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Japan's Hasegawa retains WBC bantamweight title


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KOBE (AFP) – Hozumi Hasegawa successfully defended his World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight title on Friday in the Japanese city of Kobe with a technical knock-out of Alvaro Perez.


The knock-out came two minutes 38 seconds into the fourth round when the Japanese champion connected with a left to the face twice, sending the challenger from Nicaragua onto the floor.


"I was ready to fight the 12 rounds because many people have complained that my bouts finish too quickly. I don't think they will this time," said Hasegawa, 29, after a fifth straight knockout.


"It's been the 10th year since I turned professional and this is my 10th defence of the title. Everybody expects me to do well, so I tried not to feel pressure.


"It was not my tactics to get a knock-out. I just tried to fight my boxing and go for it when I had a chance. He has a strong punch. Although I won by a KO today, it was a tough fight."


Perez unleashed a left hook to send the champion staggering in the second round, but he was shocked by Hasegawa's left straight twice in the fourth round.


Hasegawa took the title when he defeated 14-time champion Veeraphol Nakhonluang of Thailand in April 2005. He improved his record to 28 wins, including 12 KOs, against two defeats.


The 27-year-old Perez, ranked ninth in the WBC, saw his record reduced to 18 wins, including 12 KOs, against two defeats, one draw and three null and void.




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