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Sunday. December 4. 2022

Abe retains Japanese/WBO’s Asia-Pacific featherweight titles with close decision over Maeda

Reiya Abe of KG Yamato Boxing Gym pounded out a 12-round majority decision over the previously undefeated Jinki Maeda of Green Tsuda Boxing Gym to retain his Japanese featherweight title as well as the World Boxing Organization’s Asia-Pacific featherweight crown on Dec. 3 in Tokyo.

It was the 29-year-old Abe’s first successful defense of the titles he won from Hinata Maruta of Morioka Boxing Gym in May this year. There were no knockdowns in the fight held at Korakuen Hall.

Both southpaws got off to a cautious start and exchanged blows not many times as they were a little too cautious about each other.

While Maeda, ranked second in the Japanese featherweight division, got injured on the side of his head in the fifth round due to an accidental head butt, Abe suffered a cut about his right eyelid due to Maeda’s straight left in the seventh stanza.

The 26-year-old Maeda attempted to move forward in the latter part of the fight. But Abe fended off his offense while sticking out right jabs and ended the fight slightly on top.

After the fight, Abe said, ‘’I thought I would move forward in the latter rounds. But I couldn’t due to the bleeding from the injured eyelid. I purposely refrained from attacking him with vigor in the last two rounds because of the advice of my cornerman. I think I did the minimum possible since I retain the titles for the first time.’’

With the victory, Abe improved his record to 24 wins, including 10 knockouts, against three losses and one draw. For his part, Maeda fell to a 10-1 win-loss tally with five KOs.

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