Advertisement
Advertisement

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 Amir Khan: Arum is Bitter, He's Scared To Do The Pacquiao Fight! Photos: Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz, Malignaggi, Garcia Workouts Photo: Kell Brook Embraces VADA Testing For Golovkin Shot Amnat Ruenroeng Vows To Get Olympic Gold For His Family Photos: Andre Ward Cheers on Kevin Durant, Team USA Czar Glazkov Still Recovering, Return is Possible in November Video: Golovkin's Coach on Terence Crawford, Kell Brook, More Leo Santa Cruz: If Dad Didn't Get Better, I May Have Pulled Out Lucas Browne Enters WBC's VADA Drug Testing Program Frankie Gavin vs. Sam Eggington Looms For October Clash Luke Campbell Focused, Aims To Do a Job on Argenis Mendez Otto Wallin Faces Osborne Machimana on September 10th Liam Walsh to meet Andrey Klimov in IBF final eliminator Leo Santa Cruz Fearful Frampton Won’t Come To Fight Saturday Loeffler on GGG-Brook: The Best at 147 Facing The Best at 160 Bradley Warns: Crawford Can Win, But Pacquiao is NO Postol HBO Sports Head: We Want To Match The Best Fights Possible Olympic Boxers, Now Without Headgear, Worry About Cuts Dimitrenko Confident of Beating Parker, Derailing Joshua Fight Marlon Tapales Shocks Pungluang Sor Singyu, Wins WBO Belt Paul Smith Set For September Return, Won't Be on Liverpool Bill Abel Sanchez: Manny Pacquiao Should Fight Keith Thurman Photos: Robert Guerrero, Alfredo Angulo, Gausha Presser Paulie Malignaggi’s Master Plan: This is Just Step One Loeffler: Golovkin Will Have 3 Fights Prior To Canelo Fight Alfredo Angulo Eyes Gold: I Want a World Title Shot in 2017! Video: Timothy Bradley Talks Pacquiao vs. Crawford, More Video: Loeffler Talks Golovkin vs. Brook HBO Tripleheader Robert Guerrero Aims For Rematch With Danny Garcia Leo Santa Cruz Says Having Dad in NYC Brought Him To Tears Photos: Joseph Diaz, Nick Arce, Roy Tapia Putting in Work Gamboa's Coach: One or Two More, Then Bring on Lomacheneko! Ruben Villa Inks Promotional With Banner and Thompson HBO Sports Head: Chocolatito Has Gotta Perform With Cuadras Tapales Struggles To Make Weight For Sor Singyu WBO Title Fight Photos: Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz Face To Face in NYC WBC Prez on Crawford: One Voluntary, Then Mandatory Fight Jonathan Guzman Robbed of $70,000 Purse at The Airport Prince Naseem Backs Frampton To Get Job Done With Santa Cruz WBC Prez: Povetkin-Wilder Situation To Be Resolved Soon
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement