Sunday, June 04, 2023  |


Yaegashi outboxes Mendoza to win title, Inoue blasts Parrenas in 2

Fighters Network
Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

At age 32, Akira Yaegashi showed he had enough left in the tank to box the fight of his life and earn another world title.

The Japanese veteran came all the way back from two knockout losses in 2014 to outbox Javier “Cobrita” Mendoza over 12 rounds to win the IBF junior flyweight title at Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday. The scores were 120-107, 117-11 and 119-109, all in favor of Yaegashi.

Later in the evening, WBO junior bantamweight titleholder Naoya Inoue overcame a year of ring rust to stop overmatched Filipino Warlito Parrenas at 1:20 of Round 2.

Yaegashi, who had previously held the WBA strawweight and WBC flyweight titles before suffering back-to-back knockouts to Roman Gonzalez and Pedro Guevara, is now a three-division world champion.

Yaegashi (23-5, 12 knockouts) made good use of his hand and foot speed advantage early and often, beating the plodding, awkward Mendoza to the punch time and again. Yaegashi jumped to an early lead against Mendoza (24-3-1, 19 KOs), opening a cut on his left eye.

Sensing he had fallen behind desperately on the cards, Mendoza, who won the vacant title with a decision win over Ramon Garcia in 2014, continued to seek a knockout which would erase the lead.

Mendoza landed three hard right hands towards the end of Round 11, but it failed to halt Yaegashi’s momentum. Yaegashi landed several counter right hands on the 24-year-old before a left hook left Mendoza on the brink of a knockdown.

The loss is Mendoza’s first since a 2011 technical knockout defeat to Jorge Guerrero.

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Inoue blows out Parrenas

Inoue (9-0, 8 KOs) showed no hint of lingering damage to his hands, knocking Parrenas (24-7-1, 21 KOs) down twice in Round 2 to compel referee Michael Ortega to halt the bout.

Inoue, 22, had been inactive for all of 2015 due to a hand injury. He had last appeared at the end of 2014, when he scored a second-round knockout of Omar Narvaez to win the title he currently holds. Prior to that, Inoue had stopped Adrian Hernandez to earn the WBC junior flyweight title.

Parrenas, 32, had been unbeaten over his past eight fights since 2012, when he was knocked out in one round by Oscar Blanquet, also in Japan.