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Thursday. December 31. 2020

Ex-WBC champ Higa KOs Kobayashi in WBO Asia Pacific bantamweight title fight

Former World Boxing Council flyweight champion Daigo Higa of Ambition GYM decked WBO Asia Pacific bantamweight champion Yuki ‘’Strong’’ Kobayashi for the count in the fifth round with a devastating uppercut to win the title on Dec. 31 in Tokyo.

The end of the scheduled 12-rounder at the Ota Ward Gymnasium came 45 seconds into the round when the 29-year-old Kobayashi was sent to the canvas when Higa landed two left hooks to the body followed by a pair of right uppercut to the head, sending Kobayashi to the canvas.

Kobayashi’s damage was such that he could not beat the referee’s count. Higa had to settle for a draw with lightly regarded Seiya Tsutsumi of Kadoebi Boxing Gym in his first bantamweight nontitle bout in October.

With the victory, the 25-year-old Higa improved his record to 17 wins, all by KO, against a loss and a draw, while Kobayashi fell to a 16-9 record with eight KOs.

After the fight, Higa said, ‘’Since Mr. Kobayashi was a type of boxer who comes forward, and that helped me a lot. True there are many strong boxers in the bantamweight, but I will do my best from now on so that I can get a two-division world champion.’’

The fight was held as the chief supporting card for a showdown between WBO super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka of Ambition GYM and top-ranked challenger Kosei Tanaka of Soul Box Hatanaka Boxing Gym.

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