by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Southpaw Rey Labao injured his hand early in his Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation mandatory title fight against champion Yoshitaka Kato at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
Promoter Sammy Gello-ani told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that the southpaw Labao had the champion in trouble in rounds two and three and almost dropped him but hurt his hand with a shot to the head and that was it.
Gello-ani said that “Labao’s hand was bleeding after we took out his gloves” and he said the fighter told him the pain was terrible and that’s why he didn’t go for shots to the head.
He said Labao then concentrated only on the body of the 28 year old Kato and as his work rate dropped the Japanese champion piled up the points to eventually win on the scorecards of all three judges by margins of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113.
Kato who improved his record to 26-4-1 with 7 knockouts win the title from countryman Motoki Sasaki by a unanimous twelve round decision last May 4 while Labao who is also 28 fell to 24-5 with 16 knockouts.