Lopez pips title on technicalities

Fukuoka, Japan - Challenger Rudy Lopez of Mexico beat Japan's Takashi Koshimoto on a technical knockout in the seventh round Sunday to claim the WBC featherweight boxing title.

Lopez dominated the scheduled 12-rounder and stunned Koshimoto with a combination of punches in the seventh, forcing referee Ian John Lewis to stop the fight.

"Obviously, I'm thrilled," said Lopez, who was making his first bid for a world title. "My conviction to become champion led to this victory.

"I was trying my best to show my talent. I don't really think that Koshimoto fought his style of boxing today."

With the victory, the 22-year-old Lopez improved to 19-2 with 13 knockouts. Koshimoto, 35, fell to 39-2-2 with 17 KOs.

It was Koshimoto's first defence of the title he won in January when he defeated Injin Chi of South Korea on a split decision to become the oldest Japanese boxer to claim a world title.

Lopez won the WBC youth 126-pound title in Feb. 2005. He failed to win the Mexican national belt due to a fourth-round defeat to Carlos Garcia in December but kept his WBC youth title by defeating Fredy Blandon in January.

Koshimoto announced after Sunday's defeat that he would retire. - Sapa-AP


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