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January 01, 2013

By Scott Shaffer

Results from Tokyo

Kohei Kono KO4 Tepparith Kokietgym... Twelve years into a decent, but unspectacular career, Japanese super flyweight Kohei Kono (28-7) floored Thailand's Tepparith Kokietgym three times in the fourth round to win the WBA championship. The first knockdown saw Kokietgym go down face first but beat the count, a rarity in boxing. Unfortunately for Kokietgym, there was plenty of time left in the round and Kono closed the show aggressively and masterfully with two more knockdowns. Kono's win in Tokyo on the final day of 2012, is a late contender for upset of the year, because Kokietgym (21-3) had not lost since 2008 and his last three title defenses were wins over Japanese boxers. Meanwhile, the 32 year-old Kono had lost two prior title shots, and also lost in 2011 to countryman Yota Sato, who now holds the WBC title in the same weight class. video: 

Takashi Uchiyama TKO8 Bryan Vasquez... On the same show in Tokyo, Takashi Uchiyama won a very significant battle in the 130-pound division by stopping Costa Rica's Bryan Vasquez in the eighth round. Both men entered the bout undefeated, although Uchiyama had by far the more impressive roster of opponents. An Uchiyama left stunned Vasquez with about 35 seconds remaining in the eighth round, and Uchiyama teed off for the next half minute. The referee, ignoring the ten-second warning, stopped the fight just as the bell ended the round, although Vasquez was in bad shape at the time. Vasquez, now 29-1, surrenders his WBA interim belt, reducing the number of WBA interim 130-pound titlists from two to one (Yuriorkis Gamboa is the other). With Adrien Broner moving up to 135 pounds, Uchiyama (19-0) deserves the world's top ranking at 130 (he holds a win over the IBF titlist, Juan Carlos Salgado).  video:

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