Kawashima defends WBC title

The Associated Press

Japan’s Katsushige Kawashima scored a unanimous decision over Raul Juarez of Mexico on Monday to retain his WBC superflyweight crown at Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium.

Kawashima dominated the 12-round bout, knocking down the 30-year-old Juarez three times — in the second, sixth and seventh rounds — with uppercuts and body blows.

It was his first title defense since he gained the belt by beating fellow Japanese boxer Masamori Tokuyama on June 28 in Tokyo.

“I just feel bad that I couldn’t win with a knockout,” Kawashima said in a post-fight interview with TV Tokyo.

American judge Julie Lederman scored the bout at 113-111, Brad Vocale of Australia had it 117-107, and American Tony Castellano 114-110. All gave Kawashima the win. The 29-year-old Kawashima is now 27-3, including 18 knockouts. Juarez, ranked 14th in the WBC rankings, dropped to 32-10 with 15 KOs and one invalid match.