Kuniaki Shibati of Japan retained his World Boxing Council featherweight title on Thursday (3 June), with a first round knockout over Raul Cruz of Mexico.
LV boxers and referee in ring
CU timekeeper who starts fight.
LV & MV start of fight (Shibata in white shorts). (2 shots)
SV Mexican supporters
MV fight in progress with both boxers attacking each other (2 shots)
STV Shibata attacking Cruz in corner of ring and knock him out, with referee sending Shibata into neutral corner.
SCU Cruz being attended to by doctor on canvas
SV Shibata wearing championship belt and arms rised.
Initials PS/0.05 PS./0.27
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Background: Kuniaki Shibati of Japan retained his World Boxing Council featherweight title on Thursday (3 June), with a first round knockout over Raul Cruz of Mexico. Shibata was making his first title defence, since winning the championship from Mexico's Vicente Saldivar in December.
A savage right hook from Shibata sent Cruz to the canvas at 2 minutes and 54 seconds of the first round. Cruz was unable to get up for several minutes, after the punch that produced the first knockout of his career.
Shibata now has a record of 34 wins, two losses, and two draws. 22 of his victories were by a knock-out. Shibata he would now like to meet fellow Japanese Shozo Saijo, holder of the rival World Boxing Association featherweight title.
SYNOPSIS: In Tokyo on Thursday Kuniaki Shibata of Japan defended his World Boxing Council featherweight title against Raul Cruz of Mexico. Shibata, in the light trunks, was making his first title defence since winning the championship in December. The opening moments of the first round looked good for Cruz supporters.
The challenger managed to lean and sway away from the sharp blows of Shibata, as the champion continually pressed Cruz. Cruz had looked sharp in training and was expected to give the champion a stiff fight.
Suddenly, with two minutes gone in the first round, Shibata pressed Cruz into a corner and unleashed a fierce two-fisted attack. Cruz was floored by a tremendous right hook, and the fight was over.
Cruz was unconscious long after the counting had stopped. Of the first round knockout, Shibata said: "It was a dream".