• Kyodo

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Toshiaki Nishioka successfully defended his WBC super bantamweight crown by stopping Genaro Garcia of Mexico in the 12th round in a world doubleheader on Saturday.

The southpaw-punching Nishioka landed his left with precision, sending Garcia to the canvas in the fourth and ninth rounds of the day’s featured bout before a series of hard left uppercuts prompted the referee to halt the bout after 57 seconds of the final round at Pacifico Yokohama.

Nishioka saw his record improve to 33 wins, 20 of them by knockout, against four defeats and three draws. The seventh-ranked Garcia dropped to 38-7 (22 KOs).

“I hurt my right and left fists but I really was determined to get the knockout,” Nishioka said. “I knew everyone was expecting a KO since I was in the lead. My New Year has finally come.”

Earlier, Japan’s Yusuke Kobori failed in his first attempt to defend the WBA lightweight title, losing in a unanimous decision to challenger Paulus Moses of Namibia.

“My opponent was the better fighter, so I thought I had lost the decision,” Kobori said. “He would not box the way I wanted to and knew my style very well. I have to think about my future plans.”

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