By JM Siasat
MANILA, Philippines- When the San Andres, Catanduanes native Jay Solmiano set his mind of not letting the judges decide the outcome of his upcoming fight against Keita Obara in Japan, he sure got his wish granted. Both fighters boasted a combined record of 22 knockouts in 31 fights prior to their bout, so it was not far-fetched to think that their battle won't go to the judges. Solmiano however, was in the wrong end of an action packed 4 rounder.
Solmiano started the fight aggressively, landing a straight left on Obara's mid-section in the opening seconds of round one. Obara looked surprised from Solmiano's quick start but tried to box and move throughout the round while Solmiano proceeded with his swinging combinations.
Solmiano did the same as soon as the fight resumed in round two. Obara started to let his jabs go more frequently but it was Solmiano who landed hard shots from his patented left straight. Obara did not let many of his combinations go until the last 30 seconds of the round.
Solmiano was still in an aggressive state in round three but Obara has also started coming forward. Solmiano landed the best punch of the fight with a straight left that dropped Obara but was ruled as a slip by the referee. Obara rose up and weathered the storm til the round ended.
Obara boxed and timed Solmiano cautiously in round 4. Solmiano targeted the body with a one-two combination but was left open for a left hook counter, dropping the filipino face first on the canvass. Solmiano would beat the count but was obviously hurt and ready for the taking. Solmiano fought on but eventually got caught again with a straight right, dropping the filipino for the second time and got counted out for good at 1:50.
Keita Obara won the vacant OPBF junior welterweight title and improved his record to 11-1, 10 knockouts while Jay Solmiano dropped to 17-3-1, 13 knockouts.
JM Siasat is a freelance boxing journalist whose work can be seen on BoxingScene.com and Rappler. He can be reached at [email protected]