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Ishimoto Takes Vazquez’s Title in Ten

By German Villasenor


Former WBO bantamweight champion Wilfredo “Papito” Vazquez Jr., 22-3-1 (19), lost his WBO International super bantamweight title to Japan’s Yasutaka Ishimoto, 22-6 (5), in the UniMas/Top Rank-promoted main event at the Cotai Arena at the Venetian Resort in Macao, China on Saturday.
 
Vazquez Jr. traded probing jabs with Ishimoto in the first frame but the taller Ishimoto used quick combinations in the second. Vazquez got into a confident rhythm, counterpunching and landing the best shot of the fight in the third, a counter right hand, which stopped Ishimoto in his tracks.
 
Unfazed, Ishimoto easily shook it off, continuing to march forward.

Vazquez upped the punch output, circling to his left and using an educated jab, beating Ishimoto the punch in the fourth round.
 
Using his distance, Vazquez separated himself in the fifth and sixth rounds, not allowing his foe get his punches off effectively. A late flurry on the inside paid off as Ishimoto clocked Vazquez with repeated rights without further consequences at the end of the round.
 
The crowd came fully alive as both fighters engaged in inside warfare in the final minute of the seventh round, trading hard shots upstairs with neither fighter giving ground. Repeated rights busted up Ishimoto alongside his left eye. After a brief look by referee Genaro Rodriguez, Vazquez immediately went back to the attack, having to pull back after getting nailed by a short right to the face during a heated exchange.
 
Ishimoto stood his ground and began backing up Vazquez by digging to the body, going on to drop Vazquez with an unassuming short right upstairs at the bell ending the eighth round. However, Vazquez’s corner claimed the shot came after the bell rang.
 
Trying to make up for the lost round, Vazquez came back strong in the ninth, going to the body on the inside, muffling Ishimoto’s attack on the inside. The round was close with both fighters trading shots at center ring, with Vazquez landing a throwaway shot upstairs after the bell.
 
Ishimoto came back strong in the 10th and final round, busting up Vazquez under his right eye. Ishimoto landed a hard uppercut, making Vazquez counterpunch for most of the round. Vazquez would land a hard head and body shot before Ishimoto closed the bout with a right of his own.
 
Scores were 95-95, 95-94 and 96-93 with Ishimoto taking the crown via majority decision.
 
In the lead-off fight of the telecast, a very entertaining featherweight bout scheduled for six rounds, Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr. (nephew of Gerry Penalosa) tasted the canvas in the first round due to an overhand left by Nimithra Sithsaithong, 4-5 (3), which put him down momentarily.
 
Unharmed, Penalosa, who controlled the round up to that point, easily outboxed his way out of the round.
 
The southpaw Penalosa paid Sithsaithong in kind right off the bat in the second frame, as a right and a jarring left put his foe down hard. Sithsaithong got up as referee Raul Caiz Jr. administered an eight-count.
 
Penalosa went back to the attack with the game Thai doing his best to fight back, managing to land a few lefts over the top. Penalosa used his legs and longer, stronger jab well, making the flat-footed Sithsaithong miss with wide shots.
 
Sithsaithong inched his way forward in the fourth, switching stances and landing some hard shots on his opponent in the third. Penalosa landed a right hook to the jaw, shaking up Sithsaithong, who stumbled forward and was obviously hurt. Penalosa capitalized by going to the body, landing a crushing right to the midsection, doubling Sithsaithong over face-first for the count.
 
Caiz began the count but opted to call it a night at 2:54 of the third round.
 
With the win, Penalosa remained undefeated at 11-0 (11).
 
Questions and comments can be sent to German at ultragerman@yahoo.com.
 
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