Puerto Rico's Wilfredo Gomez retained the World Boxing Council Junior Featherweight title on Thursday night (19 January) at Kitakyushu, Japan, when he knocked out challenger Royal Kobayashi of Japan in the third round.
LV ZOOM IN: Royal Kobayashi (dark shorts) at start of first round forces Wilfredo Gomez of Puerto Rico around ring. (TWO SHOTS)
CU: Kobayashi comes from corner at start of round three.
SV: Round three in progress, Kobayashi attacking strongly. (TWO SHOTS)
SV: Gomez moves back connects with left hook and Kobayashi takes count of eight. (TWO SHOTS)
SV: Fight continues and Gomez knocks reeling Kobayashi down. Kobayashi takes long count with Gomez watching. (FOUR SHOTS)
LV: Fight continues as Kobayashi again falls and take count before being led away by referee. (TWO SHOTS)
LV & CU: Gomez surrounded by his team.
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Background: Puerto Rico's Wilfredo Gomez retained the World Boxing Council Junior Featherweight title on Thursday night (19 January) at Kitakyushu, Japan, when he knocked out challenger Royal Kobayashi of Japan in the third round.
SYNOPSIS: Kobayashi, in the dark shorts was six years older than the 22-year-old champion, but they were matched in weight. He took an early aggressive lead, but missed with many of his powerful right hooks. Throughout the first two rounds, Kobayashi appeared to dominate, but landed few strong punches. The champion backpedalled away from Kobayashi's punches, at the end of the second round, the pair were evenly scored.
At the start of the third and final round, the Japanese again led the attack, but this time Gomez was ready to reply, scoring with a series of hard left.
Now it was the champion's turn to pour on the pressure. Gomez has never been beaten. He had won 20 of his 21 previous fights with knock-outs, and drawn the other. This was his second defence of the title won from South Korea's Dong Kyun Yum in May last year in Puerto Rico. His 21st victory came quickly as the third round got underway. Kobayashi was floored for a count of eight with a sharp left to the jaw.
Kobayashi was on his feet for only an instant before the Puerto Rican caught him again, this time with a sharp right to the head. He went down for another count of eight.
Kobayashi looked totally groggy as he came up the second time. He went down for the third and final time under a barrage of powerful right hooks to the head. It was the fourth defeat in 28 fights for Kobayashi and the 13th consecutive defeat for a Japanese boxer since October 1976.