Former world flyweight titleholder Daigo Higa returned to the ring Thursday night, stopping Jason Buenaobra in round 6 at the famed Korakuen Hall in his hometown of Tokyo, Japan.
With the victory, Higa improves to 16-1, 16 knockouts.
Higa was fighting for the first time in almost two years, when he was stopped by Nicaragua’s Cristofer Rosales in April 2018. Higa was defending his WBC flyweight title, but was stripped of the title the day before at the weigh-in when he was two pounds over the limit of 112 pounds.
The 24-year-old broke the taller Buenaobra down from the opening bell. The southpaw Buenaobra was game, but the stronger Higa continued to walk him down with each passing round.
Higa continued to batter Buenaobra during the middle rounds, weakening him with each barrage of punches. Several combinations from Higa in round six prompted referee Yuki Fukuchi at 2:25.
Both fighters weighed in at 118.75 pounds for the fight and it would be interesting to see whether Higa would remain and fight as a bantamweight or drop down in weight and compete at 115 pounds.
Buenaobra, who resides in Manila in the Philippines, drops to 7-5-3, 3 KOs.
Lightweight prospect Shuichiro Yoshino stopped Izuki Tomioka (7-3-1, 2 KOs) at 1:55 of the eighth round. At the time of the stoppage, Yoshino (12-0, 10 KOs) was down on two of the judges’ scorecards, 68-64 and 67-65. The third judge had the fight even 66-66.
The 28-year-old Yoshino won the Japanese lightweight title.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing