World Junior Middle eight Boxing champion, Koichi Wajima of Japan, had a points win over fellow countryman, Ryu Sorimachi at Osaka on Friday (20 April) to retain his world title.
SV Sorimachi, challenger, in striped shorts & Wajima punch in centre of ring during ninth round
MV Wajima pins opponent on ropes
SV Sorimachi fights back & stuns Wajima
GV Fighters come out in 15th round
SV Boxers exchange a flurry of punches (4 shots)
SV Boxers embrace at end of fight
Initials ESP/1832 ESP/1844
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: World Junior Middle eight Boxing champion, Koichi Wajima of Japan, had a points win over fellow countryman, Ryu Sorimachi at Osaka on Friday (20 April) to retain his world title.
Although it was a closely fought contest, throughout the 15 rounds Wajima showed the greater skill with a variety of two handed punching. His opponent was brave and skilful but a reluctance to use his left hand allowed Wajima to get through and score often.
Time and again Sorimachi allowed Wajima to penetrate and deliver punishing blows to his body. In the seventh round Wajima attacked forcefully, knocking Sorimachi's gum-shield from his mouth and forcing him to the ropes where he rained a series of assorted punches on the contender. Sorimachi, however, managed to weather the storm, but came back in the following two rounds to take plenty more punishment.
There was never any doubt as to the result but Sorimachi had proved a game and hard fighting contender for the title.
It was Wajima's 27th win. He has lost two bouts and drawn in 30.
For Sorimachi it was his seventh defeat. He has had 42 wins and two draws.
Wajima weighed in at 154 pounds (69.85 kgs). Sorimachi's weigh-in weight was 151 1/4 pounds (68.61 kgs).
This win for Wajima means he must now defend his title against top-ranking contender Miguel De Oliveira of Brazil. Wajima retained his title against the Brazilian with a controversial 15-round draw in January when they met in Tokyo.
SYNOPSIS: Although Ryu Sorimachi (striped shorts) proved a stronger contender than expected, there was never any doubt about the outcome of his World Junior Middleweight title attempt against the holder, fellow Japanese Koichi Wajima. The contest was staged at Osaka, Japan, on Friday.
Time and again, Sorimachi allowed Wajima to penetrate his defence, forcing him against the ropes and delivering flurries of punishing body blows with both hands, but the game Sorimachi kept coming back and rocked Wajima with some well-placed punches.
Sorimachi's efforts, however, weren't enough. When they came out for the fifteenth round, only a knock-out could have won the title for the contender - and that wasn't likely.
This was to be Wajima's 27th win. for Sorimachi, his seventh defeat. With a concise points victory, Wajima deservedly retained the title, a victory which means he must now defend it against Brazil's Miguel De Oliveira for the second time - the first was in January when the result was a controversial draw. For Sorimachi it was time to think again about the elusive title.