Challenger Hozumi Hasegawa missed out on becoming only the second Japanese boxer after Koki Kameda to win world titles in three different divisions on Wednesday, when he was beaten by IBF super bantamweight champion Kiko Martinez of Spain.
The 33-year-old Hasegawa lost by technical knockout after his bout was stopped 80 seconds into the seventh round, when he was knocked to the canvas for the second time at Osaka-Jo Hall.
Martinez had the 13th-ranked Hasegawa on the ropes and sent him down with a flurry of punches in the second round before the Spaniard finished him off in the seventh.
It was Hasegawa’s first world title match since he lost his WBC featherweight crown in April 2011.
Martinez improved to 31 wins (23 KOs) against four losses, while Hasegawa saw his record drop to 33-5 (15 KOs).
In a later bout, Japan’s Shinsuke Yamanaka successfully defended his WBC bantamweight crown on for the sixth time, when he stopped Stephane Jamoye of Belgium with a technical knockout in the ninth round.
Yamanaka ended his fight against Jamoye, the WBC’s third-ranked challenger, 11 seconds into the ninth round. The Japanese fighter took command of the bout early, pummeling his opponent with powerful lefts. Yamanaka improved to 21-0 with two draws and 16 wins by knockout. Jamoye’s record fell to 25 wins against 30 defeats.
Jamoye was finally overcome by a ferocious left-handed body blow that earned Yamanaka his fifth straight win by knockout.
“I’m glad I could energize the place with a knockout,” Yamanaka said.