Saturday at Osaka, Japan
Tomas Rojas W12 Nobuo Nashiro
Retains a junior bantamweight title
Scores: 116-113, 116-111, 114-113
Records: Rojas (35-12-1, 23 KOs); Nashiro (14-3-1, 9 KOs)
In December 2009, Rojas, a 29-year-old Mexican southpaw, got knocked hard in the second round challenging then-junior bantamweight champ Vic Darchinyan. Darchinyan eventually moved up in weight and Rojas got another opportunity to fight for a vacant belt and outpointed Kohei Kono in Japan in September. Making his first defense, Rojas returned to Japan and outpointed Nashiro, 29, a former two-time junior bantamweight titlist, in a competitive fight. Rojas, with a three-inch height advantage, stayed on the outside and tried to jab and move while the more aggressive Nashiro tried to work his way inside. Because the WBC's open scoring system was in use (it is used in Japan, but not in the United States), the scores were announced after the fourth and eighth rounds, so everyone knew that Rojas was up 39-37 (twice) and 38-38 after the fourth round and 78-76, 78-73 and 76-75 after the eighth. The system makes keeping up the suspense a challenge, and perhaps, because Rojas knew he was ahead, he tried to box and move even more than he had been in order to sit on his lead. I'm no fan of open scoring. In the eighth round, another one of the WBC's rules was invoked when an accidental head butt opened a cut on Rojas' nose. The rule says that in the event that an accidental head butt cuts one fighter, the uncut fighter loses a point. I'm no fan of this WBC rule, either. Fortunately, the deduction did not affect the outcome of the fight, which Rojas won because of his ability to keep Nashiro on the outside.
By Dan Rafael
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Tomas Rojas on top in Japan
Tomas Rojas of Mexico pounded out a unanimous points victory over Nobuo Nashiro of Japan to retain his WBC super-flyweight title in Osaka on Saturday.
The scores were 114-113, 116-113 and 116-111.
It was the 30-year-old Rojas's first defence since he took the vacant title by beating Japan's Kohei Kono in September last year.
Rojas extended his record to 35 wins, including 23 KOs, against 12 defeats, one draw and one no-contest.
The 29-year-old challenger, a two-time former champion now ranked seventh in the WBC, saw his record reduced to 14 wins, including nine KOs, against three defeats and a draw.
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