Hiroto Kyoguchi got a real fight from Axel Aragon Vega tonight in Dallas, but retained his WBA junior flyweight (108 lbs) title on an unfortunate injury stoppage in the fifth round of what had been a really spirited contest.
Kyoguchi (15-0, 10 KO) was making Matchroom debut and also fighting for the first time in the United States, and he was the clear favorite in this fight. But the 20-year-old, 4’10” Vega (14-4-1, 8 KO) gave him some real trouble, bringing aggression and having some success in close quarters, with the Japanese champion seeming to struggle a bit to figure out how to fight someone that much shorter. Had he pulled off the upset, Vega would have been boxing’s shortest champion ever, or at least that’s the report from the DAZN broadcast.
Sadly, it wasn’t to be. Vega seemed to have been favoring his right hand a bit a couple of rounds before the fight was stopped, and then in the fifth round he cracked Kyoguchi toward the top of the head and just busted his hand. The ring doctor could see immediately it was broken, and it was obvious that Vega was in severe pain and unable to continue. We’ve seen fighters fight with broken hands, but all injuries have degrees of severity, and it’s really rare you see someone react the way Vega did. It was also clear that his hand was a mess as soon as they got the glove off.
Slow-Mo of Kyoguchi's stoppage. pic.twitter.com/7hh2mYuARg— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) March 14, 2021
For Kyoguchi, it’s probably not the type of win he wanted, but it keeps him moving forward toward possible unification fights, maybe with Elwin Soto (WBO) or Felix Alvarado (IBF), both of whom are Golden Boy fighters and readily available for DAZN shows. On Vega’s end, you hope the hand recovers well and that he gets another shot. He was putting in tremendous effort and making a real fight of this.
- Souleymane Cissokho TKO-6 Daniel Echevarria: Fight meant to open the card, but Echevarria (21-11, 18 KO) missed weight by over 10 pounds and it was thought to be canceled, but then they threw it out there anyway. Dull bout with Cissokho (12-0, 8 KO) dominating an obviously over-matched and out of shape opponent, but Cissokho, 29, needed to fight; he hadn’t been in the ring since Sept. 2019, so now he’s gotten himself back into the swing of things.
- Austin Williams UD-8 Denis Douglin: The veteran Douglin (22-8, 14 KO) came in on short notice and went the distance, roughing middleweight prospect Williams (8-0, 6 KO) up a bit and landing, frankly, a lot of rabbit punches that never cost him a point but probably should have. Douglin, 32, didn’t actually get a ton done on his own end, but he gave Williams, 24, some valuable rounds as he moves up in competition some. It was a very useful fight for a prospect. Douglin will stay around this level for a while longer; he’s had his chances over the last decade and now this is what he is, but there’s a lot to be said for guys who can give prospects rounds and decent fights. You can cash a lot of checks with that. (Note: Maybe not, as Douglin announced post-fight that he’s retiring.)
Ammo Williams knocks Douglin's mouthpiece out with a BIG left hand pic.twitter.com/G0MGBhma6o— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) March 14, 2021
Ammo lands an uppercut then let's his hands go ️ pic.twitter.com/YOusSor94G— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) March 14, 2021
- Raymond Ford D-8 Aaron Perez: An upset draw here, as Ford (8-0-1, 4 KO) was the A-side prospect, the Matchroom fighter, the somewhat hyped young featherweight. But he got a real fight from untested and unproven Perez (10-0-1, 6 KO), who had never really fought anyone but fought his heart out here, putting on pressure. Bad Left Hook had it 77-75 for Ford, while judges had it 76-76, 77-75 Ford, and 78-74 Perez. We were all impressed with Perez bringing the fight the way he did and this was a really good prospect fight, but the 6-2 Perez card is pretty terrible. The draw outcome itself isn’t the craziest thing, but a 78-74 Perez card being part of how we got a draw is still really bad. But again, it was a good fight, worth watching. We got some looks at things both guys do well, and also the limitations and flaws they both still carry.