By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Thailand’s WBA flyweight champion Denkaosan Kaovichit has retained his title with a somewhat controversial split decision over Japanese challenger Hiroyuki Hisataka, who was ranked No. 12, in a fight card at the Central Stadium in Uttaradit Province in Thailand.
Two of the three judges, Stanley Christodolou of South Africa (115-112) and Kwang Tal Yoon of South Korea (115-112) voted for the 32 year old Denkaosan but Filipino judge Silvestre “Ver” Abainza had 24 year old Hisataka the winner 115-113.
With the win Denkaosan improved to 47-1-1 with 20 knockouts while Histaka fell to 17-8-1 with 6 knockouts.
The champion appeared to have the edge over the first half of the twelve round bout against the underdog Hisataka who counter-punched effectively against the more aggressive Denkaosan. Hisataka dropped Denkaosan with a right counter in round five but the referee ruled it a slip.
However, Denkaosan began to tire in the so-called championship rounds which sparked a rally by Hisataka with the challenger clearly winning the last two rounds.
The Thai champion was also deducted a point for repeated blows to the back of the challenger’s head.
Hours before the fight Denkaosan said he is “one hundred percent ready” both physically and mentally and vowed to give of his best to please Thai fight fans but reports from Bangkok indicated he didn’t live up to his promise.
Denkaosan had also revealed plans to use his right effectively since he was trained on how to throw the punch by boxing legend Khaosai Galaxy.
Denkaosan said Khaosai has “helped me a mot this time. He thought me a valuable technique that gave him global fame. He told me to focus on hitting the body with my right which would help me win.”
Former world champion Veeraphol Sahaprom who watched Hisataka train at his gym in Nonthaburi said the Japanese was a top challenger who could not be underestimated.