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Ryoichi Taguchi unifies, Sho Kimura and Hiroto Kyoguchi defend in Tokyo

Taguchi held the WBA light flyweight title, while Melindo held the IBF belt

Ryoichi Taguchi v Milan Melindo - WBA Light Flyweight And IBF Junior Flyweight Unification Title Bout Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

Japan’s reign over the lower weight classes continued this morning, as three champions either defended or acquired titles in Tokyo’s Ota-City General Gymnasium.

In the main event, Ryoichi Taguchi unified the WBA and IBF light flyweight titles with a gritty decision over Milan Melindo in what was by all accounts a terrific scrap. Taguchi (27-2-2, 12 KO), who first won his title in 2014 and has now defended it seven times, proved too much for Melindo (37-3, 13 KO) down the stretch. “El Metodico” had previously blown out Akira Yaegashi for the title and out-brawled Hekkie Budler in September.

You can watch the entire fight here.

The co-feature saw Sho Kimura prove his beatdown of Zou Shiming wasn’t a fluke by battering #1 contender Toshiyuki Igarashi in the first defense of his WBO flyweight title. Kimura (16-1-2, 9 KO) used his customary insane volume to win at least seven rounds on all three scorecards before finishing Igarashi (23-3-3, 12 KO) in the ninth.

In addition, minimumweight champ Hiroto Kyoguchi won his first title defense against highest-ranked contender Carlos Buitrago. Kyoguchi (9-0, 7 KO) was up 70-63 over Nicaragua’s Buitrago (30-3-1, 17 KO) on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage.

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