By Joe Koizumi
Photo by Boxing Beat
Merry Christmas! WBA#13 featherweight Hiroshige Osawa (32-4-4, 19 KOs), 125.75, barely defeated WBA#12 super-feather, previously unbeaten Nicaraguan Alexander Mejia (8-1, 4 KOs), 125.5, by a hairline majority decision (96-95, 97-96, 96-96) over ten hard-fought rounds on Sunday in Kadoma, Osaka Prefecture, Japan.
Osawa, regarded as a boxer with good jabbing, gave up fighting in the long range and recklessly mixed it up all the way from the start. Mejia occasionally kept his pressure to Osawa, who responded with his countering shots to the onrushing opponent. Osawa, a veteran campaigner who fought Oscar Valdez with the vacant WBO belt at stake only to be stopped in Las Vegas a year ago, beat world-rated Julio Cortez, Indonesian champ Erick Deztroyer and Mejia since thereafter. Osawa won the last session, which barely carried him to a hard-fought victory.
In the main event, ex-WBC bantam rulter Joichiro Tatsuyoshi’s son, Juiki Tatsuyoshi (7-0, 5 KOs), 121, returned to ring warfare after fourteen months after a ribcage fracture, and impressively dispatched Thai #1 feather contender Nongdear Sor Bangkharu (18-17, 4 KOs), 121.5, at 2:19 of the third round in a scheduled six. Decking the Thailander with a solid right in round two, Juiki swarmed over the fading rival in the third, when he finally decked him with a vicious left to the liver to have Nongdear flattened in agony.
There was only a sparse crowd because of Juiki’s long hiatus or because of the Christmas Eve when people might celebrate it rather than watch boxing fights. Next year you had better not stage a boxing show on the Christmas Eve.