Naoya “Monster” Inoue (13-0, 11 KOs) continued his assault on the 115-Pound division with a third round knockout of mandatory challenger Ricardo Rodriguez (16-4, 5 KOs) in Tokyo, Japan. Rodriguez was a fish out of the water, unable to deter the “Monster” from once more wrecking havoc, a countering left hook in the third shutting the lights out on his title challenge and any hope of beating the count.
IBF interim junior flyweight champ Milan Melindo (36-2, 13 KOs) unified the IBF belts, needing just one round to stop the now former IBF full titlist Akira Yaegashi (25-6, 13 KOs). Yaegashi, in reality, should have brought a pillow, finding the cold comfort of the canvas on three occasions before the fight was mercifully called to a halt.
Rather quizzically, an away fighter Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (34-2, 21 KOs) took home the vacant WBA middleweight belt but must have been thanking his lucky stars as the judges awarded a split decision victory over previously undefeated 2012 Olympic gold medalist Ryota Murata (12-1, 9 KOs).
It was thought by all apart from two of the judges at ringside that Murata had won the bout, dropping N’Dam in round four and generally controlling the action as a jittery N’Dam moved regularly to negate the power of Murata.
The official tallies were: Gustavo Padilla (Panama) 116-111, Hubert Earl (Canada) 115-112, both for N’Dam, and Raul Caiz Jr. (US) 117-110 for Murata.
Via Social Media WBA President Gilberto Jesus Mendoza apologised for the scoring putting out a statement that read “I feel angry and frustrated for not being able to serve the sport with the right decisions. After judging the bout, my scorecard is 117-110 for Murata. First of all let me apologise to Ryota Murata, Teiken Promotions and ALL Japanese boxing fans. There are no words how to repair the damage caused by the poor decision. I will demand the Championship Committee order a direct rematch.”
All aboard the Daigo Higo (13-0, 13 KOs) bandwagon as hard hitting Japanese fighter claimed the WBC flyweight title with a brilliant TKO victory over ex-champ Juan Hernandez (36-4, 26 KOs) in the sixth round.
Higo showed why so many are claiming him to be the division’s best with a show of power, dropping Hernandez once in the second and four more times in the sixth.
Ken Shiro defeated the defending WBC light-flyweight champ Ganigan Lopez via a close majority decision of 115-113 twice, 114-114.
Shiro the son of former OPBF light heavyweight champ Hisashi Teraji, showed that the new generation is by far the better with talent by the bucketload.