Philippines, 28 Jan 2023
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MTHALANE TKO SAKAMOTO IN 10, RETAINS IBF FLYWEGHT BELT


PhilBoxing.com




MACAU ? Wily veteran IBF world flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane of South Africa gave his upstart challenger Masahiro Sakamoto a boxing lesson by dominating the Japanese the whole night en route to a 10th round stoppage to retain his belt at the Grand Theater of the Wynn Palace Cotai Monday evening here.

Mthalane (37-2-0, 25KOs) used his outstanding boxing skill to outpoint Sakamoto (13-2-0, 9KOs) every round in a toe-to-toe fight that happened mostly in the center of the ring and without clinching, just plain throwing strategic in your face punches. It was this kind of exchanges that the fighter from South Africa, who captured his first world title in 2009, excelled and homed in lefts and rights to Sakamot's body and head eluding Sakamoto's defenses.

Mthalane piled up points as the rounds progressed but Sakamoto refused to surrender and tried very hard to penetrate Mthalane's solid defenses and sometimes connecting with lefts to the body and rights to the head but these were few and in between.



By the sixth round Mthalane was looking to stop his opponent by landing heavier and crisper blows but the Japanese refused to die and kept on going forward. By the eight round, Mthalane's punishments left marks on Sakamoto's body, inflicting a cut on the right eyebrow and his right eye almost closed. Referee Ignatius Missalidis had the ring physician checked Sakamoto after the 8th round and at the beginning of the 10th round. After Sakamoto received more heavy punches in the 10rh round, the referee decided he had seen enough and stopped the fight for a TKO victory for Mthalane.

Next up.. the main event between Donnie Nietes of the Philippines against Kazuto Ioka of Japan for the vacant WBO world super flyweight championship.


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