by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Japan-based Filipino Rolly Lunas who fights under the name Rolly Matsushita has successfully defended his Oriental and Pacific Federation bantamweight title with a 9th round TKO of No. 5 ranked challenger Ryuichi Funai at the Sangyo Hall in Ishikawa, Japan.
With the win the 28 year old Lunas who is ranked No. 7 by the World Boxing Council improved his record to 31-81-1 with 19 knockouts and is expected to move up in the world rankings.
With the loss the 27 year old Funai dropped to 17-6 with 11 knockouts.
Lunas won the vacant OPBF 118 pound title with an 8th round TKO over another Japan-based Filipino Jerome Mercado who uses the ring name of Zerofit Jerope Zuiyama on July 31, 2011.
In his first title defense Lunas won by a sensational knockout at 1:30 of the opening round against South Korea’s Ji-Hwon Lee at the International Conference Hall in Nagoya on March 18 this year.
Hall-of-Fame media man and matchmaker Joe Koizumi said Lunas “battered game but limited” Funai.
Koizumi reported that Lunas had the challenger on the verge of a first round demolition hammering Funai from pillar to post and at the end of the eighth round was leading 79-72 on the scorecards of two of the judges with the third posting an 80-72 shutout.
Lunas battered and bloodied the Japanese challenger in the ninth round forcing breferee Fukuchi to wave the fight off.
Lunas dropped a twelve round unanimous decision in a WBA title fight against Anselmo Moreno in Panama on October 30, 2008.