Last night at the Chungmu Art Hall in Seoul, Korea, In Ji Chi regained the WBC Featherweight belt during a furious twelve round battle with reigning champion Rodolfo Lopez of Mexico.
Lopez had taken the title off Japan's Takashi Koshimoto, who had defeated Chi earlier in the year, just five months ago and was making his first defense by coming to the lion's den of the former champion's hometown.
The Mexican visitor pressed the action early, using his superior height and reach to put the local man on the defensive. Chi was forced to counter attack off the ropes but used his greater experience to conserve energy for the later rounds.
As Lopez began to tire, Chi stepped up his own efforts but had to do so with the added difficulty of a broken finger suffered in the eighth frame. Lopez managed to weather the storm and finished the bout on his feet but lost the WBC crown via scores of 117-111, 116-113 and 116-112.
In Ji Chi moves to 31-3-1 (18) while Rodolfo Lopez drops to 19-3-1 (13).