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Kurihara stops Chiba in 2nd, recaptures OPBF bantamweight title

Mar 05, 2023 10:36 am

Keita Kurihara of Ichiriki Boxing Gym, unleashing a barrage of left and right combinations, stopped champion Kai Chiba of Yokohama Hikari Boxing Gym in the second round and recaptured the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation bantamweight title on March 4 in Tokyo.
It was the third time for Kurihara to capture the OPBF bantamweight title.

The technical knockout of the scheduled 12-rounder at Korakuen Hall came 2 minutes and 7 seconds into the round when the referee called a halt to the lopsided bout as the 30-year-old Kurihara landed various blows to the head and body after scoring a knockdown with a hard left hook and an overhand right to the head for a mandatory count.

It was their ‘’direct rematch’’ following Chiba’s 12th-round TKO over then champion Kurihara last September.

After the fight, Kurihara said, ‘’I failed to throw many punches in our previous fight. I changed my style and tried to throw more punches this time so that I can land a hard punch. I will be well prepared for a world title challenge because there will be a lot of changes in the bantamweight division in the world this year.’’

With the win, Kurihara improved his record to 17 wins, including 15 KOs, against seven losses and a draw. For his part, Chiba, also 30, impaired to a 15-4 win-loss tally with nine KOs.

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