WBA jr.Flyweight Championship: Keiji Yamaguchi W 12 Carlos Murillo

by a9425912@cfi.waseda.ac.jp (Shun Matsuoka)
Keiji Yamaguchi, a slick southpaw, outboxed and outhustled a former champion Carlos Murillo and kept his WBA title by a unanimous decision. It was the Champ's the first defense of the title he won from Murillo in June.

This fight was a direct rematch following their last fight which Yamaguchi won by a very controversial decision. Some people felt that Yamaguchi run too much and didn't fight like a challenger. A lot of people felt that Murillo would destroy Yamaguchi in the rematch. However, as O'Grady often says, being a champion makes a fighter 20 % (or was it 50%?) stronger and better. This time, Yamaguchi left no doubt in the scoresheet, and won by a near-shutout decision.

Standing at 5 foot 7 inches, Yamaguchi enjoyed a big reach and height advantages over Murillo. He utilized his advantages by taking the fight to outside, and scored with one-twoes and counterpunches. Murillo was more aggressive than Yamaguchi, but his punches were not accurate enough to score points. Yamaguchi took the fight to inside after the 10th, trying to finish Murillo off, but Murillo was too tough to be knocked out.

All judges had Yamaguchi ahead with 119-109, 115-113, and 119-111. Yamaguchi improved 20-1(7). Murillo dropped to 34-4(28). Yamaguchi's next defense will be against Pichitnoi who is a mandatory challenger.

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