Hozumi KOs Perez, leaves bantamweight division
THE RING's No. 1-rated bantamweight, Hozumi Hasegawa, defended his 118-pound title for the 10th time with an impressive fourth-round stoppage of Nicaraguan challenger Alvaro Perez on Friday in Kobe, Japan, the hometown of the 29-year-old beltholder.
Hasegawa (28-2, 12 KOs), a deadly accurate southpaw boxer-puncher, zeroed in with head-snapping lefts in the third round and landed sneaky counter right hooks in the fourth before flattening Perez (18-2-1, 12 KOs) face first with a compact left cross at 2:38 of the round.
Hasegawa, who has struggled to make the 118-pound limit in recent months, is expected to vacate his title and campaign at junior featherweight (122 pounds) or even the featherweight division, where a very attractive showdown with unbeaten 126-pound titleholder Chris John, of Indonesia, could take place.