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VILORIA WATCHES AS TUNACAO SUFFERS PAINFUL 12TH ROUND TKO


PhilBoxing.com




Former WBO/WBA flyweight champion Brian Viloria who suffered a painful loss to Mexico’s Juan Francisco Estrada at the Venetian Resort and Hotel Cotai Arena late Saturday watched at ringside in Japan when another Filipino, former WBC flyweight champion Malcolm “Eagle Eye” Tunacao, was battered into submission in twelve rounds by undefeated champion Shinsuke Yamanaka at the Kokugikan Stadium in Tokyo, Monday night.

Viloria had hoped to successfully defend his title and face champion Tokiyushi Igarashi but even that was not to be as challenger Akira Yaegashi won a unanimous twelve round decision to relieve Igarashi of the title in the Tokyo card.

In another title fight for the WBC super featherweight crown Takashi Miura scored four knockdowns to demolish Mexico’s Gamaliel Diaz and win by a 9th round TKO.

In the main event of the championship triple header Yamanaka battered Tunacao who had earned the title shot with a rousing 7th round TKO over Mexico\s Cristian Esquivel in a title eliminator after Esquivel had earlier lost by an 11th round TKO to Yamanaka in a title fight in which he was dropped in rounds six and eleven while sending Yamanaka to the canvas in round seven.

Yamanaka began aggressively and dropped the 35 year old Filipino southpaw twice in the early rounds and had him on the verge of a knockout in the third. But the game Tunacao came back to stun Yamanaka early in round seven forcing Yamanaka to backpedal the rest of the round.

Tunacao sought to capitalize on the break but at the end of round eight when the scores were announced under WBC rules Yamanaka was ahead 77-74 on the card of two judges and 77-73 on the card of the third judge which meant Tunacao had his work cut out for him to salvage a win.

Yamanaka quickly regained the upper-hand and bloodied the right eye of the fighter nicknamed “Eagle Eye” who seemed to fade in the championship rounds and was on survival mode.

But the champion had other ideas and picked up the tempo in the final round dropping the game Tunacao for a third time in the fight forcing referee Michael Griffin to call a halt at 1:57 of round twelve.

Yamanaka maintained his undefeated record, moving to 18-0-1 with 13 knockouts while Tunacao’s eleven fight winning streak was snapped as he dropped to 32-3-3 with 23 knockouts.

WBC executive director and fight supervisor Mauricio Sulaiman told the Manila Standard “Tunacao fought till the end with determination to win the WBC belt but was stopped in round twelve.”


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ronnie Nathanielsz.


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