by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Philippine bantamweight champion Monico Laurente has lost to Japanese southpaw Yusuke Suzuki by a unanimous decision in an eight round bout at the famed Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
The fight was on the undercard of the OPBF light middleweight title rematch between the hard-hitting Koji Numata and the tough Takehiro Shimokawara.
The 30 year old Laurente, younger brother of Dennis and Pederito Laurente lost in a fairly close fight with the all three judges having Suzuki the winner by margins of 77-74, 77-75 and 76-75.
With the loss Laurente drops to 24-12 with 5 knockouts while the 25 year old Suzuki improves to 5-1 with 3 knockouts.
Suzuki has been described by Claro Sports as a very promising super flyweight who has a domestic ranking in Japan and heavy hands although he was giving up a sizeable amount of experience to Laurente.
Significantly, Laurente hasn’t won any of his five fights in Japan or any of his seven fights outside the Philippines and had lost four of his last five fights which the boxing site pointed out as an indication that his career may well be on a notable downslide.
In his last fight Laurente dropped a unanimous eight round decision to another Japanese Yuta Nakagawa last June 9.
Laurente won the Philippine bantamweight title with a unanimous twelve round decision over game Rey Las Pinas on March 25, 2012 and has successfully defended his title against Elmar Francisco and Jetro Pabustan.
Laurente also fought undefeated Tomoki Kameda and lost by a shutout over ten rounds on August 19, 2012 in a bout where both fighters weighed in at an identical 121 ½ pounds.
Since then Kameda went on to win the world WBO bantamweight title with a 7th round knockout over Thailand’s Pungluang Sor Singyu last July 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.