TUNACAO WINS ELIMINATOR IN JAPAN, EARNS WORLD TITLE SHOT
By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Sun, 23 Dec 2012
Former WBC flyweight champion Malcolm Tunacao has scored a smashing 7th round knockout over Mexico's Christian Esquivel in a title eliminator to earn a crack at World Boxing Council bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka.
The 30 year old Yamanaka won the vacant title when he stopped Esquivel in the 11th round and has successfuly defended the title against Vic Darchinyan of Australia and Tomas Rojas of Mexico.
The title eliminator was held in Kobe, Japan from where Tunacao has been fighting for the last several years.
The 35 year old Filipino southpaw dominated the fight against the 26 year old Esquivel and under the open scoring system of the WBC led 40-36 on the scorecards of all three judges after four rounds.
A vicious right hook going into the final minute of the seventh round dropped Esquivel with the referee not bothering to count as the Mexican remained motionless on the canvas for several minutes.
Esquivel was rushed to hospital for a mandatory post-fight checkup.
The official time was 2:10.
With the win Tunacao improved his record to 32-2-3 with 20 knockouts while Esquivel fell to 25-4 with 18 knockouts.
After avenging Manny Pacquiao's stunning loss to Medgoen Singsurat with a 1st round knockout in Thailand on May 19, 2000, Tunacao unexpectedly lost his title to Thailand's Pongsaklek Wonjongkam by a 1st round knockout in only his second title defense on March 2, 2001.
A former Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation champion, Tunacao has waited patiently for more than a decade for another shot at a world title and a chance to become a two division world champion.
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