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Thursday. June 30. 2022

Ex-amateur star Imanaga makes professional debut with TKO win

Former amateur star Taiga Imanaga of Ohashi Boxing Gym made a brilliant professional debut as he stopped Takahiro Hamazaki of Nakazato Boxing Gym in the second round in a super lightweight fight at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall on June 29.

The technical knockout of the scheduled six-rounder came 2 minutes and 49 seconds into the round when the 22-year-old Imanaga sent his 36-year-old opponent to the canvas with a right hook for the second knockdown of the round, which prompted Hamazaki’s cornerman to appeal for his retirement by waving a towel.

Earlier in the same round, Imanaga, a southpaw, put Hamazaki on the seat of his pants with a straight left. Imanaga controlled the first round by landing rapid right jabs followed by variety of punches.
Imanaga, who stands 1. 77-meter tall, captured a total of 10 amateur titles, including a record eight titles when he was a high-school student.

After the fight, Imanaga said, ‘I got uptight very much. I have been trying not to think about my having won 10 amateur titles. I will address myself to the professional boxing so that I can become a boxer capable of fighting strong boxers in the world.’’

With the loss, Hamazaki fell to a 3-10-3 win-loss-draw tally with one KO.

The fight was held as one of the undercards of the World Boxing Organization’s Asia-Pacific super flyweight title match between champion Masayoshi Hashizume of Kadoebi Boxing Gym and WBO’s third-ranked world super flyweight contender Kosei Tanaka of Soul Box Hatanaka Boxing Gym.

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