Roman Gonzalez stops Akira Yaegashi in nine, wins RING flyweight title
Roman Gonzalez won THE RING magazine and WBC flyweight championship with a ninth-round stoppage of Akira Yaegashi on Friday in Tokyo. The classy three-division titleholder from Nicaragua, now 40-0, scored knockdowns in Rounds 3 and 9 en route to his 34th knockout.
Referee Michael Griffin stopped the fight with 45 second left in Round 9 after a series of hooks, crosses and uppercuts deposited Yaegashi (20-4, 10 KOs) into a corner.
Yaegashi was game throughout the fight, often standing and trading with the accurate combination puncher, but the 31-year-old Japanese veteran was outclassed and gradually overwhelmed by the superior technique, punching power and ring generalship of Gonzalez, who fought in Japan for the sixth time of his nine-year pro career.
The 27-year-old boxer-puncher’s first fight in Japan was a fourth-round stoppage of respected WBA strawweight titleholder Yutaka Niida six years ago this month. Gonzalez defended the 105-pound belt three times, including a decision over future beltholder Katsunari Takayama. He held the WBA’s junior flyweight title from 2011-2012, making four defenses of the 108-pound belt, including a decision over future WBC/WBO flyweight titleholder Juan Estrada.
Yaegashi, a rugged and battle-tested former strawweight titleholder, won THE RING and WBC flyweight titles with a decision over Toshiyuki Igarashi last April. He defended the titles three times, including a decision over Mexican veteran and former 108-pound titleholder Edgar Sosa.