Tanaka climbs off deck to stop Chayanram, Iwasa wins junior feather belt
Kosei Tanaka had to get off the canvas but fought back to retain the WBO junior flyweight title with a ninth-round stoppage of Rangsan Chayanram Wednesday at EDION Arena in Osaka, Japan.
Tanaka (10-0, 6 knockouts), found himself on the floor late in the first round after a right hand came flying in over his lowered left hand for the second knockdown of Tanaka’s career. Tanaka recovered, and by the ninth round it was his turn to repay the favor as his own right hand put Chayanram (14-2, 8 KOs) on his back. The Thai, who is 10 years older at 32, rose off the canvas and never stopped throwing but was taking heavy blows with little chance of defending himself.
Referee Roberto Ramirez Jr. stepped in at the 1:27 mark to stop the fight, with two of the judges having Tanaka ahead by the score 77-74, and third having it 76-75 at the time of stoppage. Tanaka is the No. 2-ranked 108-pounder by THE RING.
In the main event, the IBF junior featherweight title reign of Yukinori Oguni came to an end in his first defense as his Japanese compatriot Ryosuke Iwasa stopped him at 2:16 of the sixth round.
Iwasa (24-2, 16 KOs), a southpaw, slipped the jab of Oguni and put him down with a straight left counter late into the first round. Rather than rush in to finish, Iwasa was patient. Oguni stepped up the attack in the second round and was met with yet another straight left. This time he fell harder. Marked under the right eye and bleeding from the mouth, Oguni rose up, but was put back down before the end of the round with another left.
Oguni, who won the title last New Year’s Eve with a decision over Jonathan Guzman, never stopped trying to get his own right hands in, even as his nose bled and the right side of his face swelled from Iwasa’s accurate lefts. Iwasa lost a point in the fourth for holding behind the head, but the penalty was rendered moot in the sixth as the referee Wayne Hedgpeth, in consultation with the ringside physician, stopped the fight due to Oguni’s facial damage.
Oguni (19-2-1, 7 KOs) had been rated No. 8 by THE RING at 122 pounds. Iwasa, 27, had failed in his previous attempt at the interim IBF bantamweight title, losing by sixth-round stoppage to Lee Haskins in 2015. His previous defeat was in 2011 when he was stopped by Shinsuke Yamanaka in the 10th round for the Japanese bantamweight title.