Thailand’s Veeraphol Nakhonluang-Promotion retained his bantamweight title with a draw against Japanese top-ranked contender Toshiaki Nishioka in the showcase event of a triple-header championship on Saturday.

News photoJapan’s Toshiaki Nishioka (right) lands a punch on Veeraphol
Nakhonluang-Promotion of Thailand during Saturday’s WBC bantamweight title bout at Tokyo’s
Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Judges Mark Green of England scored the 12-rounder at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan 116-112 in favor of the champion while American Duan Ford saw Nishioka slightly better at 114-113. American Herbert Minn called it even at 115-115.

It was the pair’s third meeting, with Veeraphol successfully defending his 11th title he won from Joichiro Tatsuyoshi in 1998. The Thai also beat Nishioka by decision in 2000 and was held to a draw with him in a rematch in September 2001.

“I thought I’d got the decision. Nishioka landed some strong punches but I didn’t think they were that effective. If he wants a rematch he can have one. Then I’ll beat him again,” said Veeraphol.

Though viewed as a draw, Veeraphol was the clear aggressor throughout the bout, deploying a stinging right jab to keep his opponent at bay while protecting himself effectively until the final bell signaled the end of the battle.

Veeraphol saw his record improve to 41 wins, 29 by knockout, against one loss and two draws while Nishioka is now 23-3-3 with 14 KOs.

Meanwhile, World Boxing Association (WBA) super flyweight champion Alexander Munoz of Venezuela overpowered Japanese challenger Hidenobu Honda to retain his title in an earlier match.

Munoz won a 3-0 decision over Honda, rocking his 10th-ranked opponent with a series of hard blows throughout the fight and was never in any real danger during the 12-rounder.

In the final round, Munoz continued to stun Honda with a flurry of punches to the head as Honda tried in vain to land shots en route to securing his second title defense he claimed after beating Shoji Kobayashi last year.

Honda got mixed in a dogfight with Munoz in the latter rounds but his left hooks and right jabs failed to damage the Venezuelan, who danced to elude the glancing blows.

Munoz improved to a flawless 24-0 even though he failed to knock out Honda as he had done his previous 23 opponents. Honda dropped to 26-3 with 14 KOs.

In another bout, former WBA super flyweight champion Hideki Todaka won a split decision over fifth-ranked Leo Gamez of Venezuela for the WBA’s interim bantamweight title.

Todaka, who lost the title to Gamez in October 2000, improved to 21 wins against three defeats and one tie to become the fifth Japanese to win in two-weight categories.

Gamez, who failed in his attempt to become the fourth boxer in history to capture titles in five weight classes, fell to 34-10-1.

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