Earlier today Japanese fight fans saw a new Japanese Lightweight champion being crowned, as Shuhei Tsuchiya (22-4, 18) [土屋 修平] scored a career defining win and stopped switching hitting fighter Masashi Noguchi (12-6-1, 6) [野口 将志] in 3 rounds.
From the off Tsuchiya applied the pressure on on Noguchi and tried to make the most of his huge power advantage. That proved to be a great gameplan with Noguchi having almost nothing to make Tsuchiya back off.
In the second round Tsuchiya's power took effect with Noguchi being hurt about 2 minutes into the round and then being dropped in the final seconds of the round. Although the knockdown was a heavy one Noguchi regained his feet and made it to the final bell
Having been clearly hurt in round 2 Noguchi looked unsure of himself at the start of round 3, and it looked like he was still feeling the effects of the knockdown. Tsuchiya could see that his man was still struggling and was looking hard for the finishj. That came just less than 2 minutes into the round when a body shot dropped Noguchi for the count, becoming the champion in the process.
Although Noguchi may not have been the best challenger the win proved that Tsuchiya's power if legitimate at this level. The winner may not be a long term champion but he will certainly be a fun to watch champion, for as long as he holds his title.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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