• Kyodo

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Challenger Ryo Matsumoto failed to capture the WBA super bantamweight title on Wednesday after being defeated by American Daniel Roman on a unanimous decision.

In his first world title bid, Matsumoto went 12 rounds with the American at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall, but was overwhelmed by Roman’s pace and could not land consecutive punches against his speedier opponent.

“My opponent led the pace the whole time. There was nothing I could do,” the 24-year-old said.

The defeat snapped a four-bout winning streak for Matsumoto, and brought his record to 21 wins and two losses, with 19 wins by knockout.

After 17 straight professional wins, Matsumoto fell into poor physical health in 2016 due to a parathyroid illness, and suffered his first loss to Mexican Victor Uriel Lopez in May.

He underwent surgery following the match and was forbidden from walking for a time, but recovered within six months and went on to win four straight bouts, including a rematch against Lopez.

“My condition was the best I’ve ever been in,” Matsumoto said. “But it can’t be helped. There’s nothing to say because I lost.”

It was Roman’s first defense of the title he won after beating Shun Kubo in September. The 27-year-old American improved his record to 24-2 with 9 KOs.

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