Kobe, Japan – Japan's Toshiaki Nishioka unleashed a devastating left arm combination to knock out Mauricio Munoz of Argentina and defend his WBC super bantamweight title on Friday.
With only a few seconds left in the ninth round, the 34-year-old champion stunned his opponent with a left hook and then piled his left fist straight to the face of Munoz to send him to the floor.
“I think I galvanised Japan a little bit when the country is facing so many problems. I'm happy that I was able to show a nice fight to the people,” said Nishioka with his daughter in his arms.
Both played from close range from the beginning with the Japanese trying to control the bout by hitting rights while the Mexican unleashed hooks from wide angles.
Although Munoz connected several hooks from both sides in the third round, Nishioka was ahead by two points from all three judges after the first four rounds.
Nishioka hit a couple of left straights to the face in the eighth round to stretch the lead to 78-74, 78-74, 78-75 before starting the onslaught at the end of the following round.
It was Nishioka's sixth defence since winning the title in September 2008. He improved his record to 38 wins, including 24
KOs, against four defeats and three draws.
The 25-year-old challenger, ranked sixth in the WBC, saw his record reduced to 21 wins, including nine KOs, against three defeats. – Sapa-AFP