April 6, 2012
WBC super-feather champ Takahiro Ao (23-2-1, 10 KOs) (left), 130, Japan, retained his belt as he continually outpunched top contender Terdsak Kokietgym (46-4-1, 31 KOs) (right), 129.5, Thailand, to win a unanimous decision over twelve had-fought rounds on Friday in Tokyo, Japan. It was a hot affair by southpaws.
Burt Clements and Steve Morrow (both US) both tallied 116-112 and Alvaro Aldrete (Mexico) saw it 118-110, all in favor of the more aggressive Japanese southpaw. The referee was Mike Griffin (Canada).
Ao, formerly six-time amateur high school champ whose mark was 76-3 with 36 stoppages, celebrated his twenty-eighth birthday with his own victory, as he registered his third defense since dethroning Vitali Tajbert by a unanimous nod in 2010. It was a grudge fight for Ao, in a sense, since he showed a very lackluster performance in his last defense due to his poor conditioning only to eke out a split duke over Italian Devis Boschiero last November. The Japanese champ showed his fine form in coping with the game and gallant Thailander who had a very strong left hand
Each started fireworks from the outset by swapping hot punches in the middle range. Ao landed a solid left cross to Terdsak, who sustained a cut over the left eyebrow by a butt in round two. The Thailander took the third session with his fierce aggression to the champ who cautiously averted his strong shots with good blocking. Itfs Tersakfs round. Ao, in the fourth, retaliated well as he smoothly threw good jabs and right-left combinations.
The open scoring system indicated 38-38 by all the judges after the fourth session was over.
The 5f7h champ, two inches taller, tried to outjab the Thai hard-puncher who had twice failed to win the world belt against Juan Manuel Marquez (by TKO7) in 2006 and Steven Luevano (L12) in 2008. He suffered only three defeats so far, and the other was at the hand of Juan Guzman. Ao began to control the bout with jabs and more accurate combinations to the willing mixer, though Terdsak was apparently in command with double left hooks from the body to the face in the sixth.
The interim official tallies were announced after the eighth: 78-74, 77-75 for Ao, and 76-76. Terdsak, a game southpaw, also displayed a good fight by positively responding to the champfs combinations.
Ao swept the last four sessions thanks to his faster and more accurate combinations. The champ, in rounds ten and eleven, furiously accelerated his attack and battered the durable Thailander from all angles, but Terdsak admirably refused to go down and occasionally revealed his pride and perseverance through his retaliation.
Ao, the good son on his birthday, said, gThank you, my father and mother, for me to be here. I wished to finish him hard, but he was tremendously tough mentally and physically though I landed very strong shots to him.h
The good loser said, gI showed all what I had. Ifll keep fighting to have a shot at the world belt once again.h
It is true that our fight fans greatly anticipate a sensational confrontation of the WBC champ Ao and the WBA titlist Takashi Uchiyama in the same 130-pound category, both of whom are of Japan. They have an agreement with different TV stations, and there seem to be many complex problems for the unification bout to materialize, but it is the dream fight of our great many aficionados.
It was good that Ao thus regained his usual sharpness and successfully retained his belt. Now we can forget the Boschiero nightmare.
Promoter: Teiken Promotions.
WBC supervisor: Robert Lenhardt (US).
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