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Boxing | International

Jhonny grabs title in Japan



Jhonny Gonzalez stopped Hozumi Hasegawa in the fourth round of their fight in Kobe, Japan, on Friday to become the new WBC featherweight champion.

The referee stopped the fight 58 seconds into the round.

On the same bill, Toshiaki Nishioka unleashed a devastating left to knock out Mauricio Munoz of Argentina in the ninth round and retain his WBC super-bantamweight title.

Hasegawa connected with a left straight to Gonzalez's face in the opening round of their bout but the Mexican replied with several right hooks.

Gonzalez, ranked No 1 by the WBC, improved his record to 48 wins, 42 of them by knockout, against seven defeats.

It was Hasegawa's first defence of the title he won from Juan Carlos Burgos of Mexico in November last year. He now has 29 wins, including 12 KOs, against four defeats.

Hasegawa's defeat was a big disappointment to the Japanese fans but Nishioka was not giving up his belt.

With only a few seconds left in the ninth round, the 34-year-old champion stunned Munoz with a left hook and then send his opponent down with a left to the face.

GALVANISED JAPAN

"I think I galvanised Japan a little 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 boxers stayed at from close range at the start of the fight. Munoz connected with several hooks in the third round, but Nishioka was ahead by two points on all cards after the first four rounds.

Nishioka stretched his lead to 78-74 78-74 and 78-75 after the eighth round before starting the onslaught at the end of the next round.

It was Nishioka's sixth defence since he won 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 by the WBC, had his record reduced to 21 wins, including nine KOs, against three defeats.

TAKAHIRO RETAINS HIS BELT

In the other title fight on the trip-header tournament, Japan's Takahiro Aoh pulled off a stunning knockout victory over Humberto Gutierrez of Mexico to retain his WBC super-featherweight title.

The knockout came one minute six seconds into the fourth round.

It was the 27-year-old's first defence since winning the title in November last year, stretching his record to 21 wins, including 10 KOs, against two defeats and a draw.

The 22-year-old Mexican, ranked third by the WBC, now has 28 wins, including 20 KOs, against three defeats and a draw.



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