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Tuesday. June 8. 2021

Taniguchi stops Nakashima, retains Japan minimumweight title for 1st time

Champion Masataka Taniguchi of Watanabe Boxing Gym stopped the No. 1-ranked Tatsuro Nakashima of Hiranaka Boxing School Gym in the fifth round to retain his Japanese minimumweight title on June 7 at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall.

It was Taniguchi’s first successful defense of the title he won last December by beat Saso Hizuku of T&T Boxing Gym.

The technical knockout of the scheduled 10-rounder came 1 minute and 35 seconds into the round when the referee stopped the fight as Nakashima bled profusely from the edge of his right eye. Nakashima suffered the eye injury in the second round when southpaw Taniguchi hit him with combination blows.

With the victory, the 27-year-old Taniguchi, who is currently ranked No.1 in the division by the World Boxing Organization, improved his record to 14 wins, including nine knockouts, against three defeats. For his part, Nakashima, 26, dropped to a 11-2-1 win-loss-draw record with nine KOs.

Former Japanese atomweight champion Mizuki Chimoto of Watanabe gym earned an eight-round majority decision over former World Boxing Council atomweight ruler Yuko Kuroki of YuKO Fitness Boxing GYM and won the vacant Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation female minimumweight crown. The fight was held as the chief supporting card for the Taniguchi-Nakashima bout.

While southpaw Kuroki got off to a good start with right jabs and straight lefts, Chimoto, who has an ample amateur record, started striking back from the third round by landing counter rights and left hooks and ended the fight slightly ahead. Only one of the three judges scored the fight even at 76-76 while the remaining two saw it 78-74 in favor of Chimoto.

It was the 27-year-old Chimoto’s third straight victory, including a KO. For her part, Kuroki, 30, dropped to a 18-7-2 win-loss-draw tally with eight KOs.

In the opening bout of the day was the Japanese female bantamweight title match between top-ranked Kanako Taniyama of Watanabe gym and second-ranked Yuko Henzan of Hiranaka gym, in which Taniyama earned a technical decision in the fourth round of the scheduled six-rounder and captured the vacant crown.

With the victory, Taniyama, 34, improved her record to four wins, including a KO, against a loss and a draw. Henzan, also 34, fell to an 8-11-4 win-loss-draw result with two KOs.

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