• Kyodo


IBF minimumweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi successfully defended his title for a second time Sunday, when he beat Vince Paras of the Philippines in a wide-margin points victory.

Kyoguchi overcame a third-round scare at Tokyo’s Ota Gymnasium, when a powerful left hook to the temple sent him down to the ground for the first time in his professional career. He remained unbeaten as all three judges had him winning by 7 points.

It was far from the easy fight he assumed it would be, the 19-year-old Paras posing a serious threat in his first world title bout.

“I told him I would teach him to box because it was his first world title fight but he sent me down for the first time and I was the one feeling pressed,” Kyoguchi said.

“He was really hungry to get my belt and I could sense his determination. This is a really good learning experience in my boxing career.”

Kyoguchi improved to 10-0. He has won seven by knockout, while Paras took his first loss after 13 career wins.

In the second match of the world title fight doubleheader, Ryoichi Taguchi was defeated by South African challenger Hekkie Budler, who picked up a 3-0 unanimous decision win in the IBF-WBA unified light flyweight title clash.

Taguchi was bidding to become the first Japanese to successfully defend a unified crown. It was the eighth time he was defending his WBA title and first time he was defending his IBF title.

All three judges scored the contest 114-113 in favor of the sixth-ranked Budler, who improved to 32-3, including 10 wins by knockout. Taguchi has 27 wins, 12 by knockout, against two draws and three losses.

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