Mini Flyweight World Championship Fights & Title Claims

Full mini flyweight fight details from 1987 to August 2016 (plus junior fly, fly, junior bantam and bantam) are available in this definitive companion book:

  • For United States click HERE

  • For United Kingdom click HERE

  • For Germany click HERE

  • For Japan click HERE

Full Fight Details from 2000 Onwards

 

29 August 2018. Wanheng Menayothin w pts 12 Pedro Taduran.

Venue: Municipal Hall, Nakhon Sawan, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Stepen Blea.

Scorecards: 117-110, 118-108, 115-111.

27 July 2018. Knockout CP Freshmart w pts 12 Xiong Zhao Zhong.

Venue: Guosen Gym, Quingdao, China. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Ferlin Marsh.

Scorecards: 118-110, 118-110, 116-112.

13 July 2018. Vic Saludar w pts 12 Ryuya Yamanaka.

Venue: Central Gym, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Raul Caiz Jnr.

Scorecards: 116-111, 117-110, 115-112.

20 May 2018. Hiroto Kyoguchi w pts 12 Vince Paras.

Venue: Ota-City General Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Benjy Esteves Jnr.

Scorecards: 117-110, 117-110, 117-110.

On 23 July, Kyoguchi announced that he was moving up a division due to difficulties in making the weight.

2 May 2018. Wanheng Menayothin w co 5 Leroy Estrada.

Venue: City Hall Grounds, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Jay Nady.

18 March 2018. Ryuya Yamanaka w rtd 8 Moises Calleros.

Venue: Portopia Hotel, Kobe, Japan. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Jose Rivera.

 

6 March 2018. Knockout CP Freshmart w pts 12 Toto Landero.

Venue: Provincial Grounds, Chonburi, Thailand. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Rafael Ramos.

Scorecards: 119-110, 117-111, 115-113.

31 December 2017. Hiroto Kyoguchi w rsc 8 Carlos Buitrago.

Venue: Ota-City General Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Roberto Ramirez Jnr.

25 November 2017. Wanheng Menayothin w pts 12 Tatsuya Fukuhara.

Venue: Suranaree Camp Stadium, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Curtis Thrasher.

Scorecards: 116-112, 118-110, 117-113.

27 August 2017. Ryuya Yamanaka w pts 12 Tatsya Fukuhara.
Venue:
Shiroyama Sky Dome, Ashikitamachi, Japan. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Eddie Claudio.
Scorecards: 115-113, 115-113, 116-112.
 

23 July 2017. Hiroto Kyoguchi w pts 12 Jose Argumedo.
Venue:
Ota City General Gym, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Malik Waleed.
Scorecards: 116-111, 116-111, 115-112.
 

15 July 2017. Knockout CP Freshmart w pts 12 Rey Loreto.
Venue:
City Hall Ground, Chonburi, Thailand. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Rafael Ramos.
Scorecards: 117-110, 117-110, 115-113.
 

3 June 2017. Wanheng Menayothin w pts 12 Omari Kimweri.
Venue:
Provincial Stadium, Rayong, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Bruce McTavish.
Scorecards: 118-109, 118-109, 117-110.
 

27 May 2017. Jose Argumedo w rsc 8 Gabriel Mendoza.
Venue:
TV Azteca Arena, Monterrey, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Vincent Accoo.
 

1 March 2017. Knockout CP Freshmart w co 5 Go Odaira.
Venue:
The Provincial Grounds, Chonburi, Thailand. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Jean Robert Lane.
 

25 January 2017. Wanheng Menayothin w pts 12 Melvin Jerusalem.
Venue:
Central Main Sports Complex, Phitsanulok Province, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Celestino Ruiz.
Scorecards: 115-113, 114-113, 114-113.
 

14 December 2016. Knockout CP Freshmart w pts 12 Shin Ono.
Venue:
Big Tent, Korat Provincial Hall, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Hernan Guajardo.
Scorecards: 118-109, 118-110, 117-111. 
 

12 November 2016. Jose Argumedo w rsc 3 Jose Antonio Jimenez.
Venue:
Fairground Tent, Ciudad Valles, San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Mario Gonzalez.
 

20 August 2016. Katsunari Takayama w tdec 6 Riku Kano.

Venue: Komagatani Gym, Sanda City, Hyogo, Japan. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Danrex Tapdasan.

Scorecards: 59-55, 59-55, 58-56.

Fight Summary: Contesting the title relinquished by Kosei Tanaka, Takayama (105), a pro for almost 16 years, regained his old title when the referee was forced to go to the cards in the sixth when his cut left eye worsened. Takayama, a regular bleeder, had been cut in the third by an accidental butt, but with fast combinations, both up and down, had taken over from the southpaw Kano (105), who was always dangerous with solid lefts and right hooks. The fight was ultimately decided in favour of Takayama who was just too busy for the inexperienced Kano, but according to many good judges the latter's time will come.

 

Tatsuya Fukuhara won the WBO ‘interim’ title when outpointing Moises Calleros over 12 rounds at the Matsushima Athletic Park Gym, Kamiamakusa, Kumamoto, Japan on 26 February 2017.

 

After Takayama announced his retirement on 14 April 2017, Fukuhara was given full title status.

2 August 2016. Wanheng Menayothin w pts 12 Saul Juarez.
Venue:
City Hall Grounds, Chonburi, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Yuji Fukuchi. 
Scorecards: 116-113, 115-113, 116-112. 
Fight Summary: Boxing at his best against a tough, worthy challenger, Menayothin (105) used a straight right to the head to keep his man at bay for much of the time. Juarez (104½) was always dangerous, especially with the left hook, but in the main he was kept at bay and outboxed as Menayothin moved well while countering solidly. Apart from the third, ninth and tenth rounds when Juarez got into the fight with combinations and hooks, Menayothin always seemed to be in control, his defence and movement serving him well.
 

1 July 2016. Jose Argumedo w pts 12 Julio Mendoza.
Venue:
Fairground Arena, Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Roberto Ramirez Jnr. 
Scorecards: 118-110, 118-110, 119-109. 
Fight Summary: This was a relatively easy first defence for Argumedo (104½), who took on the limited Mendoza (104¼) and, as expected, won virtually every round as he cruised through the contest without giving his opponent the opportunity to get lucky. There were no knockdowns and none ever likely as Argumedo stuck to his boxing to land the unanimous decision by a wide margin.
 

29 June 2016. Knockout CP Freshmart w pts 12 Byron Rojas.
Venue:
City Hall Grounds, Khon Kaen, Thailand. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Mark Nelson. 
Scorecards: 115-113, 115-113, 115-113. 
Fight Summary: Putting his title on the line for the first time, Rojas (105) was expected to build on his great win over Hekkie Budler. Instead it was a fight that never took off, with far too much holding throughout. In the second a clash of heads saw Freshmart cut on the left eye, but the injury failed to hold him back and by the eighth Rojas was beginning to fade. Even though there was still way too much hugging and holding it was Freshmart's jab that was controlling the fight at this stage. And although Rojas made a desperate attempt to hold on to his title, winning the last two rounds, it was too little and too late.
 

19 March 2016. Byron Rojas w pts 12 Hekkie Budler.
Venue:
Emperor's Palace, Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Romina Arroyo.

Scorecards: 115-113, 115-113, 115-113.
Fight Summary: Viewed as a big upset, Rojas (104) took the title from Budler (105) by a unanimous decision. Starting fast, Rojas quickly got his jab going, beating the champion to the punch time and again as the latter tried hard to get into the fight. By the fifth it was clear that Budler was in trouble, and in the tenth he took a real two-fisted pounding before dropping the last three rounds on the cards.
 

3 March 2016. Wanheng Menayothin w rsc 5 Go Odaira.
Venue:
City Hall Grounds, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Raymond Chang. 
Fight Summary: After getting away slowly, the champion started to put his mark on the contest in the second before going on the attack in the third. Having dropped the southpaw Odaira (104½) with solid head shots towards the end of the session, Menayothin (105) was unable to catch up with his rival again until the fifth. Attacking Odaira without respite, slamming in uppercuts and hooks, eventually the latter was blasted to the floor by a series of heavy rights, which led to the referee calling the action off on the two-minute mark without taking up the count.
 

31 December 2015. Kosei Tanaka w co 6 Vic Saludar.

Venue: Aichi Prefectural Gym, Nagoya, Japan. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Mike Ortega.

Fight Summary: Pushing forward from the start, his longer reach forcing the champion back, Saludar (104¾) made an impressive start to win the opening four rounds. It got even better for Saludar in the fifth when a countering right dropped Tanaka, who only just made it to his feet in time. The sixth saw a complete reversal in fortunes. With Saludar looking to finish his man off when swarming all over him, Tanaka crashed in a tremendous left hook to the body that sent the Filipino to the floor where he was counted out on the 2.15 mark.

 

Tanaka relinquished the WBO title on 9 April 2016 in order to fight at a higher weight.

31 December 2015. Jose Argumedo w tdec 9 Katsunari Takayama.
Venue:
Edion Arena, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Takeshi Shimakawa. 
Scorecards: 87-84, 87-84, 85-86. 
Fight Summary: Argumedo (105) made a flying start in his quest to land the title, powering into Takayama (105) with both hands and not giving the champion any respite. To add to Takayama's woes an accidental butt saw him cut over the left eye in the second. Despite coming back hard in the next two sessions Takayama was still getting caught by long overarm punches from the crouching Argumedo, whose long reach continued to confuse him. After suffering a difficult fifth round Takayama dominated the sixth and seventh before Argumedo took over again, especially after another accidental butt cut the former over the right eye in the ninth. With Takayama's eye damage worsening the referee stopped the action at the end of the ninth prior to calling for the cards.
 

27 September 2015. Katsunari Takayama w rsc 8 Ryuji Hara.

Venue: Edion Arena, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Wayne Hedgpeth.

Fight Summary: The champion did not have it all his own way in this one, especially in the second and third sessions when Hara (105) slammed in cracking punches to head and body. Takayama (104¾) was also badly cut under the left eye from an accidental head butt. Taking note of those early warnings Takayama got his boxing together in round four, driving in blows up and down to force the former jockey to the ropes. The contest came to an end at 1.20 of the eighth when the referee jumped in to save Hara from taking further punishment following an incessant two-handed attack from Takayama, who saw his chance and took it. 

19 September 2015. Hekkie Budler w pts 12 Simpiwe Khonco.

Venue: Emperor's Palace, Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Stan Christodoulou.

Scorecards: 117-111, 116-112, 115-113.

Fight Summary: Coming out of a close-quarter exchange in the second carrying a bad cut on the left eye, the champion was forced to call upon all his reserves to earn the decision over the tough Khonco (104¼), who battled all the way. In the sixth and eighth Khonco matched Budler (104¾), even outpunching him at times, but ultimately it was the latter's better boxing skills that saw him home.

 

On 4 February 2016, at the City Hall Grounds, Chonburi, Thailand, Knockout CP Freshmart outpointed Carlos Buitrago over 12 rounds in defence of his WBA 'interim' title.

2 June 2015. Wanheng Menayothin w rsc 9 Jerry Tomogdan.

Venue: Central Ramintra Resort, Bangkok, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Yuji Fukuchi.

Fight Summary: Making his second defence, Menayothin (105) quickly took the play away from Tomogdan (105), a southpaw, as he powered his way forward, landing hard punches from both hands. Although Menayothin started to slow, by the sixth he began concentrating more and more on the body, Tomogdan showing great resilience in staving off the punches coming his way. It was in the ninth that Menayothin finally got some joy when a straight right followed by a cracking left hook to the body put Tomogdan down where the referee called the fight off at 1.04 of the session.

 

Due to defend his title against Gil-Bae Young in a makeshift arena in the City Hall Grounds, Chonburi, Thailand on 24 November, despite the latter coming in well over the weight, Menayothin went ahead with the fight, winning by a ninth-round stoppage.

30 May 2015. Kosei Tanaka w pts 12 Julian Yedras.
Venue:
Park Arena, Komaki, Aichi, Japan. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Samuel Viruet. 
Scorecards: 117-111, 117-111, 115-113.
Fight Summary:  In a contest for the title that had become vacant after Katsunari Takayama handed in his belt, and in just his fifth pro bout, Tanaka (104¾) became Japan's quickest ever winner of a world championship belt when outscoring Yedras (104¾). Tanaka moved into an early lead as his good movement and fast hands took him ahead, but after Yedras began to cut the ring down and started to reach his man with hard blows it looked as though the tide had turned. However, boxing with much more discipline in the latter stages, Tanaka picked up where he had left off to earn the win.
 

22 April 2015. Katsunari Takayama w tdec 9 Fahlan Sakkreerin Jnr.
Venue:
Prefectural Gym, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Katsuhiko Nakamura. 
Scorecards: 90-81, 86-85, 87-84. 
Fight Summary: Despite dictating the pace throughout, the champion's high volume of punches did little damage to Sakkreerin (104½), who was mainly content to rely on his defence and the occasional powerful uppercut. Although Sakkreerin appeared to be getting back into the fight, with Takayama carrying cuts over both eyes that were caused by accidental head butts, the ring doctor twice inspected the damage in the ninth before advising the referee to stop the contest at 2.19 of the session. Following that, under IBF rules, a technical decision in Takayama's favour was rendered.
 

21 February 2015. Hekkie Budler w pts 12 Jesus Silvestre.

Venue: Hall of Stars, Monte Carlo, Monaco. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Stan Christodoulou.

Scorecards: 117-110, 115-112, 115-112.

Fight Summary: Apart from being hit low in the second round, for which Silvestre (105) was deducted a point after doing likewise in the opening session, the champion's boxing skills were too much for his opponent. With good head movement and footwork to match, Budler (104¾) outmanoeuvred Silvestre throughout as the latter grew frustrated at his lack of success. Always throwing leather, Silvestre did have some joy, most notably with a straight right in the tenth, but it was not enough.

 

On 5 March, at the City Hall Grounds, Chonburi, Thailand, Knockout CP Freshmart outpointed Muhammad Rachman over 12 rounds to retain his WBA 'interim' title. Freshmart made a further successful defence when stopping Alexis Diaz inside four rounds at the same venue on 2 July.

5 February 2015. Wanheng Menayothin w pts 12 Jeffrey Galero.
Venue:
Provincial Boxing Arena, Nakhon Sawan, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Malcolm Bulner. 
Scorecards: 120-108, 119-109, 120-109. 
Fight Summary: Registering a virtual shut-out points win over a game Galero (105), the champion proved far too good for his inexperienced rival. After a competitive second round, Menayothin (105) got down to business, closing the distance and working both head and body before slowing effectively in the middle rounds to prepare for a final onslaught. For Galero, who finished badly marked up, it had been a matter of survival.
 

31 December 2014. Katsunari Takayama w rsc 7 Go Odaira.

Venue: Bodymaker Colosseum, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: IBF/WBO. Referee: Takeshi Shimakawa.

Fight Summary: Contesting the titles that had been vacated after Francisco Rodriguez Jnr had decided to move up a division, it was Takayama (104¾) who came through to win despite losing the opening four rounds as Odaira (104), a southpaw, skipped out of trouble while landing well with right hooks and left crosses. It was only in the fifth that Takayama got the measure of Odaira when marching forward to force him on to the back foot, and in the sixth a series of big hooks almost despatched the latter. Keeping up the offensive, it was all Takayama, and at 2.24 of the seventh the referee called it off after Odaira was on the ropes shipping punches without response.

 

Takayama relinquished the WBO title on 2 March 2015 in order to concentrate on his IBF crown. 

6 November 2014. Wanheng Menayothin w rtd 9 Oswaldo Novoa.
Venue:
Provincial Hall, Chonburi, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Yuki Fukuchi. 
Fight Summary: With the contest starting at a great pace, the challenger, appearing in front of his home crowd, won the opening three sessions when keeping the pressure on Novoa (105), forcing him to fight his fight. Over the next few rounds Novoa came more into it, and it was only in the eighth when both men were hurt that he began to rapidly tire, dropping the next session as Menayothin (105) powered on. At the end of the ninth, Novoa's corner informed the referee that as their man was all-in he was being retired.
 

25 October 2014. Hekkie Budler w pts 12 Xiong Zhao Zhong.
Venue:
The Casino, Monte Carlo, Monaco. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Romina Arroyo. 
Scorecards: 114-112, 114-112, 118-108. 
Fight Summary: Zhong (105) made the better start, almost finishing the fight in the second round when having the champion down from a powerful left hook to the head. Making a good recovery Budler (105) then had Zhong down with a solid right, but instead of going for a finish he outboxed his man for virtually all of the final nine rounds. For his part, realising he could not beat Budler by skill, Zhong threw wild hooks to no avail in the hope of winning inside the distance.
 

9 August 2014. Francisco Rodriguez Jnr w pts 12 Katsunari Takayama.

Venue: The Arena, Monterrey, Mexico. Recognition: IBF/WBO. Referee: Samuel Viruet.

Scorecards: 116-111, 119-108, 115-112.

Fight Summary: In what was a unification battle, it was the WBO representative, Rodriguez (105), who made the better start when dropping the IBF's Takayama (105) in the third following a left hook. Although Takayama came back well in the next four rounds it was Rodriguez who finished the stronger when capturing the last five sessions, stunning the former several times in the process.

 

Looking to box in a higher weight division, Rodriguez first vacated the IBF title on 9 October before handing back his WBO Championship Belt in December.

28 June 2014. Oswaldo Novoa w rtd 9 Alcides Martinez.
Venue:
Premier Entertainment Centre, Epazoyucan, Hidalgo, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Jerry Cantu. 
Fight Summary: Despite dropping Martinez (105) in round one with combination punches the champion finished the first session cut over the left eye. This did not worry Novoa (105), who decided to put as much pressure on his rival as he could muster. Wavering under the fast pace of the fight Martinez began to tire in the fourth, and subjected to heavy punishment from there on he was pulled out by his corner at the end of the ninth, being unable to withstand further punishment to the body.
 

21 June 2014. Hekkie Budler w co 8 Pigmy Kokietgym.

Venue: Medecin Casino, Monte Carlo, Monaco. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Raul Caiz.

Fight Summary: On top from the start with faster hands than the challenger, Budler (105) was given a full minute to rest after being caught low in the second. It did not deter him however, and he was soon slamming in combinations, Kokietgym (104¾) being put down in the fourth from such an attack. From there on it was all Budler, Kokietgym being floored in the seventh from body punches and then taking the full count at 1.06 of the next session after taking several rib-benders.

 

Knockout CP Freshmart won the vacant WBA 'interim' title when outpointing Carlos Buitrago over 12 rounds at the 1-Mobile Football Stadium, Bururam, Thailand on 1 October.

7 May 2014. Katsunari Takayama w pts 12 Shin Ono.
Venue:
Bodymaker Coliseum, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Larry Doggett. 
Scorecards: 117-109, 115-111, 115-111. 
Fight Summary: Although making a reasonable start, Takayama (105) soon found himself on the end of the challenger's accurate southpaw left hand and began to ship far more punches than many would have expected. Once again Takayama was cut over both eyes in a defence. It was only from the eighth onwards that Takayama started to control matters as Ono (105) tired, and he dropped the latter in the tenth and 12th to make sure of victory.
 

22 March 2014. Francisco Rodriguez Jnr w rsc 10 Merlito Sabillo.
Venue:
The Arena, Monterrey, Mexico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Eddie Claudio. 
Fight Summary: Starting with a barrage of blows to the body Rodriguez (105) dropped the southpaw champion in the second round after forcing him to take several heavy punches. Looking slow and out of sorts, Sabillo (104½) continually became a sitting duck for the Mexican's overarm rights and left hooks and, despite having some success in the sixth, by the tenth he was worn out. At that point Sabillo's trainer asked the referee to stop the fight, the finish being timed at 1.50 of the session.
 

1 March 2014. Hekkie Budler w co 1 Karluis Diaz, Emperors Palace.
Venue:
Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Steve Smoger. 
Fight Summary: Making his first defence, Budler (104¾) quickly got down to work when targeting the body with vicious blows from both hands. It was soon noticeable that Diaz (104¼) was in some distress, and when Budler connected with an overarm right to the head the Colombian was counted out with just one second of the first round remaining.
 

5 February 2014. Oswaldo Novoa w rsc 5 Xiong Zhao Zhong.
Venue:
City Hall, Haikou, China. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Bruce McTavish. 
Fight Summary: Fast paced with lots of action, the taller Novoa (104¾) appeared to get the better of the exchanges, knocking the champion off balance several times. In the third Zhong (104¾) was dropped by a solid right, only for the referee to call it a slip. By this stage Zhong was fading fast, grabbing his rival who punched away with both hands. In the fifth with Zhong backed into a corner and offering nothing in return the referee called the fight off at 2.36 of the session.  
 

3 December 2013. Katsunari Takayama w pts 12 Vergilio Silvano.
Venue:
Bodymaker Coliseum, Osaka, Japan. Recognition:  IBF. Referee: Sparkle Lee. 
Scorecards: 118-110, 118-110, 120-108.
Fight Summary:  In control for the majority of the contest against the southpaw Silvano (102½), the champion used the ring well, sending in blows from both hands to head and body to keep his flat-footed opponent at bay. Although Takayama (105) was cut over the right eye midway through round eight and was caught by good combinations in the ninth he came back strongly to win the last three sessions with ease.
 

30 November 2013. Xiong Zhao Zhong w rsc 5 Lookrak Kiatmungmee.
Venue:
The Stadium, Maguan County, Wenshan Zhuang, Yunnan Province, China. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Yuji Fukuchi. 
Fight Summary: Taking the fight to Kiatmungmee (104½) from the opening bell the champion started to make his pressure pay in the third round when he pinned the latter in a corner, hammering the body until the bell. That must have taken a lot out of the Thai, and although surviving the fourth he was immediately set upon by Zhong (104¾) in the fifth. With four defeats in 11 contests, the unrated Kiatmungmee was dropped twice and rescued by the referee at 1.59 of the session.
 

30 November 2013. Merlito Sabillo drew 12 Carlos Buitrago.
Venue:
Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Jack Reiss. 
Scorecards: 115-113, 113-115, 114-114. 
Fight Summary: This was an all-out war between unbeaten fighters, and although there were no knockdowns both men came close on occasion. The challenger's counter-punching ability and defensive skills certainly made Sabillo (105) aware of the problems he was facing, forcing him to use his aggressiveness to good effect. Despite finishing strongly the decision just eluded Buitrago (105), who would have taken a lot of positives from the contest.
 

11 September 2013. Ryo Miyazaki w pts 12 Jesus Silvestre.

Venue: Bodymaker Coliseum, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Lahcan Oumghar.

Scorecards: 115-113, 115-114, 114-114.

Fight Summary: A tough fight saw Miyazaki (105) cut over the left eye in the second and over the right in the tenth when heads came together yet again. The champion had controlled matters when winning six of the opening nine rounds before the taller Silvestre (105) came on strongly to take the last three sessions, almost toppling Miyazaki in the 11th following a tremendous left hook to the head. Having had to reduce his weight by 30 pounds did Miyazaki no favours at all, and it was clearly apparent that he would be forced to move up a division in the very near future.

 

Hekkie Budler won the vacant WBA ‘interim’ title when he stopped Hugo Hernan Verchelli in the fourth round of their fight at the Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa on 9 November.

 

Miyazaki vacated the WBA title on 27 December when deciding to move up a weight class. Following that, Budler was given full championship status on 8 January 2014.

13 July 2013. Merlito Sabillo w rsc 9 Jorle Estrada.

Venue: Solaire Resort Hotel & Casino, Pasay City, Metro, Manila, Philippines. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Raul Caiz Jnr.

Fight Summary: Sabillo (104), who was making the first defence of the title that was handed to him after Moises Fuentes had moved up in weight, started well, throwing solid southpaw lefts at Estrada (103) before eventually shifting his attacks to the body. The fight was all over in the ninth after Sabillo dropped his man heavily with a cracking left uppercut to the liver region. With Estrada in a lot of pain the referee dispensed with the count at 1.09 of the session.

 

On 20 July, Carlos Buitrago defeated Julian Yedras (w pts 12 at the Siglo XXI Convention Centre, Merida, Mexico) in a fight to find Sabillo’s next opponent. Originally reported to be an ‘interim’ title fight, it was, in fact, an eliminator.

28 June 2013. Xiong Zhao Zhong w pts 12 Denver Cuello.
Venue:
World Trade Centre, Dubai, UAE. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Hector Afu. 
Scorecards: 115-112, 113-110, 113-113. 
Fight Summary: Defending the title for the first time, Zhong (105) survived a first-round knockdown to first get his defences in place and then put together good scoring punches to control the fight from there on. Unable to use his power to good effect, having come into the fight with an injury to the right shoulder, the southpaw Cuello (103¾) found it difficult to fire off more than a couple of punches at a time and continually found himself outworked. Zhong was deducted a point for an accidental butt in the ninth.  
 

8 May 2013. Ryo Miyazaki w rsc 5 Carlos Velarde.
Venue:
Bodymaker Coliseum, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Raul Caiz Jnr. 
Fight Summary: Exchanging blows from the opening round, despite Miyazaki (105) being cut over the left eye in the second round it was an even contest going into the fifth. Allowing Velarde (104¾) to take up the attack in that session, the champion countered him strongly before a left-right combination followed by a left hook to the head sent the Mexican down. Not even bothering to take up the count, the referee brought the contest to a halt on the 2.22 mark.
 

30 March 2013. Katsunari Takayama w pts 12 Mario Rodriguez.
Venue:
Francisco Carranza Limon Stadium, Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Jack Reiss. 
Scorecards: 119-109, 117-111, 115-113. 
Fight Summary: Knocked down by a left hook in the third and cut over both eyes at the finish, did not stop Takayama (105) from winning the title in what appeared to be a difficult fight to score. That is if you looked at the judges' cards, regardless of the fact that all three judges had Takayama in front. With Rodriguez (104) working the body, Takayama never stayed in one place long enough to be caught again and was well worth the win.
 

31 December 2012. Ryo Miyazaki w pts 12 Pornsawan Porpramook.
Venue:
Bodymaker Coliseum, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Brad Vocale. 
Scorecards: 116-111, 116-112, 113-114. 
Fight Summary: In a contest to decide the vacant title after Kazuto Ioka had moved up a division, the 5'1" Miyazaki (104¾), normally a rough, tough fighter, surprised Porpramook (103¾) with quick jabs and good movement to walk off with the opening three rounds. Porpramook, however, came back strongly in the next two sessions, shaking his man up with a right to the head in the fourth. Miyazaki then raised his game, but it was still touch and go up until the tenth, a round that saw Porpramook suffer a gash over the left eye and have a point deducted for hitting on the break. The last two sessions went to Miyazaki, who nearly dropped Porpramook in the 11th with a slamming left hook.
 

24 November 2012. Xiong Zhao Zhong w pts 12 Javier Martinez Resendiz.
Venue:
City Stadium, Kunming, China. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Bruce McTavish.
Scorecards: 116-114, 116-112, 119-110. 
Fight Summary: Contesting the vacant title after Kazuto Ioka handed in his belt, Zhong (104½) became China's first ever world champion when he outscored Martinez Resendiz (104¼). Fought at a fast pace, it was relatively even until Zhong moved up a gear in the fifth, winning six of the last eight rounds. Although Martinez Resendiz made the fight, throwing blows from both hands, the best punch of the fight was landed by Zhong, who stunned his man in the eighth with a cracking right. Martinez Resendiz finished the fight with a cut left eye.
 

6 October 2012. Moises Fuentes w rsc 5 Ivan Calderon.

Venue: Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum, Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Luis Pabon.

Fight Summary: Age finally caught up with Calderon (104¾), who won the opening three rounds when moving around the ring smoothly throwing southpaw lefts and rights. Things changed when the sturdy champion slowed him down with body shots in the fourth. Forced to drop down in the fifth, Calderon made it to his feet only to be decked again by some hefty rights to the ribs as Fuentes (104½) went for the finish. Having struggled up there was no hiding place for Calderon, and after being floored again by a left hook that was followed by a solid right to the head the referee brought matters to a halt at 1.22 of the session.

 

Merlito Sabillo stopped Luis De La Rosa in the eighth round at the Mario De Leon Coliseum, Cereta, Colombia on 9 March 2013 to win the vacant WBO ‘interim’ title.

 

Further to Fuentes being given a crack at the junior flyweight title the WBO promoted the ‘interim’ champion, Sabillo, to full championship status on 19 April 2013.

1 September 2012. Mario Rodriguez w co 7 Nkosinathi Joyi.
Venue:
Luis Estrada Medina Municipal Gym, Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Pete Podgorski. 
Fight Summary: The champion, who seemed to be on his way to victory despite not being at his best, suddenly came apart in the seventh. It was then that Rodriguez (104¾), who had been gaining in confidence, landed three heavy punches to the head in succession - a left uppercut, left hook and a right - that sent Joyi (104½) crashing down to be counted out on the 2.07 mark. Following the fight, the South African camp claimed that inactivity had played a big part in their man's downfall.
 

20 June 2012. Kazuto Ioka w pts 12 Akira Yaegashi.

Venue: Bodymaker Coliseum, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: WBA/WBC. Referee: Yuji Fukuchi.

Scorecards: 115-114, 115-113, 115-113.

Fight Summary: In a unification battle between the WBC champion, Ioka (105), and his WBA counterpart, Yaegashi (104¾), it was the former who took the close decision. From the first to last there was never much between them, and it was probably Ioka's opening attack which left Yaegashi's left eye swollen, something that bothered him throughout, that was the difference. Both men boxed well, using jabs and combinations effectively, but it was the man that won two of the last three rounds who was favoured.

 

After Ioka relinquished the WBC title on 29 June, being unable to defend both belts within the same time frame, a fight between Xiong Zhao Zhong and Javier Martinez Resendiz was organised to find a successor. Eventually, on 3 October, after it was announced that Ioka would be moving up to junior flyweight, Ryo Miyazaki was matched against Pornsawan Porpramook to contest the vacant WBA title.

 

On 14 July, Jesus Silvestre outpointed Edwin Diaz over 12 rounds at the Fair Stockade, Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico to win the vacant WBA ‘interim’ title. Silvestre then made a successful defence of the WBA ‘interim’ title when stopping Takuya Mitamura inside four rounds at the same venue on 6 October.

2 June 2012. Moises Fuentes w co 1 Julio Cesar Felix.
Venue:
The Forum, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Russell Mora. 
Fight Summary: Fuentes (105) quickly got into gear against Felix (105), battering the latter to the deck following some heavy blows to the head and a left hook to the body. Although Felix made it to his feet he was given no respite, and after taking more punishment to both head and body he was counted out at 2.16 of the opening session. This was Fuentes’ first defence.
 

30 March 2012. Nkosinathi Joyi w pts 12 Katsunari Takayama.
Venue:
Orient Theatre, East London, South Africa. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Larry Doggett. 
Scorecards: 116-111, 116-111, 117-110. 
Fight Summary: Takayama (105) flew out of the blocks, both fists churning, but although the champion avoided what was coming his way he appeared to pull a muscle in his left leg. Gradually getting back into his stride Joyi (105) scored a flash knockdown in the fifth and won five of the next seven rounds despite Takayama continuing to come forward. In a tough, gruelling affair, which was a return, it was Joyi's punch-picking against Takayama's swarming tactics that won the day.
 

31 December 2011. Kazuto Ioka w rsc 1 Yodgoen Tor Chalermchai.
Venue:
Prefectural Gym, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Bruce McTavish. 
Fight Summary: Starting quickly, Ioka (104¾) soon overwhelmed his inexperienced challenger, who had only eight fights on his record. Never given a chance to settle, Tor Chalermchai (104¼) was stopped at 1.38 of the opening session after taking some heavy blows to the body prior to being dropped by a left hook.
 

24 October 2011. Akira Yaegashi w rsc 10 Pornsawan Porpramook.
Venue:
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Erkki Meronen. 
Fight Summary: Fiercely contested, Porpramook (105) came back well from a poor start to get right back into the mix when blasting away at his challenger with solid shots in the fifth and sixth rounds. Not deterred, Yaegashi (105) came on strongly in the tenth, pinning Porpramook on the ropes under a stream of heavy blows without return before the referee brought matters to an end on the 2.38 mark.

Contesting the vacant WBA ‘interim’ title, Paipharob Kokietgym outpointed Jesus Silvestre over 12 rounds in Bung Nongkhai, Municipality of Wat That, Nong Khai, Thailand on 7 November. Having been arrested on suspicion of trafficking in January 2012, Kokietgym was subsequently stripped of his title in May by the WBA due to his legal issues and apparent inability to make a defence.

27 August 2011. Moises Fuentes w pts 12 Raul Garcia.
Venue:
Benito Juarez Auditorium, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Jose Maria Savala Solis. 
Scorecards: 114-112, 114-112, 112-114. 
Fight Summary: With only 14 fights to his credit and unrated, the taller Fuentes (105) took his chance with both hands when earning the decision over the southpaw champion. Although Garcia (105) had opened up well the fight turned against him in the seventh when he was dropped by a heavy right, and while coming back well, dropping the challenger at the end of the ninth with a left hook, the last three rounds were all in favour of Fuentes.
 

10 August 2011. Kazuto Ioka w pts 12 Juan Hernandez Navarrete
Venue:
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Malcolm Bulner. 
Scorecards: 116-112, 117-111, 118-111. 
Fight Summary: Ioka (104½) was well worth the decision despite being hurt early on by a cracking left from the switch-hitting Hernandez Navarrete (104½) in what was his first defence. Recognising that he was falling behind on the cards Hernandez Navarrete threw everything he had in tenth, but Ioka weathered the storm and took the last two rounds to pull even further ahead.
 

30 July 2011. Pornsawan Porpramook w pts 12 Muhammad Rachman.

Venue: Indosiar Fifth Studio, West Jakarta, Indonesia. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Guillermo Perez Pineda.

Scorecards: 115-113, 115-114, 114-114.

Fight Summary: There was never much in this one, and although the champion was always in the contest he failed to hurt Porpramook (104¼) enough to subdue him. Despite not letting himself go Porpramook came more and more into the fight as Rachman (104¼) tired, two of the judges feeling that his better quality earned him the decision.

 

Making his first defence of the WBA ‘interim’ title, Juan Palacios lost his championship honours on the scales before going on to beat Armando Torres by a ninth-round stoppage at the Convention Centre, Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico on 13 August.

30 April 2011. Raul Garcia w rsc 3 Rommel Asenjo.
Venue:
Polanco Forum, Mexico City, Mexico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Raul Caiz. 
Fight Summary: Defending the title that was handed to him after Donnie Nietes had moved on, Garcia (105) soon had fellow southpaw Asenjo (105) under pressure, pumping out the jab and throwing solid left hands to head and body. In the third round Garcia had Asenjo down following a left to the head, and although the latter made it to his feet he was rocked several times before the referee called it off at 2.52 of the session.
 

19 April 2011. Muhammad Rachman w rsc 9 Kwanthai Sithmorseng.

Venue: Krungthep Thonburi University, Bangkok, Thailand. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Guillermo Perez Pineda.

Fight Summary: Having won the opening eight rounds, and knocking the 39-year-old Rachman (105) down in the second, the champion seemed to heading for victory until being floored in the ninth by a smashing body blow. Although coming back after an 'eight' count, Sithmorseng (105) was quickly under the cosh before being put down again by another heavy punch to the stomach. At this point the referee called off the contest at 1.29 of the session.

 

Sammy Gutierrez lost his WBA ‘interim’ title when outpointed over 12 rounds by Juan Palacios at the San Damian Gym, San Martin Texmelucan, Mexico on 21 May.

11 February 2011. Kazuto Ioka w rsc 5 Oleydong Sithsamerchai.
Venue:
World Memorial Hall, Kobe, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Bruce McTavish. 
Fight Summary: Forcing the fight from the start, Ioka (105) soon caught up with the southpaw champion, flooring him with a left hook in round two. Taking his time and not being reckless Ioka began to control the action, mixing up boxing and fighting, and in the fifth he unloaded a cracking left uppercut to the body that dropped Sithsamerchai (104½) in some agony. Realising the champion was not going to make the count the referee called it off at 1.07 of the session, leaving Ioka the winner.
 

29 January 2011. Nkosinathi Joyi tdraw 3 Katsunari Takayama.
Venue:
Carnival City Arena, Brakpan, South Africa. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Deon Dwarte. 
Fight Summary: Brushing aside the oncoming Takayama (105) with ease, the southpaw champion soon got to work, his hard-hitting counters hurting his rival every time they found their mark. It was the same in the second as Joyi (104¾) stepped it up, but in the third an accidental clash of heads saw Takayama suffer a bad cut on the temple. After an inspection by the ringside doctor the fight came to a halt on the 1.59 mark, and with only two rounds completed under IBF rules the decision was given as a no contest (technical draw).  
 

5 November 2010. Kwanthai Sithmorseng w pts 12 Pigmy Kokietgym.

Venue: Phranakhon Rajabhat University, Bangkok, Thailand. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Pinit Prayadsab.

Scorecards: 116-112, 115-114, 114-115.

Fight Summary: In a contest for the vacant title after Roman Gonzalez decided to move on, Sithmorseng (105) won the belt in an evenly fought affair. Sithmorseng got away well, scoring with accurate counter punches, before Kokietgym (105) came back strongly with solid body shots. Although one of the judges had four rounds in favour of Sithmorseng it had been closer than that, especially after Kokietgym had chased his man round the ring in the 12th, landing some good blows.

 

At the Municipal Sports Centre, Monte, Hermoso, Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 12 February 2011, Sammy Gutierrez stopped Renan Trongco in the sixth round to retain the WBA ‘interim’ title.

3 September 2010. Oleydong Sithsamerchai drew 12 Pornsawan Porpramook.
Venue:
Kad Choengdoi Shopping Centre, Chiang Mai, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Yuji Fukuchi. 
Scorecards: 115-112, 114-114, 114-114. 
Fight Summary: The unbeaten southpaw champion had to get off the floor in the sixth round after being dropped by two right hooks, badly hurting his left ankle in the process. He then had endure a tough seventh as Porpramook (105) went for broke, before coming back strongly to retain his title by a majority draw. It was only in the eighth session that Sithsamerchai (105) began to use his skill to pick the tiring Porpramook (105) apart, beating him to the punch and ultimately staying in the contest. However, it had been a close run thing.
 

14 August 2010. Donnie Nietes w pts 12 Mario Rodriguez.

Venue: Luis Estrada Medina Auditorium, Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Raul Caiz.

Scorecards: 119-109, 118-110, 116-112.

Fight Summary: Controlling the fight with his jab and moving well the champion dominated Rodriguez (103¼) for the first eight rounds before the latter rallied strongly thereafter. Winning the last four rounds on one of the judges' scorecards, Rodriguez cut Nietes (105) on the right eye in the tenth but was unable to find the punch that would turn the tide. Yet again, Nietes had shown his class against a tough opponent.

 

Raul Garcia won the vacant WBO ‘interim’ title when outpointing Luis De La Rosa over 12 rounds at the Convention Centre, Cartagena, Colombia on 30 October.

 

On 25 February 2011, just two weeks before Nietes was due to defend against Garcia, he relinquished the title when having difficulty making the weight. Following that, Garcia was upgraded to full championship status.

27 March 2010. Oleydong Sithsamerchai w pts 12 Yasutaka Kuroki.
Venue:
Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Bruce McTavish. 
Scorecards: 113-112, 114-113, 114-112. 
Fight Summary: Following this all-southpaw battle Sithsamerchai (103¾) appeared lucky to retain his title after he was dropped by a heavy combination of blows in the 11th and spent the last round in defensive mode. Constantly stalking the champion from the start, Kuroki (105) looked to have done enough, but it was not to be. Both men were docked a point, Kuroki in the eighth and Sithsamerchai in the tenth.
 

26 March 2010. Nkosinathi Joyi w pts 12 Raul Garcia.
Venue:
International Convention Centre, East London, South Africa. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Earl Morton. 
Scorecards: 119-109, 119-109, 118-110. 
Fight Summary: This was the fight when Joyi (104½) finally got his hands on a 'proper' title when outclassing the champion in an all-southpaw battle. Right from the start the South African stamped his mark on the fight, outboxing and outfighting Garcia (105), especially in the fifth when the latter was cut over the right eye and then subjected to a heavy battering a round later. It was one-way traffic from there on as Garcia, who had slowed right down, looked to make it to the final bell without losing inside the distance.
 

30 January 2010. Roman Gonzalez w rsc 4 Ivan Meneses.

Venue: Siglo XXI Auditorium, Puebla, Mexico. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Robert Hoyle.

Fight Summary: Punching away with both hands, the champion gave Meneses (105) no time or room to put his boxing together. As Gonzalez (105) gathered pace, Meneses was dropped twice in the third round, the bell coming to his rescue following the second knockdown. At the end of the fourth, after the game Meneses had received another heavy battering and had a badly swollen left cheek, the referee called it off.

 

When Gonzalez handed the WBA Championship Belt in on 8 October in order to fight in a higher weight division, Kwanthai Sithmorseng and Pigmy Kokietgym were matched to find a successor.

 

That was followed by Sammy Gutierrez winning the vacant WBA ‘interim’ title when he stopped Luis Carrillo in the third round of their contest at the San Damian Gym, San Martin Texmelucan, Mexico on 23 October.

27 November 2009. Oleydong Sithsamerchai w pts 12 Juan Palacios.
Venue:
Future Park Plaza Arena, Rangsit, Pathum Thani, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Yuji Fukuchi. 
Scorecards: 116-114, 115-114, 114-114. 
Fight Summary: The southpaw champion got off to a fine start, using his boxing to good effect, but in the third round the hard-punching Palacios (105) cut him over the right eye via a head clash and was deducted a point for the transgression. Despite that Sithsamerchai (105) continued to box well until being drawn in to a punch-up in the sixth, which left Palacios with a cut over the right eye. From there on, as Sithsamerchai tired Palacios came on strongly, winning four of the last six rounds and appearing unlucky not to have taken the title.
 

12 September 2009. Donnie Nietes w pts 12 Manuel Vargas.
Venue:
Tepic Fair Stockade, Nayarit, Mexico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Jose Rivera. 
Scorecards: 118-110, 116-112, 112-116. 
Fight Summary: In what was a very competitive contest, it was the champion's class that eventually prevailed. There were no knockdowns but plenty of action as the rugged Vargas (105) matched Nietes (105) in several of the earlier rounds, attacking the body, until the latter's accuracy and punch rate took him clear.
 

22 August 2009. Raul Garcia w pts 12 Sammy Gutierrez.
Venue:
Los Cabos Municipal Arena, Baja California, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Earl Morton. 
Scorecards: 116-112, 115-113, 114-114. 
Fight Summary: Absorbing whatever came his way the tough challenger made life difficult for the southpaw Garcia (105), who was forced to back off time and again. It was clear from the opening bell that Gutierrez (105), a late replacement, did not know the meaning of giving ground as he took Garcia right to the wire, throwing punches all the way. At the end it was announced as a majority draw before the officials eventually realised that a mistake had been made.
 

14 July 2009. Roman Gonzalez w pts 12 Katsunari Takayama.
Venue:
World Memorial Hall, Kobe, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Silvestre Abainza. 
Scorecards: 118-110, 118-110, 118-110. 
Fight Summary: Boxing well for several rounds the elusive Takayama (105) made things difficult for the champion, but once he had been cut over the right eye by a solid right in the sixth he began to open up. Although this tactic favoured Gonzalez (104¼), it made the fight far more exciting despite Takayama lacking the power to put his man under too much pressure.
 

29 May 2009. Oleydong Sithsamerchai w tdec 11 Muhammad Rachman.

Venue: Bangla Boxing Stadium, Patong, Phuket, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Malcolm Bulner.

Scorecards: 106-101, 105-103, 105-103.

Fight Summary: Fighting 'ugly', the southpaw champion ignored his height and reach advantages over Rachman (105) for most of the fight, preferring to brawl his way to victory. Deducted points for head butts in rounds seven and 11 did not deter Sithsamerchai (105), who brought the contest to an end when the referee was forced to call the fight off in the 11th after Rachman bled profusely from a head wound. The technical decision in favour of Sithsamerchai did not go down well with Rachman, who felt that the champion should have been disqualified.

 

Juan Palacios successfully defended the WBC ‘interim’ title when stopping Erik Ramirez inside ten rounds at the Banamex Exhibition Centre, Mexico City, Mexico on 13 June.

11 April 2009. Raul Garcia w rsc 6 Ronald Barrera.
Venue:
Arturo Nahl Stadium, La Paz, Baja California, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Rafael Ramos. 
Fight Summary: Although Barrera (104¾) started with a rush in a clash of southpaws he could never get past the champion's jab, even trying switching to orthodox in a bid to turn things in his favour. With nothing working for him, Barrera was gradually getting turned over by Garcia (105), and in the fifth a bad cut opened up on his right eye. Allowed to continue, Barrera gave it one last shot before the referee pulled him out of the fight at 2.33 of the sixth.
 

28 February 2009. Roman Gonzalez w pts 12 Francisco Rosas. 
Venue:
Guelaguetza Auditorium, Oaxaca, Mexico. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Russell Mora. 
Scorecards: 115-113, 116-112, 114-114. 
Fight Summary: Being forced to travel 12 rounds for the first time in his career was a new experience for the champion, with Rosas (105) battling him all the way. Constantly exchanging blows with his tough opponent, Gonzalez (104½) just about made it by a majority decision.
 

28 February 2009. Donnie Nietes w pts 12 Erik Ramirez.
Venue:
Guelaguetza Auditorium, Oaxaca, Mexico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Luis Pabon. 
Scorecards: 113-111, 116-108, 115-109. 
Fight Summary: Starting as he meant to carry on, the champion smashed Ramirez (105) to the canvas with a big right in the opening session. Although Ramirez quickly got back into the fight his confidence had been shaken, and Nietes (104½) went on to drop his rival again in the fifth, ninth and 12th to make sure of the win. Even though Ramirez won several rounds on the cards, four knockdowns were too much to shake off.
 

13 December 2008. Raul Garcia w pts 12 Jose Luis Varela.
Venue:
Medrano Meza Gym, Loreto, Baja California, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Wayne Hedgpeth. 
Scorecards: 120-107, 120-107, 119-108. 
Fight Summary: Making his fourth title challenge in his last eight fights, and meeting a southpaw who had totally outboxed him last time round, this was hardly ever going to be a great attraction. Thus it was no surprise when Garcia (105) outscored Varela (105) by a bigger margin than before, decking his man in the 11th as he cruised home virtually unmarked in his second defence.
 

27 November 2008. Oleydong Sithsamerchai w pts 12 Pornsawan Porpramook.
Venue:
City Hall Ground Arena, Phitsanulok, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Jae-Bong Kim. 
Scorecards: 118-110, 117-113, 120-108. 
Fight Summary: In a meeting of fellow Thais, Sithsamerchai (105) had too much quality for the tough challenger, who laboured to get his punches off and in doing so was countered. Although the one-paced Porpramook (105) was outboxed he continued to look for the one big punch that would turn the tide, and at the finish the margin was clear. There were no knockdowns.
 

15 September 2008. Roman Gonzalez w rsc 4 Yutaka Niida.
Venue:
The Pacifico, Yokohama, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Mark Nelson. 
Fight Summary: Giving an awesome display of hitting power, Gonzalez (104½) ripped the title away from Niida (104¼) when the referee rescued the latter at 1.59 of the fourth. Prior to that Gonzalez had been utterly dominant when smashing in cracking combinations, and when Niida's right eye became badly swollen in the third and then closed in the fourth it was clear to all but the latter that the fight was over.  
 

13 September 2008. Raul Garcia w pts 12 Jose Luis Varela.
Venue:
Arturo Nahl Stadium, La Paz, Baja, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Jack Reiss. 
Scorecards: 118-110, 118-110, 118-110. 
Fight Summary: Given yet another crack at the title, Varela (104) was comprehensively outboxed and outpunched by the skilful southpaw champion who barely raised a sweat. The first half of the contest saw Garcia (105) concentrating on building a good lead, while the second half saw a more aggressive performance that culminated in a virtual shut-out. All in all Garcia was a class apart.
 

30 August 2008. Donnie Nietes w rsc 2 Eddy Castro.

Venue: Waterfront Hotel, Cebu, Philippines. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Raul Caiz Jnr.

Fight Summary: Right on top throughout, the champion appeared to hurt the smaller Castro (103½) every time he landed, dropping him in the opener with a left hook. In the second a heavy batch of blows from Nietes (105), ending with a crashing right to the head, sent Castro down and saw the referee rescue him at 2.49 of the second.

 

On 26 September, at the Municipal Sports Hall (no 2), Caseros, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Daniel Reyes outpointed Luis Alberto Lazarte over 12 rounds to win the vacant WBO ‘interim’ title, but lost it on 6 December when knocked out in the fourth round by Manuel Vargas at the Fair Auditorium, Lagos De Moreno, Jalisco, Mexico.

 

Vargas went on to retain the WBO ‘interim’ title when outpointing Walter Tello over 12 rounds at the Expo Forum, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico on 14 February 2009.

18 June 2008. Oleydong Sithsamerchai w rsc 9 Junichi Ebisuoka.

Venue: Saphanhin Boxing Arena, Phuket, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Malcolm Bulner.

Fight Summary: Making his first defence, the southpaw Sithsamerchai (105) completely outboxed the limited Ebisuoka (105) from range before stepping it up in the seventh with body shots. It was soon apparent that the challenger was weakening, and in the ninth at least a dozen blows to the midsection stretched him out before the referee called a halt at 1.14 of the session.

 

At the Juan Pachin Vicens Auditorium, Ponce, Puerto Rico, on 2 August, Juan Palacios won the vacant WBC ‘interim’ title when halting Omar Soto inside ten rounds. He then successfully defended it on 7 November when stopping Teruo Misawa inside seven rounds at the Sichuan Gym, Chengdu, China.

14 June 2008. Raul Garcia w pts 12 Florante Condes.
Venue:
Arturo Nahl Stadium, La Paz, Baja California, Mexico. Recognition:  IBF. Referee: Wayne Hedgpeth. 
Scorecards: 118-110, 115-112, 112-115. 
Fight Summary: In a battle of southpaws, the champion's reign came to an end in his first defence as Garcia (103½) took away his power with clever tactics. Keeping at a safe distance Garcia outboxed Condes (103½) at range and generally messed his rival about, and despite getting downed by a heavy right in the final round he had plenty enough in hand to claim the win.
 

1 March 2008. Yutaka Niida w co 6 Jose Luis Varela.
Venue:
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Raul Caiz. 
Fight Summary: Stalking Varela (104¾) from the opening bell, the champion used heavy left-hand blows to both head and body to keep his man under pressure. In the third round it was clear that Varela was susceptible to the power of Niida (105) before a big left hook to the head dropped him. Although beating the count the end was near, and in the fourth and fifth Varela was forced to give ground prior to being counted out in the sixth on the 2.16 mark following a solid left uppercut to the body.
 

29 November 2007. Oleydong Sithsamerchai w pts 12 Eagle Kyowa.
Venue:
11th Infantry Arena, Bangkok, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Laurentino Ramirez. 
Scorecards: 115-113, 115-114, 117-112. 
Fight Summary: There was little between the champion and the southpaw Sithsamerchai (105) early on, the latter moving from side to side to offset his rival's aggression. However, after landing his right jab and left cross more often from the sixth onwards Sithsamerchai began to make Kyowa (104¾) miss more often than not, and despite the latter coming on strongly in the last three rounds he could not make up the deficit.
 

30 September 2007. Donnie Nietes w pts 12 Pornsawan Porpramook.
Venue:
Waterfront Hotel, Cebu, Philippines. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Raul Caiz Jnr. 
Scorecards: 114-113, 116-110, 115-111. 
Fight Summary: Contested for the vacant title following Ivan Calderon's decision to return his belt, the skilful Nietes (105) made a fast start with countering jabs paving the way for a short right to the jaw that dropped Porpramook (105). By the seventh, however, Porpramook was mauling his way back into the fight until he was docked a point after ignoring several warnings for low blows. Although the fight was close on one of the cards, the other two gave it by a clear margin to Nietes.
 

1 September 2007. Yutaka Niida w pts 12 Eriberto Gejon.
Venue:
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Derek Milham. 
Scorecards: 117-111, 117-112, 117-112. 
Fight Summary: Boxing far better than he did in their previous bout, the champion dropped very few rounds as he outboxed the lanky Gejon (105) when using his speed to great advantage. Mixing up aggression and cleverness, Niida (104¾) used long left hooks to unbalance his rival, and although both men were cut in the sixth - Niida on the forehead and Gejon on the left eye - the result was never in doubt.
 

7 July 2007. Florante Condes w pts 12 Muhammad Rachman.
Venue:
RCTI TV Studio, Jakarta, Indonesia. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Wayne Hedgpeth. 
Scorecards: 115-111, 114-112, 112-114. 
Fight Summary: Right from the start hard-hitting southpaw Condes (104) took the fight to the 35-year-old champion, dropping his man with a solid left uppercut in the third before the latter came back in the next session. It then became punch-for-punch with the odds favouring Rachman (104½), but after being put down by a countering right in the tenth and losing the final session on all of the cards the title changed hands.
 

4 June 2007. Eagle Kyowa w pts 12 Akira Yaegashi.
Venue:
The Pacifico, Yokohama, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Jose Cobian. 
Scorecards: 118-108, 119-107, 119-107. 
Fight Summary: On top throughout, the champion won handily on all three cards as he outpunched the inexperienced Yaegashi (104¼) round after round before knocking him down with a right-hand counter in the tenth. Having suffered a fractured jaw in the second the game Yaegashi even tried slugging it out towards the end but was no match for Kyowa (104¾).
 

28 April 2007. Ivan Calderon w pts 12 Ronald Barrera.

Venue: North University Coliseum, Barranquilla, Colombia. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Luis Pabon.

Scorecards: 115-113, 115-113, 113-115.

Fight Summary: In a return match, the champion again found that his lack of power made it difficult for him to hold off the tough southpaw Barrera (103), especially when suffering weight-making problems. Having taken the early rounds by dint of clever boxing, Calderon (104¼) began to fade as Barrera came on strongly and by winning the last three sessions one of the judges voted for the latter.

 

After Calderon handed in his belt on beating Hugo Fidel Cazares for the WBO junior flyweight title on 25 August, the WBO signed up Donnie Nietes and Pornsawan Porpramook to contest the vacant title.

7 April 2007. Yutaka Niida w pts 12 Katsunari Takayama.

Venue: Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Takeshi Shimakawa.

Scorecards: 115-113, 114-113, 114-115.

Fight Summary: Dropped by a countering left hook in the opening round, and in some difficulty for a fair bit, the champion came back strongly to take two of the last three sessions to deny Takayama (104¾) the win. Despite having a swollen left cheek, Niida (105) eventually got his trademark left uppercuts going before concentrating on solid left jabs to nick it against the tricky 'interim' title holder.

23 December 2006. Muhammad Rachman w rsc 7 Benjie Sorolla.
Venue:
Bung Kamo Tennis Stadium, Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia. Recognition: IBF. Referee: John Wright. 
Fight Summary: Using a solid left jab to pick up his challenger and moving well, Rachman (105) controlled the action most of the way. It was in the seventh that things really heated up, Sorolla (104¾) being rescued by the referee at 2.10 of the session after taking too many punches without response. There were no knockdowns.
 

13 November 2006. Eagle Kyowa w pts 12 Lorenzo Trejo.
Venue:
Nihon Budokan Martial Arts Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Mike Griffin. 
Scorecards: 113-112, 113-112, 114-113. 
Fight Summary: Even though the three judges voted for the champion it had been a close call, Trejo (105) taking him all the way, scoring two heavy right-hand knockdowns in the sixth. In the third Kyowa (105) had dropped Trejo with a right hook and, although it became tit-for-tat for a few rounds, after the sixth the former began to put his boxing together to just about deserve the verdict.
 

21 October 2006. Ivan Calderon w pts 12 Jose Luis Varela.

Venue: Elias Chegwin Coliseum, Barranquilla, Colombia. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Manuel Rodriguez.

Scorecards: 118-109, 118-109, 119-108.

Fight Summary: Controlling the fight all the way, the southpaw champion gave the game Varela (104¾) a boxing lesson despite the latter attacking hard in the last three sessions. The fleet-footed Calderon (104½) made Varela miss throughout, cut him on the forehead in the fifth, and although easing off towards the end had a comfortable night.

6 May 2006. Muhammad Rachman w co 6 Omar Soto.

Venue: Senayan Indoor Tennis Stadium, Jakarta, Indonesia. Recognition: IBF. Referee: John Wright.

Fight Summary: Making his first defence for over a year, Rachman (105) showed his ring rustiness early on as Soto (104¼) attacked the body and generally caused the champion problems with his movement. However, it was clear from the fourth that Rachman was beginning to take over, and in the sixth three sharp right hands had the Mexican on the floor where he was counted out on the 1.04 mark.

6 May 2006. Eagle Kyowa w pts 12 Rodel Mayol.
Venue:
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Vic Drakulich. 
Scorecards: 117-110, 115-112, 114-113. 
Fight Summary: Fighting hard all the way, the left-hooking Mayol (104¼) went close to causing an upset until a last round knockdown sealed his fate after the champion had connected with heavy left and right combinations. Kyowa (105) had suffered swellings and a cut over the left eye in the fifth, and it was only in the latter stages that he took control as Mayol weakened.
 

29 April 2006. Ivan Calderon w rsc 9 Miguel Tellez.

Venue: Mario Quijote Morales Coliseum, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Jose Rivera.

Fight Summary: Defending his title for the tenth time, the southpaw Calderon (105) outboxed the spirited Tellez (105) throughout, and in the fourth session his sharp jabs cut the latter over the right eyebrow. There was no way back for Tellez after that and he was predictably stopped from taking further punishment at 1.04 of the ninth.

4 March 2006. Yutaka Niida w pts 12 Ronald Barrera.

Venue: Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Derek Milham.

Scorecards: 117-111, 116-112, 115-113.

Fight Summary: Although boxing well within himself Niida (103¾) was not inclined to take any chances against the aggressive southpaw challenger, being happy to counter when he had to nick the rounds. At least Barrera (105), who came forward through the 12 boring rounds, tried to make a fight of it, but he lacked the experience to make his aggression pay.

 

On 7 November, at the Grand Cube, Osaka, Japan, Katsunari Takayama beat Carlos Melo on a technical decision in the ninth round to win the vacant WBA ‘interim’ title.

18 February 2006. Ivan Calderon w pts 12 Isaac Bustos.
Venue:
Aladdin Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Robert Byrd. 
Scorecards: 120-108, 119-109, 120-108. 
Fight Summary: Despite giving away four inches in reach the fleet-footed champion marched to a comprehensive points win over Bustos (105), who had no answer to countering southpaw right hands. Round after round it was the same story, with Calderon (104) picking his shots and moving effortlessly to win as he pleased.
 

9 January 2006. Eagle Kyowa w rsc 7 Ken Nakajima.
Venue:
The Pacifico, Yokohama, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Nobuaki Uratani.
Fight Summary: In what was a convincing win for the champion, Nakajima (105) showed plenty of heart before the referee saved him from taking further punishment at 1.01 of the seventh. Even though Nakajima had pushed on in the sixth, Kyowa (105) pursued his man, throwing punches from all angles until his game opponent was unable to hit back. There were no knockdowns.
 

10 December 2005. Ivan Calderon w pts 12 Daniel Reyes.
Venue:
Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Roberto Ramirez. 
Scorecards: 120-108, 120-108, 119-109.
Fight Summary: Piling up points with the southpaw jab the champion scored a shut-out win over Reyes (104½), who although trying to get to grips with his elusive foe found the movement and all-round skill of Calderon (104) just too much for him. Although never giving up the cause, Reyes was completely bamboozled, and apart from in the tenth when he landed some solid blows that had Calderon scuttling about he failed to get into the fight.
 

25 September 2005. Yutaka Niida w tdec 10 Eriberto Gejon.
Venue:
The Arena, Yokohama, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Luis Pabon. 
Scorecards: 96-95, 96-95, 93-97.
Fight Summary: Getting off to a good start, the challenger was soon into his stride, throwing a steady stream of left jabs before Niida (104¼) began to get home with left and right hooks to head and body in the fourth. Although Gejon (104½) was fighting a cautious battle it was still close coming into the tenth. It was in that round, however, that an accidental clash of heads left Gejon with a deep cut over the right eye and, following the referee’s decision to stop the action in order to go to the cards on the 2.01 mark, Niida got the nod.
 

6 August 2005. Eagle Kyowa w pts 12 Katsunari Takayama.
Venue:
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Yuji Fukuchi.
Scorecards: 119-111, 117-113, 116-112.  
Fight Summary: Looking to regain his old title, Kyowa (104¾) made a good start when outspeeding and outpunching the fleet-footed Takayama (105), and by the middle rounds he had also begun to slow the champion down with body punches. Whilst Takayama’s blows lacked substance, Kyowa’s did not, and he went further ahead as the rounds progressed. Although Takayama was cut in the 11th he showed great heart in the 12th when the pair stood toe-to-toe in the centre of the ring exchanging combinations, but by then the result was a formality.
 

25 June 2005. Ivan Calderon w pts 12 Gerardo Verde.
Venue:
Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Randy Neumann.
Scorecards: 117-111, 117-111, 115-113.
Fight Summary: Making an efficient start, the champion boxed his way to the front against the tough Verde (103), who looked to cut his man down to size with body shots. Although the action slowed in the middle rounds, with Calderon (104) pecking away with southpaw rights, the last three sessions were all Verde as he tried to make up lost ground. Throwing solid rights and lefts at the back-pedalling Calderon, Verde came on strongly, but unable to find a finishing blow despite swarming all over his rival he ultimately went down on points.
 

30 April 2005. Ivan Calderon w rsc 8 Noel Tunacao.
Venue:
Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Roberto Ramirez. 
Fight Summary: Firing on both cylinders from the opening bell, Calderon (105) immediately got down to business to batter Tunacao (105) from pillar to post, so much so that before too long the challenger was wandering and stumbling around the ring. The taller Calderon never let up, and boxing with great precision, throwing blistering combinations from every conceivable angle, by the fifth round it looked as though Tunacao was done for. Although the Filipino gamely stuck to his task he continued to soak up punishment before being rescued by the referee at 2.25 of the eighth after being cornered and hammered non-stop without reply.
 

16 April 2005. Yutaka Niida w pts 12 Jae-Won Kim.
Venue:
Nihon Budokan Martial Arts Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Mark Nelson.
Scorecards: 117-112, 118-110, 119-111.  
Fight Summary: Right through to the eighth it was Kim (105) who forced the action, but with the champion countering splendidly with solid rights and left hooks he was the one taking most of the rounds. From the eighth onwards, Niida (105) came on strongly, belting in combinations to head and body, and although Kim stood his ground it took the man from Japan into an unassailable lead that he never let go of.
 

5 April 2005. Muhammad Rachman tdraw 3 Fahlan Sakkreerin.
Venue:
Amusement Park, Merauke City, Papua, Indonesia. Recognition: IBF. Referee: John Wright. 
Fight Summary: Following limited action in the opening session, Rachman (103½) opened up on Sakkreerin (105) in the second before heads came together in the third and left him with a bad cut on the right side of the temple. With the referee calling an immediate halt after just one minute of the session on the advice of the doctor, because the fight had not gone beyond four rounds the cards were not called for. Although offered a rematch, the 34-year-old Sakkreerin, who had held the title from 1990 to 1992, failed to take advantage of the opportunity and retired. Sakkreerin had previously fought under the name of Fahlan Lukmingkwan.
 

4 April 2005. Katsunari Takayama w pts 12 Isaac Bustos.
Venue:
Central Gym, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Vic Drakulich. 
Scorecards: 117-111, 117-112, 115-113.
Fight Summary: Beginning as he meant to continue, Takayama (105) quickly went into a healthy lead as he threw volumes of combinations which, despite having no real effect on the champion other than confuse him, were certainly scoring punches. Although consistently missing, Bustos (105) never gave up hope and during the last three sessions he stalked the tiring Takayama, throwing overarm rights in a vain attempt to turn the tide.
 

18 December 2004. Isaac Bustos w rsc 4 Eagle Kyowa.
Venue:
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Toby Gibson. 
Fight Summary: Totally in command from the opening bell, the champion was belting in punches from all angles before he dislocated his right shoulder midway through round three. Up to that point it appeared that the ponderous Bustos (104¾) was on his way to a stoppage defeat, but all that changed with the injury. Although trying to fight back with one arm it was hopeless, and after 19 seconds of the fourth, with Bustos cutting loose, the referee moved to rescue Kyowa (105) when he turned his back on his opponent while in the utmost agony.
 

27 November 2004. Ivan Calderon w pts 12 Carlos Fajardo.
Venue:
MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Tony Weeks. 
Scorecards: 120-107, 118-109, 119-108.
Fight Summary: Despite never looking likely to stop his tough challenger, the smooth-boxing Calderon (104½) won every round apart from the eighth, and although well outreached he had no difficulty in consistently finding the target with southpaw jabs and counters. Fajardo (105) was just too pedestrian for the nimble Calderon and was often reduced to holding, for which he was deducted a point in the 11th. The Puerto Rican gave it his best shot in the final session, but was outworked as left crosses and right hooks found their mark. Fajardo finished with a nasty bump under the left eye, testament to Calderon’s accuracy.
 

30 October 2004. Yutaka Niida w pts 12 Juan Jose Landaeta.
Venue:
Ryogoku Sumo Arena, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Rafael Ramos. 
Scorecards: 115-113, 113-115, 115-114.
Fight Summary: Starting sluggishly against his tall southpaw challenger, Niida (104¾) was outjabbed at times before coming back with bursts of combinations. Cut over the left eye in the sixth it looked as though this was going to be a difficult one for Niida to get out of, but after crashing in some solid blows in the seventh he began to assume control as Landaeta (104¾) faded. It was still close, but despite Landaeta coming on strong to take the 12th the split decision went against the ‘interim’ champion.
 

14 September 2004. Muhammad Rachman w pts 12 Daniel Reyes.
Venue:
Kalapa Gading Sports Mall, Jakarta, Indonesia. Recognition: IBF. Referee: John Wright. 
Scorecards: 113-116, 115-113, 116-112.
Fight Summary: In what was a very close fight, Reyes (105) left Indonesia minus his title after two judges decided that the aggressive Rachman (105), who was 27 unbeaten coming into the fight, had done enough to warrant the decision. Undoubtedly it was a tough one to call, but Rachman appeared to land more clean punches despite being frequently outboxed. Following the decision, Reyes called for an immediate rematch and filed a complaint with the IBF to no avail.
 

31 July 2004. Ivan Calderon w pts 12 Roberto Carlos Leyva.
Venue:
MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Robert Byrd. 
Scorecards: 116-112, 116-112, 116-112.
Fight Summary: Cut over the left eye within the first 40 seconds, Calderon (104½) had to battle hard to defend his title against a fired-up Leyva (105), a former IBF champion and fellow southpaw. There was no doubt that Leyva’s body punching was effective in the early stages, but by the seventh Calderon, despite being the shorter man by far, was outboxing the Mexican. Although Leyva continued to apply pressure during the latter period, especially when scoring with a heavy right hook in the tenth, the busy Calderon stuck to his boxing to win the points.
 

28 June 2004. Eagle Kyowa w tdec 8 Satoshi Kogumazaka.
Venue:
The Arena, Yokohama, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Nobuaki Uratani. 
Scorecards: 80-71, 80-71, 80-73.
Fight Summary: Making his first defence, Kyowa (104¾) proved too strong and determined for his southpaw challenger, who was dropped by a solid right-left combination in the second and swept aside in every round before the fight came to a conclusion at 2.24 of the eighth. Having continually been pressed, Kogumazaka (104¾) was cut on the left side of his head in the sixth, and again, virtually in the same place, following accidental head clashes, before the doctor advised that the action should be halted. The referee then called for the cards to be added up so that a decision could be arrived at.
 

10 April 2004. Daniel Reyes w rsc 3 Roberto Carlos Leyva.
Venue:
Bocagrande Hilton Hotel, Cartagena, Colombia. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Manuel Rodriguez.
Fight Summary:  Gaining revenge for an earlier defeat, Reyes (105) dominated from the opening bell, outspeeding the challenger and working him over at every opportunity. With his left eye inflamed and unable to get into the fight, Leyva (105) was twice dropped in the third round by solid right hands to the head before being rescued by the referee on the 2.23 mark.
 

10 January 2004. Eagle Kyowa w pts 12 Jose Antonio Aguirre.
Venue:
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Laurence Cole. 
Scorecards: 120-107, 119-108, 117-110.
Fight Summary: Defending his title for the eighth time, Aguirre (105) came up against the little-known Kyowa (105), who forced the fight right from the start and really got on top after staggering his man with solid combinations in the fourth round. It continued to be all one-way traffic as Kyowa, using short, straight rights and fast left hooks, went further and further ahead on the cards to take the title in what was considered to be quite an upset. Incidentally, Aguirre also had a point deducted in the ninth following a head butt.
 

6 December 2003. Ivan Calderon w pts 12 Alex Sanchez.
Venue:
Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum, Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Roberto Ramirez.
Scorecards: 118-110, 117-111, 116-112.  
Fight Summary: Giving a great exhibition of boxing, the southpaw champion moved in and out with the jab and combinations in virtually every round before Sanchez (105) could lay a glove on him. It was boxing at its best, and all bar Sanchez enjoyed it. However, as much as he tried to get close to Calderon (105) he found himself either punching thin air or being countered, and regardless of one of the judges having him winning four rounds he was categorically outboxed despite rallying in the last two sessions as Calderon tired.
 

4 October 2003. Daniel Reyes w rsc 6 Edgar Cardenas.
Venue:
Staples Centre, Los Angeles, California, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Jack Reiss. 
Fight Summary: Starting well the challenger forged ahead in the first three rounds, producing good defensive skills and fast combinations to bewilder Cardenas (105), who was staggered in the fourth and took a real beating in the fifth without going down. Anybody who thought that Reyes (104½) had punched himself out in the previous session was mistaken, and in the sixth, after hitting the willing Cardenas with every punch in the book he dropped him with a heavy right. Somehow, Cardenas, who was adjudged to have beaten the count, was allowed back into the fray where he took at least 20 unanswered shots before the referee brought matters to a close with 20 seconds of the sixth remaining.
 

5 September 2003. Ivan Calderon w pts 12 Lorenzo Trejo.
Venue:
Hector Sola Bezares Coliseum, Caguas, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Ismael Quinones-Falu. 
Scorecards: 118-109, 119-112, 117-111.
Fight Summary: The skillful southpaw champion was just too good for Trejo (104½), who was always plodding forward despite running on to jabs and crosses as his rival adroitly moved out of harm's way. Round after round the pattern continued, and there was no doubt that Trejo was saved from a heavier defeat by the fact that Calderon (105) was unable to punch his weight.
 

12 July 2003. Noel Arambulet w pts 12 Yutaka Niida.
Venue:
The Arena, Yokohama, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Armando Garcia.
Scorecards: 115-114, 115-114, 114-116.  
Fight Summary: Showing nifty footwork, the wily Arambulet (105) ran all night against the hard-hitting Niida (104½), who was forced to chase the champion throughout but lacked the experience to corner him effectively. Occasionally there were successes for Niida, especially in the seventh, eighth and 12th rounds when sharp lefts and good pressure pinned Arambulet on the ropes, but in the main he was outflanked and outboxed.

On 31 January 2004, Juan Jose Landaeta won the vacant WBA ‘interim’ title on outpointing Chana Porpaoin over 12 rounds at The Polyhedron, Caracas, Venezuela, and successfully defended it when drawing over the same distance against the same man at the Rajadamnern Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand on 5 May 2004.

 

Arambulet (105¾) eventually forfeited his crown on 3 July 2004, having failed to make the weight for his title defence against Niida at the Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan. However, after the fight went ahead Niida (104¾) was awarded the title following a 12-round points win. Niida’s first defence would be against the ‘interim’ champion, Landaeta.
 

23 June 2003. Jose Antonio Aguirre w rsc 12 Keitaro Hoshino.
Venue:
The Arena, Yokohama, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Bruce McTavish. 
Fight Summary: In a hard-fought battle, the aggressive champion, often throwing punches recklessly, eventually tamed the skilful Hoshino (105) when dropping him with a sweeping left hook for a long count in the final session. Although Hoshino eventually found his feet he was quickly in trouble again as Aguirre (105), with the bit between his teeth and firing punches in furiously, forced the referee to stop the contest with just 45 seconds left on the clock. Prior to the finish, Hoshino had done well in avoiding many of Aguirre’s big punches, while scoring cleanly himself.
 

31 May 2003. Edgar Cardenas w co 10 Miguel Barrera.
Venue:
Fausto Gutierrez Municipal Auditorium, Tijuana, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Jose Cobian. 
Fight Summary: Making his second defence, the undefeated Barrera (103¾) dominated the action for the first nine rounds before being caught by a stunning right to the jaw from Cardenas (105) that sent him crashing to be counted out at 0.47 of the tenth. Although he tried to beat the count, after Barrera collapsed he was taken to hospital prior to undergoing a successful operation to remove a blood clot on his brain.
 

3 May 2003. Ivan Calderon w tdec 9 Eduardo Ray Marquez.
Venue:
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Tony Weeks. 
Scorecards: 89-81, 90-80, 90-80.
Fight Summary: Having been a champion for just 36 days, Marquez (105) was soundly outboxed by Calderon (104), who buzzed around him and picked him off from distance to walk away with virtually every contested round. A very ordinary fighter, Marquez had been cut over the right eye in round three and taken a standing ‘eight’ count after being knocked into the ropes by a right-left in the sixth before the fight went to the cards at 0.43 of the ninth when the flow of blood was making it too difficult for him to see.
 

28 March 2003. Eduardo Ray Marquez w rsc 11 Jorge Mata.
Venue:
Raimundo Saporta Pavilion, Madrid Spain. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Roberto Ramirez. 
Fight Summary: A hand-picked opponent with a crude walk-in style who had won just one of his previous five contests, Marquez (104½) was not expected to really test Mata (104½), but that is exactly what he did. Catching the champion again and again with sucker punches, Marquez put Mata down in round eight before dropping him twice more in the 11th and forcing a stoppage with 39 seconds of the session remaining.
 

22 March 2003. Miguel Barrera w co 3 Roberto Carlos Leyva.
Venue:
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Tony Weeks. 
Fight Summary: Defending against the man he took the title from, Barrera (104½) immediately got to work under the southpaw guard of Leyva (105), pushing him back to the ropes and belting away ceaselessly. Leyva did not appear to know how to deal with these attacks, and in the third round when trying to find the centre of the ring he was caught by a heavy right hook that left him winded on the canvas to be counted out at 1.23 of the session.
 

22 February 2003. Jose Antonio Aguirre w rsc 7 Juan Alfonso Keb Baas.
Venue:
City Bullring, Mexico City, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Lupe Garcia. 
Fight Summary: Surviving a fourth-round knockdown at the hands of the challenger, Aguirre (105) gradually got his composure back to force his fellow Mexican to quit at 2.17 of the seventh. Keb Baas (104), who did not look as though he was badly hurt despite beginning to take some heavy punches, suddenly decided that he had finished for the night, leaving it to the referee to call the contest off.
 

20 December 2002. Noel Arambulet w pts 12 Keitaro Hoshino.
Venue:
Castle Sports Centre, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Joe Cortez. 
Scorecards: 115-113, 115-113, 115-115.
Fight Summary: Although he made an aggressive start, landing the better shots, for whatever reason Hoshino (104¼) went into a shell from the seventh round and allowed himself to be bustled out of it by Arambulet (104¾). Despite the champion producing the greater quantity of punches, many of them were not delivered correctly and his margin of victory was not that great.
 

22 November 2002. Jorge Mata w pts 12 Jairo Arango.
Venue:
Sports Palace, Leon, Spain. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Manu Maritxalar. 
Scorecards: 116-111, 117-110, 117-111.
Fight Summary: Beginning well, the challenger used his height, reach and speed to good effect, but was unable to keep the aggressive Mata (105) at bay for long enough periods. Small but strong, Mata made up for his lack of technique by constantly attacking Arango (105), who was put down in the seventh by a heavy blow to the head. Ultimately, despite tiring in the final third, it was Mata’s good earlier work that won him the day, although Arango, who felt that the fight would be in his favour, came back with good punches of his own.
 

19 October 2002. Jose Antonio Aguirre w pts 12 Juan Palacios.
Venue:
Rooster Theatre, Villahermosa, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Jose Medina. 
Scorecards: 115-112, 115-112, 112-115.
Fight Summary: After dropping the challenger in the second round and looking to be well on his way to victory Aguirre (103½) surprisingly ran out of steam at the halfway stage, having to grit his teeth to hear the final bell. And, with Palacios (105) gradually pegging back the leeway, it turned out be a close call for the champion.
 

9 August 2002. Miguel Barrera w pts 12 Roberto Carlos Leyva.
Venue:
Orleans Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Kenny Bayless.
Scorecards: 115-113, 115-113, 116-112.
Fight Summary: Over 12-action-packed rounds, Barrera (104½) and Leyva (104½) served up one of the fights of the year following their technical draw the previous September. The Colombian challenger certainly came to make a fight of it and, although Leyva did not back off, the frenetic pace saw him outworked at times. Leyva finished the fight with both eyes almost closed.
 

29 July 2002. Noel Arambulet w pts 12 Keitaro Hoshino.
Venue:
The Pacifico Convention Hall, Yokohama, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Stan Christodoulou. 
Scorecards: 112-109, 111-107, 114-114.
Fight Summary: Using hit-and-run tactics the former champion, Arambulet (105), moved out in front, and despite Hoshino (105) regaining some of the initiative in the sixth he generally kept up the good work. In the latter stages, although the challenger was deducted a point in the 12th round for a low blow and Hoshino showed more aggression, nobody complained when the title changed hands.
 

29 January 2002. Keitaro Hoshino w pts 12 Jomo Gamboa.
Venue:
The Pacifico Convention Hall, Yokohama, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Pinit Prayadsab.
Scorecards: 118-110, 118-112, 117-112.  
Fight Summary: Fighting for the title vacated by Yutaka Niida, Hoshino (105) regained his former honours when producing the better work to outscore another former champion in Gamboa (104¾). Generally, it was Gamboa’s jab and heavier punch versus Hoshino’s counters and all-round skill and speed, but it was the latter, the busier of the pair, who prevailed.
 

11 November 2001. Jose Antonio Aguirre w rsc 3 Wolf Tokimitsu.
Venue:
Budokan Martial Arts Hall, Okayama, Japan. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Laurence Cole. 
Fight Summary: Despite Tokimitsu (104½) getting off to a flier, using the ring and jabbing well, Aguirre (105) was beginning to find the range by the end of the second round himself, and in the third he floored the challenger with a big overarm right. Barely beating the count, and visibly groggy, Tokimitsu was being punished almost at will when the referee made a timely intervention on the 1.43 mark.
 

29 September 2001. Roberto Carlos Leyva tdraw 3 Miguel Barrera.
Venue:
Oscar Garcia Gym, Ensenada, Mexico. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Juan Morales. 
Fight Summary: Floored in the second round, things were looking distinctly bleak for Leyva (104½), and had it not been for a head clash in the third which left him badly cut over the left eye and unable to carry on, he might well have lost his title to Barrera (104½). 
 

25 August 2001. Yutaka Niida w pts 12 Chana Porpaoin.
Venue:
Pacifico Convention Hall, Yokohama, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Steve Smoger. 
Scorecards: 116-113, 116-115, 116-113.
Fight Summary: The challenger, Niida (103½), got off to a good start, piling up the points with an accurate jab, before having to withstand a late rush by Porpaoin (105). At the finish, Niida had gained a narrow but worthy victory.

Almost immediately Niida announced his retirement, and to find a successor the WBA matched Keitaro Hoshino and Jomo Gamboa to contest the vacant title, with Noel Arambulet guaranteed to meet the winner.

29 April 2001. Roberto Carlos Leyva w pts 12 Daniel Reyes.
Venue:
Jamaica Amazura Ballroom, NYC, New York, USA. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Wayne Kelly. 
Scorecards: 114-113, 115-112, 115-112.
Fight Summary: In a battle for the vacant title following Zolani Petelo’s abdication, Leyva (104½), a slow starter, came through in the second half of an action-packed affair to take a worthy points decision, having floored Reyes (104½) in the ninth for the only knockdown of the contest. Reyes, to his credit, had attacked non-stop in the early stages, being out in front before being dropped, but from then on he was always second best.
 

16 April 2001. Chana Porpaoin w pts 12 Keitaro Hoshino.
Venue:
Pacifico Convention Hall, Yokohama, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Silvestre Abainza. 
Scorecards: 115-113, 115-113, 110-118.
Fight Summary: Regaining the title more than five years after surrendering it, Porpaoin (105) worked the harder, moving and picking up points with the jab, while Hoshino (105) looked to get his bigger punches off. A little more activity would have done it for Hoshino, who looked taut and stiff throughout.
 

6 April 2001. Kermin Guardia w pts 12 Juan Alfonso Keb Baas.
Venue:
Zamna Poliforum, Merida, Mexico. Recognition: WBO. Referee: Lou Moret. 
Scorecards: 115-112, 115-112, 115-111.
Fight Summary: Coming back after 18 months out of the ring to retain his title for the third time, Guardia (105) dictated the fight for the first six rounds before Keb Baas (105) came back strongly to make real go of it. However, all the good work achieved was undone when Keb Baas was dropped twice in the ninth session, but it had been a tough one for the champion.

With Guardia inactive and unlikely to fight at the weight again, Jorge Mata, who had won the vacant WBO ‘interim’ title following a ninth-round stoppage win over Reynaldo Frutos at the Son Moix Municipal Sports Hall, Palma De Mallorca, Spain on 29 June 2002, was awarded the WBO title immediately prior to an ‘interim’ defence on 22 November 2002 after Guardia, promised a fast route to the WBO junior flyweight title, had handed back his belt.

2 February 2001. Jose Antonio Aguirre w pts 12 Manny Melchor.
Venue:
Jai-Alai Fronton, Tijuana, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Guillermo Ayon. 
Scorecards: 120-108, 120-107, 118-110.
Fight Summary: Outpunching Melchor (105) throughout the contest, and almost closing the challenger’s left eye in the process, Aguirre (105) won convincingly on all three judges’ cards. There were no knockdowns, but the victory was still emphatic.
 

6 December 2000. Keitaro Hoshino w pts 12 Jomo Gamboa.
Venue:
Pacifico Convention Hall, Yokohama, Japan. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Joe Cortez. 
Scorecards: 117-112, 115-113, 115-113.
Fight Summary: On winning, Hoshino (105) became Japan’s oldest boxer to win a world title for the first time, his aggression sealing victory. Gamboa (104¾), who disappointed while looking sluggish and one-paced, rarely threatened until the final third. Unable to pull the fight out of the fire, his chance had gone.
 

21 October 2000. Jose Antonio Aguirre w rsc 4 Erdene Chuluun.
Venue:
Salon 21, Mexico City, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Tony Perez. 
Fight Summary: Always in command, Aguirre (104) really got to work in the fourth round when dropping the challenger, Chuluun (104), three times from heavy right hands, the final knockdown seeing the referee call the fight off on the 2.42 mark.
 

7 July 2000. Jose Antonio Aguirre w co 5 Jose Luis Zepeda.
Venue:
Rooster Theatre, Tabasco, Mexico. Recognition: WBC. Referee: Jose Medina. 
Fight Summary: Having survived a rocky second round, receiving cuts over both eyes from head work, Aguirre (103½) came back impressively. Using his superior reach, he eventually set Zepeda (103¾) up for a cracking left-right that ended his challenge by a count out at 2.50 of the fifth session.
 

2 June 2000. Zolani Petelo w rsc 8 Mickey Cantwell.
Venue:
Stour Leisure Centre, Ashford, Kent, England. Recognition: IBF. Referee: Dave Parris. 
Fight Summary: Despite making an admirable challenge, Cantwell (104), having been floored in the seventh round, was not hitting back when the referee rescued him after 59 seconds of the eighth had elapsed. Earlier, the hard-punching Petelo (105) could have been faulted for his work-rate, but his shots to the body ultimately paved the way for victory, leaving Cantwell to mull over his future.

After Petelo relinquished his IBF title in January 2001 due to weight-making problems, the number one challenger, Daniel Reyes, was expected to meet Kermin Guardia to find a successor. However, with Guardia more interested in the WBO title, Roberto Carlos Leyva was the man eventually chosen to meet Reyes.
 

4 March 2000. Noel Arambulet w pts 12 Jose Garcia Bernal.

Venue: Jose David Ugarte Stadium, Coro, Venezuela. Recognition: WBA. Referee: Julio Cesar Alvarado.

Scorecards: 119-108, 117-112, 116-113.

Fight Summary: In making his first defence, Arambulet (105) came up against a man who had already beaten him and one who had won his previous 11 fights, nine of them coming inside the distance. However, having been inactive for close on a year by the time Garcia Bernal (105) had shaken off the ring-rust Arambulet was up and running. Quick and elusive, Arambulet made a difficult target, and although the challenger consistently came forward he was unable to pin his man down long enough to do any damage. It was later discovered that there was a mistake on one of the cards, but it would have made no difference to the result, with the challenger at best winning a couple of rounds and sharing a few others.

 

Jomo Gamboa outpointed Atsushi Sai over 12 rounds at the Municipal Gym, Hachinohe, Japan on 9 April to retain his WBA ‘interim’ crown before taking on Arambulet for the title at the Ryogoku Sumo Arena, Tokyo, Japan on 20 August. Although Arambulet (106½) came in over the weight and forfeited the title, after the fight went ahead Gamboa (105) was recognised as the new champion following a 116-114, 116-114, 114-116 points win.

 

11 February 2000. Jose Antonio Aguirre w pts 12 Wandee Singwancha.
Venue:
Mahachai Villa Arena, Samut Sakorn, Thailand. Recognition: WBC. Referee: David Chung. 
Scorecards: 115-113, 116-112, 114-114.
Fight Summary: Using his superior height and reach from the onset the challenger, Aguirre (104½), got out in front before weakening in the second half of the fight. That was before Singwancha (103½) came back to close the gap, his aggression almost swinging it.