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Friday. November 18. 2022

Utsuki retains Japan lightweight title by stopping ‘Jirolian’ Riku in 3rd round

Undefeated Shu Utsuki of Watanabe Boxing Gym, unleashing a barrage of left-and-right combinations to the head and body, stopped fourth-ranked challenger ‘’Jirolian’’ Riku of Flash Akabane Boxing Gym in the third round to retain his Japanese lightweight title on Nov. 17 at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall.

It was the 28-year-old Utsuki’s second successful defense of the title he won in February this year.

The technical knockout of the scheduled 10-rounder came 2 minutes and 48 seconds into the round as the referee called off the fight when Utsuki sent his 34-year-old opponent to the canvas for the third time with a barrage of combination blows to the head and body.

After the fight, Utsuki said, ‘’Mr. Jirolian had a big punch and was strong. For me, it was a fulfilling year since I took the title in February and was able to successfully defended it in June and this time. I will train myself harder and will fight with much stronger boxers next year.’’

With the win, Utsuki extended his record to 12 straight wins, including 10 KOs. As for Riku, whose real name is Riku Takahashi, he sagged to a 14-4 win-loss tally with 13 KOs.

The fight was held as the main event of the day after the Japanese minimumweight championship fight, in which Utsuki’s stablemate Yudai Shigeoka won the vacant title.

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