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Boxing | International

Warring Akira defends his belt

After surviving wars against two dangerous opponents, Akira Yaegashi has to make his first title defence.

The exciting WBC flyweight champion faces a challenge from Mexican veteran Oscar Blanquet in Tokyo on Monday night. He will be hoping for a slightly easier outing than in his previous bouts.

The exciting Japanese fighter had extremely hard fights against Pornsawan Porpramook and Toshiyuki Igarashi and narrowly lost to Kazuto Ioka in assembling a professional record of 17-3, with nine wins inside the distance.

He also had four testing fights for Japanese titles on his way to the top. Now he will be hoping for a less demanding defence of the title he won from Igarashi.

Blanquet, 28, has been boxing as a professional for ten years and has a record of 32-5-1, including 23 knockouts. He clearly packs a good punch, but he has faced only two well-known opponents.

Ricardo Nunez stopped him in the seventh round and Wilbert Uicab beat him by majority decision.

On the same bill Jose Nieves from Puerto Rico challenges Japan’s WBC bantamweight champion, Shinsuke Yamanaka.

Nieves, whose record stands at 22-2-3; 11, is ranked No 7 on the WBC list. It will be his first fight outside Puerto Rico.

He is on a five-bout winning streak that includes victories over Cuauhtemoc Vargas and Danny Flores.

The 30-year-old Yamanaka is undefeated, boasting a record of 18-0-2; 13. It is his fourth defence after victories over Vic Darchinyan, Tomas Rojas and Malcolm Tunacao.


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