By Hisao Adachi
On the Wednesday at Nihon Budokan Arena in Tokyo, Japanese boxer Tomonobu Shimizu (19-3-1, 9KOs, 30 years of age and from Kaneko Boxing Gym in Tokyo) achieved his career dream of winning a world title with a twelve round split decision to capture the WBA super flyweight crown from Mexican veteran Hugo Cazares (35-7-2, 25KOs, 33 years old and from Los Mochis). The scores were close, 114-113 for Hugo Cazares, while other two judges sided with the home boxer, with two scores of 115-113.
The key to Shimizu's success was the fact that he could keep Cazares at the distance and worked his jab, and he also used movement and speed to prevent Cazares from being able to land his hard punches.
Shimizu suffered a cut on his right eyelid from a clash of heads in the first round, but he was able to overcome the injury. Cazares, who rallied strong in the mid rounds, was cut in the corner region of the left eye. Shimizu began to turn the tide in the late rounds with quick combinations on a desperate Cazares who was determined to score a knockout before the fight reached the judges.
Shimizu was able to restore his career after suffering a knockout loss to then flyweight world champion Daisuke Naito in 2008. Shimizu is now going to pursue unifications in his division and he might toy around with the idea of moving up in weight to become a two division world champion.
A fight with highly ranked Daiki Kameda could present a new challenge to Shimizu.
Cazares was not a happy camper with the scores and complained that Shimizu was using his head as a weapon - "I'm sure that I won!" Cazares will now target a rematch with Shimizu, although he might explore his options in the bantamweight division.