Panamanian challenger Hilario Zapata defeated defending champion Shigeo Nakajima on Monday (24 March) to become the new World Boxing Council (WBC) Light Flyweight Champion.
TV Kuramae Kokugikan arena in Tokyo. Round 6: Zapata of Panama wearing green shorts, Shigeo Nakajima of Japan in red shorts. Nakajima hits out with straight right to Zapata, they go into clinch & Zapata lifts Nakajima on his shoulder and referee separates them...Bell sounds for end of Round 6
SV Man holding board reading "Round 15" (Final round)
SV Boxers fighting, Nakajima taking the attack and forced onto ropes by Zapata hitting with left to jaw. Referee separates them, boxing continues and into clinch
SV Zapata hitting hard as spectators watch (2 shots)
SV Zapata hitting out hard - final bell sounded (at 1.16 mins.) players embrace at end of match
SV Zapata embraced by his coach and supporters
GV Crowds throwing cushions and other objects into ring
WORLD BOXING COUNCIL
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Background: Panamanian challenger Hilario Zapata defeated defending champion Shigeo Nakajima on Monday (24 March) to become the new World Boxing Council (WBC) Light Flyweight Champion. Mr. Nakajima won the title from South Korean Kim Sun Jun in a fifteen round decision last January.
SYNOPSIS: It was Panamanian boxer Hilario "Sugar" Zapata's first try at a world boxing title in his twelve professional fights. Here in round six the pattern of the fight was set. Commentators called it a dull fight. It was marked by frequent clinches and there were no knockdowns.
The final round. The challenger, Zapata, harassed Nakajima with long right straights, followed by quick lefts, from the beginning. The Japanese fighter countered with sharp lefts and rights. But until the fifteenth found Nakajima failed to get his opponent within his reach to use his fast right.
The home team were rooting for their favourite son. But Zapata keep up a barrage of hard hits towards the end, though he is described as an intelligent boxer with a combination of rights and lefts rather than a hard puncher. As time ran out the decision looked like it would be a difficult one.
American referee Henry Elespuru scored the bout 144-143 for Zapata, while American judge Harold Leaderman called it 144-141 and Mexican judge Jose Escalante 146-144, both in favour of Zapata. The crowd was displeased and shouted that the Japanese Boxing Commission should file a protest with the W.B.C. Nakajima's manager later said he would call for a rematch. Zapata's manager replied that his man won because of his superior technique but they would be happy with a return match.