here.
(Photo courtesy of http://flash-akabane.com)
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