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Photo Credit: KYODO

Japan’s WBC world flyweight titleholder Daigo Higa defended his WBC title for the second time against Moises Fuentes of Mexico, who himself is a former minimumweight world title holder and previous light-flyweight title challenger. The pair met in Naha, Japan in the clash which was televised on Fuji TV in Japan.

Higa is one of the most exciting fighters from the far east, known for his hard-hitting showings due to his 100% KO ratio as a professional (14-0, 14ko’s). Fuentes (25-4-1) himself in comparison has faced some of the world’s best opposition having faced the likes of Donnie Nietes, Kosei Tanaka and  Juan Hernandez Navarrete previously in his career, showing himself in good light and more than capable and a worthy challenger on paper to the talented 22-year-old Higa.

However, in the contest, Higa took no notice of what was written on the proverbial paper, dominating the opening three minutes of the contest. Fuentes started relatively brave catching Higa with a straight left jab through the guard before leading up with a cuffing right hook on the angle, which got the attention of Higa inside the first 10 seconds of the contest. This resulted in Higa stalking down the Mexican with the jab and closing the gap, resulting in Fuentes to fire back although hitting only arms and gloves of Higa. Fuentes through his output did push Higa back on the ropes briefly at the end of the first minute of the round, sinking in some meaty body shots in the process. Higa himself then upped his work rate and output began to jab and sink in his own shots to the midsection of Fuentes, with the jab of Higa wobbling and shaking Fuentes in the neutral corner resulting in Higa going on the offensive. Fuentes tried to fire back to the body with Higa responding with a powerful left-right hook combination resulting in Fuentes sinking into the ropes.

Higa then attacked the Mexican along the ropes with shots around the guard and through with uppercuts and hooks with the occasional body shot in the process. Fuentes again bravely fought back but was outgunned from the sheer power of Higa, who closed the distance with a shot to the head then a right hand around the ribcage sending Fuentes to the canvas with under 40 seconds of the round remaining. Fuentes bravely rose from the canvas but referee in charge Len Koivisto saw Fuentes in no position to continue.

Higa improves to 15-0 with 15 ko’s and is likely to be called to face his mandatory challenger with #1 ranked Muhammad Waseem in line to be called as mandatory for the title.

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