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Monday. August 15. 2022

Rikiishi retains OPBF super featherweight title by decking Mangubat in 4th round

Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation super featherweight champion Masanori Rikiishi of Midori Boxing Gym, unleashing a devastating left uppercut, stopped the 13th-ranked challenger Tomjune Mangubat of the Philippines in the fourth round to retain his title on Aug. 14 at EDION Arena Osaka.

The technical knockout of the scheduled 12-rounder came 2 minutes and 45 seconds into the round when the 28-year-old Rikiishi threw a right hook followed by a left uppercut to the chin, which sent Mangubat down hard to the canvas, prompting the referee to step in to end the fight without bothering to count.

It was the left-handed Rikiishi’s first successful defense of the title he won in May this year.

‘’That was the punch I was aiming at,’’ Rikiishi, a younger brother of former World Boxing Council light flyweight champion Masamichi Yabuki of the Midori gym, said later, adding, ‘’I want to improve my quality of boxing step by step. But at the same time, I want to take a crack at a world title as early as possible by facing a strong world-ranked boxer.’’

With the win, Rikiishi improved his record to 12 wins, including seven KOs, against a loss, while the 24-year-old Mangubat fell to a 15-4-1 win-loss-draw tally with 12 KOs.

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