Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Tunacao Flattens Esquivel In Seven; Hasegawa Tops Santos

By Jake Donovan

More than a decade after his last title fight, 35-year old Malcolm Tunacao has punched his way back into contention.  

The former lineal flyweight king earned a mandatory bantamweight title shot after knocking out Christian Esquivel in the 7th round Saturday evening in his adopted home of Kobe, Japan. 

Tunacao was in charge for most of the contest against a determined foe nine years his junior. Open scoring revealed the Filipino southpaw to lead 40-36 on all three scorecards after four rounds, though the judges' final tallies would eventually prove moot.

A right hook put Esquivel down and out, with no count necessary as the Mexican laid motionless on the canvas for several minutes. 

The official time was 2:10 of round seven.

Tunacao improves to 32-2-3 (20KO), scoring his 11th straight win. Esquivel's record dips to 25-4 (18KO). All four losses have come inside the distance, this particular one sending him to the hospital for post-fight observation.

The last time Tunacao was in a title fight was way back in 2001 and as the answer to a trivia question. His 1st round knockout loss to Pongsaklek Wonjongkam ended his own brief stay as lineal flyweight champ after less than 10 months, while starting off the Thai's record-breaking title reign. 

More than a decade later, the 35-year old finds himself a win away from becoming a two-division champ. Saturday's knockout victory made him the mandatory challenger to unbeaten bantamweight titlist Shinsuke Yamanaka. 

The belt currently in Yamanaka's possession was once proudly owned by Hozumi Hasegawa. The former two-division champ was also victorious on Saturday's card, taking a 10-round decision over Mexico's Arturo Santos.

Scores were 98-93, 98-94 and 97-95 for Hasegawa, who employed stellar defense while fending off a determined Santos. 

Hasegawa is two fights removed from a brief featherweight title reign, though his coming in at 123 lb. for this fight suggests a possible run at super bantamweight could be in his future. The 30-year old seemed to quickly adapt to the featherweight division, looking impressive in his Nov. '10 vacant title win over previously unbeaten Juan Carlos Burgos.

He also looked good against Jhonny Gonzalez for about three rounds before suffering a fourth round knockout loss. His one-way bantamweight title unification bout with Fernando Montiel two fights prior developed in similar fashion, leading early before he was stopped on his feet towards the end of the fourth round.

Those losses behind him, Hasegawa has now won two straight as he improves to 31-4 (13KO). 

Santos, best known for giving Montiel hell in a disputed split decision loss earlier this year, falls to 12-3 (4KO). The Mexican prospect has now gone the distance in all four of his bouts in 2012, amassing 44 total rounds in the process. 

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by giacomino on 12-22-2012

Tunacao should have gotten a title shot years ago. Good that he's finally getting one now

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Parker's Promoter Sees Tyson Fury as a Camp Boost For Joshua Malignaggi Warns: Horn Will Not Be That Easy For Crawford Barthelemy Takes Advantage of Delayed Date For Relikh Title Fight Nico Hernandez vs. Jozsef Ajtai Set For February 10 Miguel Cotto, Golden Boy Announce Series of Shows at PR Presser IBF Goes Through Some Changes To Start Off The New Year The Contender is Officially Coming Back in 2018 - On EPIX Photos: Ryota Murata, Emanuele Blandamura - Go Face To Face Spence: If Anybody Saw Flaws They Can Capitalize On - Call Al! Parker: Joshua Doesn't Take Criticism Well, I'll Smile at His Punches Otto Wallin Assures That Adrian Granat Showdown Will Happen Errol Spence on Keith Thurman: I'm Gonna Smoke Him Easy! Weekend Review: Spence Impressive, Easter Struggles, More Javier Fortuna: I'll Go to Easter's Hometown to Get My Rematch Spence: 'I Have No Idea' if Garcia Would Fight Me Next; Ask Him! Errol Spence vs. Lamont Peterson: Afterthoughts Usyk Training Very Hard, Calls Briedis His "Biggest Challenge" Yet Jamie Moore Talks Shooting, Recovery, Frampton-Donaire Anthony Joshua Plans To Be Quicker, Aims To Crack Parker's Chin Jayson Mama Wins WBO Regional Belt With TKO Victory Cesar Barrionuevo Blasts Out Adrian Veron in One Round Andy Lee, O'Sullivan Both Ready To Face Daniel Jacobs Ryota Murata vs. Emanuele Blandamura on April 15 in Japan Errol Spence - 'The Truth' About Ambition Shannon Briggs: After I Beat Fury, They Must Give Me Title Shot! Mares on Santa Cruz Rematch, Valdez-Quigg, Frampton-Donaire Petit vs. Kasmi Ends in Violence After Riot Erupts - Video Joshua Admits That Parker's Steroid Taunts Got Under His Skin DiBella Doubts Arum Wants to Put Crawford in With Spence Now Anthony Joshua Explains Why He's in No Rush To Fight in America Joseph Diaz: I Want To Beat Gary Russell, Unify 126 By 2019 Gilberto Ramirez Would Travel to UK For Groves, Eubank, Smith Parker's Promoter: Exposing Joshua's Glass Jaw Got Us The Fight Porter: Spence Isn't an Option Next; I'm Not Ranked By the IBF Kiram is Inspired By Sor Rungvisai To Shock Lucas Matthysse Marcus Browne: I Need a World Title Shot, I'll Face Any Champ! Photos: Robert Easter Survives Close Call With Javier Fortuna Alexander: If Victor Ortiz Lasts Seven Rounds - I'll Be Surprised Photos: Errol Spence Gives Lamont Peterson a Vicious Beating Joe Joyce on Daniel Dubois: I Don't Think He Really Wants It!
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement