Takashi Miura wound up landing a few punches to the face of his opponent, who had his back against a corner post, before he dropped to the canvas.
But the first blow was good enough to finish the fight, and he knew it.
Champion Miura put on a flashy KO show with a third-round technical-knockout victory over Australia’s Billy Dib in a WBC super featherweight title match at Ota City General Gymnasium on Friday.
Officially, the referee stopped it 1 minute, 29 seconds into the round.
With the clear-cut win, Miura, nicknamed “Bomber Left,” defended his belt for the fourth time.
“I really felt it and I thought that it was over with the first blow,” Miura said of his conquering punch. “Even among the fights I ended in KOs, it was one of the best KOs, so I’m happy about it.”
Miura, a native of Akita Prefecture, improved to 29-2-2. He said that he wants to box against tough, well-known opponents, while he looks to compete on a bigger stage outside Japan.
Akihiko Honda, president of Miura’s Teiken Gym, told reporters after the fight that he hopes to book a bout in the United States for the southpaw boxer.
“I want a chance like that,” Miura, 30, said. “I want to fight in the States, too.”
Meanwhile, London Olympic gold medalist Ryota Murata scored a dynamic TKO win against Douglas Ataide. Murata seemed to struggle with his Brazilian opponent, who unleashed a variety of different punches, early on.
But Murata found a way to capture him in the fifth round. Just several seconds into it, Murata knocked Ataide down with a straight right. Ataide stood up, but the Japanese finished him off with a perfect right hook to his chin moments later.
“My corner told me to not fight in a distance that (Ataide) could land his uppers but to fight in a distance so I could have one-two punches (before the fifth round),” said Murata, who capped his first KO win in three fights. “And it worked and I was able to land my straight. That was the best right I had in a while. It felt great.”
Murata, 29, retained his perfect professional record at 7-0-0. Ataide, who’s ranked No. 15 in the WBO ratings, was the first ranked boxer he faced.
“I had some pressure, and there were some days that I couldn’t really sleep,” confessed Murata, who was seventh in the WBC rankings before this fight. “I feel relieved that I had a KO win. Because I’m a pro, I know I have to respond to the fans’ expectations, and I definitely feel a difference as I leave the ring (with a KO win).”
Former WBC flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi, who lost the belt last year, posted a second-round TKO win over Songseanglek Phosuwangym.
Yaegashi, 32, downed the opponent from Thailand with a right hook in the end of the opening round and finished the fight with a counter right hook with 55 seconds left in the period.
“I once thought of stepping out of the ring,” Yaegashi said, referring to his potential retirement after he lost two consecutive bouts last year. “But so many people would talk to me, asking, ‘You are still going to fight, right?’ And it made me think that I should do it one more time (for a title shot).”
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