Japanese slugger Ryo Akaho (26-1-2, 18) began the day as the #1 ranked Bantamweight contender according to the WBO. that ranking however was being risked as he took on Ghanaian opponent Prosper Ankrah (24-5-0-1, 15) in a bout for the WBO International Bantamweight title. On paper it looked like an interesting match up between two guys who could punch and two guys who were stepping into the ring not just to win, but to win inside the distance.
Sadly it was obvious from the opening round that one man had all the traits the other wished they had. Akaho looked bigger, was stronger and was tougher.
From the off Akaho set the pace and although Ankrah tried to fight back, and managed to land some solid counters of his own, he never seemed to deter the Japanese fighter.
In round 4 a tired looking Ankrah succumbed to the pressure and work rate of the heavy handed and exciting Akaho and was dropped at the end of the round with the official time of the stoppage being 2:59 of round 4.
For Akaho this was the perfect start to his year long ALA contract and it seems almost certain that's heading for a world title fight in the next 12 months. With his style he's going to be a fan favourite very quickly and although he's not the most technically skilled he's going to be a handful for anyone but the divisional elite.
For Ankrah however this was his 4th stoppage loss and he has now been beaten the 4 times he's faced a name fighter, including a 2 round blow out defeat to current world champion Carl Frampton.
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