Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Akira Yaegashi Tops Edgar Sosa, Defends Flyweight Crown

By Jake Donovan

Edgar Sosa traveled to Japan in hopes of claiming the World lineal flyweight championship as well as causing a major stir in the Fighter of the Year debate.

Neither of those events occurred, nor did the likelihood of Akira Yaegashi landing in a Fight of the Year-worthy contest in a third straight year. What Yaegashi did manage, however, was a successful defense of his flyweight crown, defeating Sosa by unanimous decision Friday evening in Tokyo, Japan.

Yaegashi has been a part of two of the best fights in the lower weight classes in recent years. His epic 10th round knockout of Pornsawan Porpramook two years ago was an instant YouTube classic, creating enough of a groundswell to force the industry to take notice. The cult campaign led to the bout rightfully being named as 2011’s Fight of the Year.

A similar level of savagery was offered in his narrow points loss to countryman Kazuto Ioka. Their June ’12 strawweight unification bout marked the first time in boxing history two reigning titlists from Japan ever faced each other. The action didn’t disappoint at all, garnering Honorable Mention consideration for 2012 Fighter of the Year among most respected outlets.

Friday’s showdown versus Mexico’s Sosa was expected to fall along those same lines. In that sense, the bout was a bit of a letdown, though still not without its shortage of entertainment.

There were no knockdowns scored over the course of the 12-round main event, nor was there any suggestion of sustained punishment on the part of either fighter. Both can be attributed to Yaegashi’s decision to punch and move rather than stand and trade.

The strategy worked to a tee for much of the night. Open scoring had the defending champion well ahead through four rounds (39-37 twice and 40-36) and again through eight (80-72, 79-73 and 77-75). Physically, Sosa offered a respectable account of himself, but mathematically had no chance of winning a decision as the bout headed into the championship rounds.

Yaegashi grew braver as the fight wore on, creating thrilling exchanges down the stretch. Sosa dug deep during the 12th and final round. The challenger was clearly in desperation mode by that point, but never stopped trying as he enjoyed his best punch output of the fight.

It was enough to dent Yaegashi’s left eye, but not the scorecards. Tallies of 117-111 (twice) and 116-112 gives Yaegashi his fourth win on the year as his record moves to 19-3 (9KO).

The win also marked the second successful defense of the flyweight crown Yaegashi earned earlier this year, when outpointing countryman Toshiyuki Igarashi this past April.

Sosa sees a terrific 2013 campaign end in a letdown, but by no means a disappointment. The former 108 lb. titlist falls to 49-8 (29KO), ending a six-fight win streak. A win on Friday would have not only garnered Sosa consideration for Fighter of the Year, but also prompt conversation of whether or not he'd one day make his way to a Hall of Fame ballot.

A 13-year career includes 10 wins over past, current or future world champions, including a pair of terrific entries in 2013. Sosa came into the flyweight title bid on the heels of a decision win over Giovani Segura and a 2nd round knockout of Ulises 'Archie' Solis. The latter avenged two previous losses Sosa suffered earlier in his career.

Just like that, it's back to the drawing board for the 34-year old. However, a solid 2013 campaign serves as motivation to prompt perhaps one more run in the not-too-distant future.

Meanwhile, Yaegashi ponders his next move in his life as lord of the flyweights. Hotly rumored is a rematch with Ioka, who plans to vacate the 108 lb. title he won just one year ago in his first fight following the unification win over Yaegashi. The undefeated two-division title claimant returns to the ring on New Year's Eve - a tradition three years running - after which a defection to the flyweight division is in store for 2014.

Should that rematch not materialize (next or otherwise), there exists the possibility of Yaegashi, who turns 31 in February, facing streaking knockout artist Luis Concepcion. From an alphabet sense, the Panamian flyweight is the next highest-rated contender, and has won seven straight since a pair of losses to Hernan 'Tyson' Marquez in 2011.

Either scenario would easily land Yaegashi back in the center of any Fight of the Year discussion. Every once in a while, though, just winning is enough to get through the day, which on Friday evening was the case for the defending flyweight champion of the world.

The bout aired via one-hour tape delay on Fuji TV in Japan.

In supporting action:

- 2012 Olympic Gold medalist Ryota Murata (2-0, 2KO) scored an eighth round stoppage of American challenger David Peterson (13-2, 8KO)

- Naoya and Takuma Inoue both impressed on the undercard. 20-year old Naoya Inoue (5-0, 4KO) scored a 5th round knockout of Filipino prospect Jerson Mancio (18-4-3, 9KO), while younger brother Takuma enjoyed a successful pro debut with a six-round decision over Tatsuyu Fukuhara. Scores were 59-55 (twice) and 59-56 in favor of Inoue, who turns 18 later this month.

A full recap of the undercard can be found HERE.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by ShoulderRoll on 12-06-2013

A rematch with Ioka would be sweet.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Gilberto Ramirez: I'll Go To 175, I'm Ready To Challenge Gvozdyk News: Raeese Aleem, Abraham Nova, Peres-Daniels Rematch Gilberto Ramirez Retains, Majority Nod Over Jesse Hart Gilberto Ramirez vs. Jesse Hart II - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Gervonta Davis vs. Abner Mares Heads To San Diego, Feb. 9 Fielding: Canelo is a Big Challenge - But One I Look Forward To Gilberto Ramirez vs. Jesse Hart - LIVE Results From Texas Hearn: If Wilder Doesn't Want Joshua - Nothing We Can Do Samuel Clarkson vs. Ryad Merhy in Charleroi, Belgium David Benavidez Back in Action on Spence vs. Garcia Card De La Hoya: I Built Golden Boy, White Had Fertittas To Build UFC Canelo: I'll Return To 160, But We Can Do Fights Between 160-168 Photos: Katie Taylor, Eva Wahlstrom - On Point For Showdown Photos: Tevin Farmer, Francisco Fonseca - Ready For Title Clash Photos: Canelo, Rocky Fielding - Ready For Battle at MSG Canelo-Fielding Weigh-In Results From Madison Square Garden Bradley Skeete Will Now Headline ESPN+ Card From Brentwood Dehydrated Lemieux Hospitalized, Won't Fight Tureano Johnson Brett Yormark Leads New Advisory Board For Haymon Sports Photos: Manny Pacquiao Raising His Intensity Level in Camp News: Jason Welborn, Zachary Ochoa, Bowen-Clark, Yarde, More De La Hoya: This Fight Can Be Very Dangerous For Canelo Mauricio Herrera Aims To "Mentally" Break Sadam Ali Deontay Wilder: I've Had Seven Surgeries on My Arm Charlo: Sooner or Later, Canelo & GGG Have To Answer To Me! Canelo vs. Fielding Nearly Got Derailed By Passport Mix-Up Genesis Servania Would Love Another Crack at Oscar Valdez UK News: Sunny Edwards, Foley vs. Brown, Joseph Roswell Khan Smiles: I Would Have Stopped Kell Brook in Six Rounds One Fight In, Is Canelo's Contract Already Problem For DAZN? Luther Clay Looking to Step Up in Competition in 2019 Vincent Feigenbutz Out of WBO Eliminator For Ramirez Shot? De La Hoya: I Strongly Believe Canelo Will KO Golovkin in Trilogy Video: Hearn Talks Canelo-Jacobs, Joshua, Wilder, Fury, More Video: Canelo Alvarez Sits Down To Discuss Rocky Fielding Clash Photos: Joseph Parker, Alexander Flores Ready For Battle Charlo, Harrison Support Communities Before Title Clash De La Hoya To White: Let's Get in The Ring on Cinco De Mayo! De La Hoya Concerned With Size Difference in Canelo-Fielding Joshua Throws Water at Tyson Fury's Lineal Champion Claim
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement