by Joe Koizumi

Apr. 4, 1998
TOKYO--Korakuen Hall--Japanese-based Filipino NOLITO "SUZUKI" CABATO, 112, very barely kept his Japanese national flyweight title, as he allowed lefty CELES KOBAYASHI, 111 3/4, to show his last surge in the 8th and 9th, but dominated the 10th and final canto to be awarded a split decision over 10. Scored: Uchida 97-94, Tezaki 97-96, both for Cabato, and Harada 97-94 for Kobayashi. Cabato, 29, raised his mark to 33-16-5, 13 KOs in accordance with Phill Marder's record book. JBC #1 ranked Kobayashi, 25, fell to 16-4-2, 10 KOs.

The challenger's real name is Shoji Kobayashi. Why is he called Celes Kobayashi? Because he is working in the daytime at an arena for wedding ceremonies named Celes Chiyoda 21.

Cabato, in his 3rd defense, fought to a technical draw with Kobayashi in the 3rd round in Matsumoto last Sept. This was a grudge fight at Kobayashi's home turf, Tokyo. Cabato was sharp, aggressive and accurate in the first 2 rounds, while Kobayashi looked slow and nervous. Kobayashi, a taller southpaw, landed a solid right hook following a southpaw left to the face to win his first point in the 3rd. But the cagey Filipino turned very loose, taking the 5th and 6th. Surprisingly enough, Kobayashi unleashed effective combinations to the fading champ and was in command in the 7th through 9th sessions. In the 8th, Cabato ducked to avert the Japanese boy's incessant attack, pulled out his leg and threw him away to the deck. Referee Abe scolded him and penalized a point. It was such a terrible violation (since this is not a Judo game), so Cabato could have been disqualified then and there. The 9th saw Kobayashi batter the champ to the punch with a fusillate of punches.

It seemingly became a one-round fight in the 10th. But Kobayashi exhausted his stamina in his desperate rallies shown in the 9th, and it was Cabato that dominated the last 3-min. This point cost Kobayashi a title. It was a really close affair, and it might be expected that Kobayashi would be rendered a hairline decision. But the Japanese officials very strictly and accurately scored in favor of the more experienced Cabato, who thus registered his 5th defense.

Cabato is ranked #4 in the 108-pound class, but he has not recently fought in the junior fly division, having kept his national fly title since he acquired the vacant throne on a technical decision over Eiji Shigeyasu in the 7th in Tokyo in Nov., 1996. Cabato has a tendency of fading in later rounds, so any Japanese top notcher will have a chance to dethrone him. Therefore, his manager Taichi Suzuki has had plenty of offers to his champ.


JBC#5 ranked bantam Eiichi Odaka, 118, kept punching and stalking Kenji Kanazawa, 117 1/2, until referee Tezaki intervened to save the loser from further punishment at 2:29 of the 5th. Odaka, a busy puncher, is 19-3, 12 KOs. But he had better hone his left hand, as he always comes forward without leading with his left hand. Kanazawa, piloted by Masahiko "Fighting" Harada, fell to 7-17-1, 2 KOs. Mitsugu Ichihara, 119 1/2, unanimously decisioned Eiichi Kinjo, 120 1/4, six.

Yasuhiro Kaneyama, 130, stopped Jin Kijima, 129 1/2, at 2:54 of the 4th in the first 6.
Co-promoters: Yamani Enterprises and Kokusai Promotions.

Apr. 2
OSAKA--Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium #2--Local prospect Haruhiko Okuda, 123, outscored Filipino Jake Carte, 123 1/2, over 10. Okuda, handled by ex-OPBF bantam boss Eijiro Murata (who had been defeated by Jeff Chandler twice and drew with him once), is 8-1, 5 KOs.


Joaquin Henson wrote:

It's final. Gerry Penalosa will defend his WBC superfly title against Joel Luna Zarate on April 25 at the Cuneta Astrodome. Referee will be Richard Steele. Judges will be Chuck Williams, Dick Flaherty, and Jae Bong Kim (replacing Malcolm Bulner). WBC President Jose Sulaiman will not attend as he has been advised by doctors to desist from travelling for 60 days. In the undercard, the Ernie Alesna vs. Jaime (Torito) Lerma fight for the vacant WBO intercontinental welterweight title has been scratched. Still in the undercard are the non-title tenner between Manny Pacquiao and Raffy Montalban, the tenner between Manny Melchor and Andy Tabanas, the tenner between Jeffrey Onate and Andy Alagenio, and the tenner between Melchor Espinosa and Kid Payes.

OPBF President Dominador Cepeda confirmed the OPBF Convention will be held on April 22-24 at the Heritage Hotel on Roxas Boulevard. Invited to speak are Tom Kaczmarek, Chuck Hassett, and Sonny Padilla. About 100 delegates are expected and some 30 will come from overseas.

Latest fight results:

March 28. Candon, Ilocos Sur. Promoter: Liza Elorde. In a major upset, Eugene Gonzales, 108, scored a unanimous 10-round decision over Philippine junior flyweight king Ric Magramo, 110. Magramo's title was not at stake. In the undercard, Rey Pelonia, l43, halted Fernando Sagrado, 144, at 2:57 of the third round (Pelonia was recently reissued a license to box by the Games and Amusements Board after he was deported from Japan for overstaying), Zosimo Delgado, ll2, stopped Ricky Sales, 115, at l:36 of the second round, Dante Paulino, 127, scored a first round technical knockout over Tony Bernales, l25 (Bernales refused to answer the bell for the second stanza), Jun Amil, 116, blasted Roger Arpon, ll8, into submission at 2:27 of the third, Gerry Rosales, 106 l/2, posted a unanimous four-round verdict over Diego Galagaran, 106, and Marcelo Alquizar, 112, pounded out a unanimous four-round decision over Aljie Adriano, lll.

-- Joe Koizumi
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