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Home > Match Information > Utsuki, decks Suzuki, wins vacant Japan lightweight title in highly touted bout

Utsuki, decks Suzuki, wins vacant Japan lightweight title in highly touted bout

Feb 09, 2022 9:25 am

Fourth-ranked Japanese lightweight Shu Utsuki of Watanabe Boxing Gym stopped top-ranked Masahiro Suzuki of Kadoebi Boxing Gym in the ninth round to capture the vacant Japanese title in a highly touted title match on Feb. 8 in Tokyo.

The technical knockout of the scheduled 10-rounder at Korakuen Hall came 44 seconds into the round when Utsuki, 27, cornered Suzuki, 26, and landed a counter right to the head, sending the latter to the canvas. The referee immediately ended the fight without bothering to count.

Until the stoppage, Utsuki controlled the fight almost completely with left jabs and straight rights. Both boxers were rivals when they were amateur boxers with Utuki winning two of the three bouts.

Utsuki said, ‘’I am extremely happy because this is the first time that I became the No.1 even including my amateur career. While I was aiming at winning by decision, I am glad that I was able to win by stopping him.’’

With the victory, Utsuki extended his unbeaten streak to 10, including eight KOs. For his part, Suzuki, who captured the Japanese super lightweight title last year but vacated the title soon without defending it, suffered his first defeat after winning seven straight bouts, including four KOs.

The title was left vacant last August by Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organization’s Asia-Pacific lightweight kingpin Shuichiro Yoshino of Misako Boxing Gym, who had retained the title for seven times.

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