Urged on by a rabid hometown audience, it was an inspired performance from Japanese super flyweight Tomonobu Shimizu that produced a shocking upset of WBA champion Hugo Fidel Cazares last night at Tokyo’s Nihon Budokan.
Shimizu, who had fought most of his career at flyweight, started the contest absolutely on fire, strafing Mexican southpaw Cazares with long-armed hooks from every conceivable angle.
The slower champion was taken aback by the assault and patiently rode out the storm as fast-handed Shimizu banked the early frames with a much higher workrate.
When the challenger began to slow down, the far more experienced Cazares went to work, methodically cutting off the ring and landing hard shots to sweep the middle rounds.
But Shimizu somehow managed to regain control over the later rounds, getting in with punches before slipping back out before Cazares, who was fighting with a bad cut above his left eye, could effectively return fire.
When the scores were read, Shimizu had pulled off one of the year’s biggest upsets, winning a split decision by marks of 115-113, 115-113 versus a 115-114 for Cazares.
Shimizu, 19-3-1 (9), wins the WBA super flyweight crown after losing two WBC flyweight bids while Cazares, 35-7-2 (25), sees a four defense title reign go up in smoke.
WBA bantamweight king Koki Kameda had a difficult night with previously undefeated Mexican David De La Mora but managed to hold onto his title after 12 rounds.
Early on, Kameda showed his skill as a boxer, whipping in superb shots that caught the challenger flat-footed many times and in the third, De La Mora had to climb off the canvas.
From that point on however, Kameda stopped boxing and began to look for the one punch that would end the fight, allowing the visitor to get in close and apply pressure without having to face a lot of incoming fire.
De La Mora grew more confident as the rounds wore on but neither fighter seemed able to take control of the second half of the bout, producing a lackluster affair.
After the 12 rounds had run their course, Kameda won a close 115-112, 115-113 and 114-113 unanimous decision, retaining the WBA belt for the second time while De La Mora, 23-1 (16), suffers defeat for the first time.