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World Boxing Organization’s top-ranked light flyweight Riku Kano of Taisei Boxing Gym, overcoming a third-round knockdown, hammered out a 12-round split decision over fifth-round Japanese minimumweight Ryoki Hirai of Senrima Kobe Boxing Gym to win the vacant WBO Asia-Pacific title on Nov. 23 in Sanda, Hyogo Prefecture.
After suffering a brief knockdown in the third round, southpaw Kano quickly responded with his straight lefts and right hooks, and neither boxer failed to land decisive blows throughout the 12 rounds at the Otonone Hall in the city, western Japan.
With the victory, the 23-year-old Kano improved his record to 17 wins, eight by knockout, against four losses and a draw, while the 29-year-old Hirai fell to 13-7-1 win-loss-draw record with four KOs.