The World Boxing Association (WBA) Light Flyweight Champion, Japanese veteran Ryoichi Taguchi, will defend his crown during the last night of the year against Filipino Milan Melindo, who holds the International Boxing Federation (IBF) title, and both fighters made weight for their fight at the Grand Palace Hotel in Tokyo.

Taguchi intends to maintain his supremacy in the division and to close the year in style. The Japanese boxer hit the scales at 107.5 pounds, while his challenger stopped it at 107.3 pounds, and now both are ready for the unification title fight at 108 pounds.

The WBA champion has a record of 26 wins, 2 losses, 2 draws and 12 knockouts. Melindo, meanwhile, has a record of 37 wins, 2 losses and 13 knockouts.

IN OTHER NEWS: Vakufilapo “Cowboy” Nashivela announced himself to the scene as one to keep a close eye on, when he won the vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) All Africa Super Welterweight title on Friday night, December 29, at The Dome in Swakopmund, Namibia.

On a show billed as “Desert Rumble”, televised by Kwese Sports and promoted by Kalakoda Promotions in association with Salute Boxing Promotions, the undefeated Namibian demolished normally durable George Mdluli from South Africa in only 47 seconds of the first round.

Having won the Namibian national title last June, 28-year-old Nashivela was confident and determined from the get-go, and he quickly found his mark with a massive right hook to the jaw which send Mdluli flying through the ropes.

Very experienced, and game as they come, Mdluli amazingly beat the ten-count, but when he failed to respond properly to the instructions of referee Lazarus Nainda the fight was waved off and Nashivela declared the winner after an astonishing display.

Powerful and skilled, Nashivela improved his professional record to 6-0 (5) and will, surely have many more impressive performances in the future. Mdluli (35), a former champion of the KwaZulu Natal province, falls to 8-5-1 (3).