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Veteran Katsunari Takayama of Neyagawa Ishida Boxing Club, who returned to the professional world from amateur boxing after failing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, pounded out a six-round unanimous decision over World Boxing Council’s 11th-ranked light flyweight Reiya Konishi of SUN-RISE Boxing Gym in Osaka.
It was the 37-year-old Takayama’s first professional fight in four years and three months.
Fighting at Edion Arena Osaka’s annex, Takayama, who had captured the world minimumweight titles of all the four existing sanctioning bodies during his first pro career, moved around the ring, showing his fancy footwork.
Takayama worked on Konishi’s body and piled up points. While Konishi occasionally landed his overhand rights, he could not follow up with his punches.
With the victory, Takayama improved his record to 32 wins, including 12 knockouts, against eight losses and one no-contest. Konishi fell to 17 wins, seven by knockouts, against three losses.
After the fight, Takayama said, ‘’I want to aim at winning the World Boxing Association’s title next year.’’ Hiroto Kyoguchi of Watanabe Boxing Gym is the current WBA light flyweight super champion.
While the fight was originally scheduled for Nov. 23 at the Sanda City Sogo Cultural Center in Hyogo Prefecture’s Sanda, it was postponed as Konishi initially proved positive in the PCR test for COVID-19. The fight was resurrected later as Konishi proved negative in the reinspection.