• Kyodo

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Keitaro Hoshino of Japan pounded out a unanimous decision over Joma Gamboa of the Philippines on Tuesday to regain the World Boxing Association (WBA) minimumweight crown in a bout between two former world champions.

Hoshino dominated the fight at Yokohama Pacific Arena with crushing combinations to the body and head from the outset of the title tilt and nearly floored Gamboa a handful of times as the Filipino fighter appeared to fade in the final rounds.

The second-ranked Hoshino and third-ranked Gamboa were fighting for the title vacated by Japan’s Yutaka Niida, who shocked the boxing world by hanging up his gloves last summer at the tender age of 23.

In Tuesday’s fight, judge Erkki Meronen of Finland saw the bout 117-112 in favor of Hoshino, while Jean Louis Legland of France scored it 118-110. Yuh Wansoo of South Korea scored it 118-112.

Hoshino hit Gamboa with a series of left jabs and followed with hard body blows while turning away the Filipino’s looping blows with an impregnable guard.

“I wanted to make sure that I had no regrets after tonight’s fight,” the 32-year-old Hoshino said. “My jab was working and I figured from the beginning that I would make a showdown of the second half of the fight.”

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