By Hisao Adachi
Tepparith Singwancha [AKA Tepparith Kokietgym] has set his sights on a unification with WBC champion Yota Sato (25-2, 12KOs). Tepparith announced his plan after he retained his WBA super flyweight title when he beat former champion Nobuo Nashiro in Osaka, Japan. It was a very close battle. Two judges scored the bout 115-113 and 115-114 in favor of Thailand’s Tepparith, 23. The other judge had it even at 114-114. Tepparith said afterwards that he was willing to give Nashiro a rematch in the future.
"Nashiro is a strong fighter. If he wants to fight against me again, I'm going to accept," said Tepparith, who improved his record to 19 wins, including 11 knockouts, against two defeats.
Tepparith became the interim champion in May 2011 and was promoted to full champion in November when Japanese titleholder Tomonobu Shimizu was unable to defend the belt because of an eye injury.
It was Tepparith's third defense. He defeated Japan's Daiki Kameda in December and won a unification match against Shimizu by a technical knockout in April.
The 30-year-old Nashiro, ranked 14th by the WBA, said before the fight he would quit if he lost.
"I couldn't beat him. He was really tough. I thought I won but a little bit, but it's all right. I did everything that I wanted to do. I'm not changing my mind [about retirement]," he said.
Nashiro's record dropped to 18 wins, including 12 knockouts, against five defeats and a draw.
During his career, Nashiro held the WBA's super flyweight title twice. He won the belt from Martin Castillo in December 2006 and then lost it to Alexander Munoz in May 2007. He managed to capture the belt for a second time by beating Kohei Kono in September 2009 and then losing it again when he lost a close decision to Hugo Cazares in a May 2010 rematch.