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 nowPost a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Shawn Porter: Expect Me To Try To Knock Andre Berto Out! Brook Won't Worry About Orbital Bone When He Fights Spence Photos: Linares, Crolla - Go Face To Face at Final Rematch Presser Jason Quigley: I'm Ready For This Giant Step in My Career Nico Hernandez Details Long Road, Motivated as Pro Debut Nears Brook's Trainer Doesn't See Spence as Best American Welterweight Salido's Manager: Politics Killed Roman Fight For Canelo-Chavez Brook: Forget Golovkin Fight; I'm Gonna Smash Spence's Face In! IBF: If Nobody Agrees, Beterbiev Will Face Ward-Kovalev Winner Daniel Franco Wants World Title Shot By The End of The Year Dusty Harrison To Face Matthew Strode in Washington, D.C. Video: Nicola Adams on Virgil Hunter as Coach, Pro Run, More Malignaggi: What Happens When Brook Lands Big Shot on Spence? Golovkin Still Pound-For-Pound Number One, Says Lomachenko Skender Halili Returns, Faces Eduardo Flores in New Jersey Khan Claims There Was Proof of Funds For Pacquiao Fight Linares-Crolla II: A Most Intriguing Rematch Amir Khan Explains The Big Fallout With Team Members Lomachenko Open To Show McGregor The Basics for Mayweather Arum Very Willing To Do Mikey Garcia vs. Vasyl Lomachenko Arum: Jacobs Did Good, But Golovkin Won - 7 Rounds To 5 Rigondeaux vs. Flores Purse Bid Ordered For April 3 Photos: Vasyl Lomachenko, Usyk, Gvozdyk Open Workout Photos: Quigley-Tapia, Caballero, Herrera, Esparza - Weigh-In Video: Lomachenko on Calling Out McGregor, Sosa Bout, More Video: Amir Khan Putting in Work For Planned Ring Return Brook's Trainer: GGG Wasn't Same vs. Jacobs After Battling Brook Joseph Parker vs. Hughie Fury - Ticket Information Video: Amir Khan on Pacquiao, Brook, Mayweather-McGregor Oleg Maskaev: No Retirement, I Plan To Return To The Ring Video: Errol Spence's Trainer Breaks Down Kell Brook Fight Brook: Spence Made Big Mistake, Bit Off More Than He Can Chew Crawford vs. Diaz - Agreement in Place, on HBO, May 20 in Newark Video: Kell Brook Vows To Land 'Chocolate Brownie' on Spence Video: Errol Spence Talks Brook Fight, Explains 'Man Down' Ringstar Sports Prospects To Make Pro Debuts on April 9 Video: Brook vs. Spence - Face To Face, Presser Fireworks Spence To Brook: You Clown, Living Off Two Good Rounds With GGG! Marco Huck Wants To Bring The Pain To Mairis Briedis Photos: Kell Brook, Errol Spence - Face To Face at Heated Presser!
Latest Boxing Video Video: Nicola Adams on Virgil Hunter as Coach, Pro Run, More Video: Lomachenko on Calling Out McGregor, Sosa Bout, More Video: Amir Khan Putting in Work For Planned Ring Return Video: Amir Khan on Pacquiao, Brook, Mayweather-McGregor Video: Errol Spence's Trainer Breaks Down Kell Brook Fight Video: Kell Brook Vows To Land 'Chocolate Brownie' on Spence Video: Errol Spence Talks Brook Fight, Explains 'Man Down' Video: Brook vs. Spence - Face To Face, Presser Fireworks Video: Daniel Jacobs' Trainer Breaks Down Golovkin Outcome Video: Daniel Jacobs Discusses Loss To Gennady Golovkin, More
Recent Top Stories
Latest Active Forum Threads