Gamaliel Diaz beat Takahiro Aoh on points in Tokyo on Saturday to become the WBC super-featherweight champion. Diaz jabbed his way to a unanimous decision – 114-112 on two cards and 115-111 – to upset the champion in front of his supporters. The 31-year-old Mexican, in his third attempt to win a world title, got off to a good start, unleashing a couple of straight rights to Aoh's face. Photos by Naoki Fukuda and Bob Maroni.
He added another punishing series in the second round but was penalized a point for a head-butt in the third round. The clash drew blood from Aoh's right eyebrow, but it did not make a difference as Diaz was always on top. The Japanese fighter was unable to defend himself against Diaz's jabs and it became clear the belt was slipping away from him, even when Diaz lost another point after a low blow in the fifth round.
The new champion, ranked fourth by the WBC before the bout, improved his record to 37 wins, including 17 short-cut wins, against nine defeats and two draws. Aoh, 28, was making his fourth defence of the title. The defeat caused his record to drop to 23 wins, including 10 knockouts, against three defeats and a draw.
"My dream came true. I was calm from the very first round. I received several heavy punches, but he was unable to knock me out," said Diaz.
Aoh said: "I wasn't strong enough to beat him. I grew intense after my sight became worse. I tried to move forward, but I lost my balance."