Hasegawa loses title by fourth-round TKO

Kyodo News

Hozumi Hasegawa lost by technical knockout to WBO bantamweight champion Fernando Montiel in the fourth round on Friday, denying the Japanese champion of his 11th consecutive title defense of the WBC bantamweight crown.

Just when it appeared Hasegawa had gained the momentum, Montiel struck with a furious left to the jaw that staggered Hasegawa in the dying seconds of the fourth in the featured match of a world doubleheader at Nippon Budokan.

Hasegawa had no time to recover before he was pummeled with another devastating left and Montiel rained punches down at will before referee Laurence Cole jumped in to end it.

The 31-year-old Montiel, who improved to a record of 41-2-2 (31 knockouts), retained his WBO crown while also becoming the new WBC champion. Hasegawa, who had held the WBC crown since April 2005, slipped to 28-3 (12 KOs) in his first loss by knockout.

The Japan Boxing Commission does not officially recognize the World Boxing Organization, meaning only the WBC title was on the line.

With the loss, Hasegawa also failed in his bid to match countryman and former WBA light flyweight champion Yoko Gushiken’s record of six straight KOs in a world title bout.

Gushiken holds the record of successive titles with 13.

“I had gained the momentum but I got caught off guard when I lost focus for a split second. I was in top form and put in all the training necessary,” said Hasegawa. “I can’t argue about who was the better fighter if I lose.”

Earlier, WBC super bantamweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka stopped Balweg Bangoyan of the Philippines in the fifth round to successfully defend his title for the fourth time.

Referee Gelasio Perez stepped in to halt the bout at 1 minute, 14 seconds after Nishioka sent Bangoyan to the canvas once with a hard left and unleashed a series of blows.