Boxing....and Eusebio Pedroza of Panama on Tuesday (22 January) scored a unanimous points decision over Spider Nemoto of Japan to retain his World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight title.
TGV ZOOM IN: Japanese challenger 'Spider' Nemoto (dark shorts) rushes from corner at start of round one swinging lefts and rights to body of Panamanian world champion Eusebio Pedroza, who jabs him away with long straight lefts.
CU: Ring-side spectator
TV: Action in round six with Pedroza fighting out of corner, only to be trapped by Nemoto in opposite corner. Nemoto keeps coming forward until referee separates them at end of round.
TV: Round 12: Pedroza scoring with almost every blow as he picks off? Nemoto
TV: Final seconds of 15th round with Nemoto still pressing but Pedroza scoring points. Fighters embrace after final bell
CU AND TV: Spectators applaud as Pedroza receives WBA trophy
The other judges marked Pedroza winning as follows: Nate Morgan of the United States, 147-140; Yusaku Yoshida of Japan, 147-146. The crowd was estimated at 3,000.
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Background: Boxing....and Eusebio Pedroza of Panama on Tuesday (22 January) scored a unanimous points decision over Spider Nemoto of Japan to retain his World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight title. It was Pedroza's seventh successful defence of his crown.
SYNOPSIS: The title fight was held in the Korakuen Boxing Hall in Tokyo. At the start of round one, the much-shorter Nemoto charged from his corner, arms whirling, as if he felt an instant knockout was his best chance. Nemoto, at twenty-nine, is six years older than the champion. With Pedroza counter-punching neatly, honours were even in this round, and the next.
By the sixth round of the fifteen-round contest, Pedroza had slowed Nemoto with fast left-hand jabs. But the challenger's threshing style at times allowed him to work Pedroza into a corner, where the champion needed all his guile and ringcraft to slither out of trouble. Despite the punishment he took, Nemoto kept on advancing.
It was in the twelfth round that Pedroza piled on the points with a fusillade of left and right blows to bead and body. He had begun this savage onslaught in the tenth round, and ringside experts said he made Nemoto a punching bag over the last five rounds. By now, Nemoto's eyes were swollen and almost closed.
In the last minute of the fifteenth, and final round, Pedroza was completely in charge, but Nemoto still kept coming bravely towards him. Pedroza was landing punches as he liked. This fight was the first-ever in Japan with a woman judge. She was Pedroza's compatriot, Emma Guerra de Urunaga, who marked him one hundred and forty eight points to Nemoto's one hundred and thirty eight.