Filipino battler Richard Pumicpic (14-6-2, 4) proved once again that he has one of boxing's most over-looked record as he travelled to Japan and gave OPBF champion Ryosuke Iwasa (17-1, 10) his toughest bout since Iwasa suffered his sole defeat, to Shinsuke Yamanaka.
Pumicpic was written off by many going into this bout due solely to his less than stellar record. Despite that we did imagine it'd be a tough one given that Pumicpic is tough, hungry and refuses to just sit down and lose.
It proved to be tougher than we had imagine with Pumicpic giving Iwasa a night mare round, after round, after round.
After 4 rounds the judges knew they were scoring a close one, the fans knew they were watching a close one and both fighters knew they were competing in a very competitive bout.
The judges, who openly scored after 4 rounds, had the bout a majority draw with scores of 37-37, twice, and 39-37 to Iwasa. It was that close that neither man had really managed to do enough to deserve to be in the lead.
If things were hard for the champion in the first 4 rounds then it's fair to say they never became easy with Pumicpic holding his own in every single round. There was never a case of Iwasa really taking control of a bout many had tipped him as a likely clear winner.
The narrow, hard fought conditions of the fight had effectively left the decision being tense, and a worrying moment for both men. Things got even more tense as the scores were read, 114-114, 116-13 and 116-114. For Iwasa it was enough, just, to retain his title, in what will go down as one of the toughest bouts of his career.
Although he lost Pumicpic made a statement that was loud and clear. I am going to go places, I am going to be difficult to beat and one day I am going to be an OPBF champion. It was great to see and he has seriously put the division on alert that he is never going to be a push over, something many seem to think he is. Watch out, this kid will be a major force in the near future with performances like this one.
(Photo courtesy of http://boxingnews.jp/)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!