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Boxing In Japan: Nashiro Retains WBA Belt In Osaka

Local hero Nobuo Nashiro cemented his status as Osaka's top boxer as the super flyweight retained his WBA crown for the first time with a victory last night at Prefectural Gymnasium in his hometown.

Nashiro, 13-1 (8), had won the WBA belt initially in 2006 but was dethroned a year later by Venezuelan slugger Alexander Munoz in Tokyo. The 27 year old regained his old world title last summer but only by razor thin split decision against OPBF and Japanese titlist Kohei Kono.

Last night against towering Tokyo man Konosuke Tomiyama, 18-2 (6), Nashiro faced down the challenge of another OPBF titlist, overwhelming the 25 year old at 1:21 of the eighth round.

Incidentally, the occasion marked the first time that Tomiyama had ever fought away from Tokyo's historic Korakuen Hall in his five year professional career.

The undercard featured good action as Kyoto prospect Etsuko Tada, 5-0 (2), stepped way up in competition to unseat previously undefeated South Korean WBA Champion Cho-Rong Son, 10-1 (3), via a wide points decision after ten rounds.

There was also a Japanese middleweight title clash as reigning champion Tetsuya Suzuki, 22-7 (14), of Osaka went to war with fellow southpaw Makoto Fuchigami, 10-6 (2), of Tokyo and came away with a difficult split decision victory after ten torrid rounds.

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Photos by Sami Lommi and Jussi Talvitie of Photolies

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