April 13, 2016
LEEDS, YORKSHIRE, UK
Japanese elongated featherweight, IBF#13 Hisashi Amagasa (30-5-2, 20 KOs) arrived in Leeds, Yorkshire, UK yesterday (Tuesday). The 5f11h explosive Panama Al Brown stylist had his name internationally known as he astoundingly dropped Guillermo Rigondeaux twice in his eventually unfruitful crack at the Cuban southpawfs WBA/WBO world 122-pound belts on the New Year Eve in 2014. Having absorbed much punishment with Jackalfs ruthless retaliation, Hisashi finally retired on the stool due to his grotesquely swollen cheek at the end of the eleventh round. The lanky Japanese apparently had been a legitimate 126-pounder and it was a very severe burden for him to reduce four more pounds to 122 to cope with such an artful dodger as Rigondeaux given such an unexpected opportunity to fight the Donaire conqueror in his native country of Japan.
This time Amagasa didnft come to UK ?taking twelve hours--for sight-seeing but for a confrontation with an unbeaten local prospect, WBC#2 featherweight Josh Warrington (22-0, 4 KOs) under the multi-champion-making Matchroom Promotions in his home turf Leeds. His WBC international belt will be on the line, but it isnft what Amagasa wishes to acquire but an important step to his anticipated crack at a world 126-pound belt.
Reviewing his long career since 2004, Amagasa had already gained the Japanese national and the OPBF (Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation) feather belts to his credit and what he wants to prove is his ability to win a senior belt, that is, a world throne. Amagasa, an awkward puncher despite his advantageous physique as a boxer, won the vacant national title by chalking up a fine TKO victory over fast-moving Toru Suzuki in 2011 and successfully kept it on four occasions.
The skinny man then dethroned the OPBF ruler and ex-WBA 122-pound champ Ryol-Li Lee by avenging his previous loss on points in 2013 and retained it three times prior to his Rigondeaux title crack. His mark in last five years is 15-1 with only the acceptable loss to Rigondeaux.
His opponent and defending titlist Josh Warrington is such a popular ticket-seller that almost all tickets have been sold out at the First Direct Arena in Leeds. Like Amagasa, Warrington, five years his junior at 25, already conquered the British national, Commonwealth, EBU (European) and WBC international 126-pound belts.
Warringtonfs mark is unblemished, but if there should be any blemish on his record, it might be his lack of convincing power as he registered only four knockouts. But his skills based on his sound technique and speed on hand and foot are so excellent that he decisively defeated world-rated Joel Bunker and Dennis Tubieron to raise his stock by a unanimous decision to impress his aficionados in Leeds.
Remembering an excellent British (exactly Welsh) featherweight technician named Howard Winstone in 1960fs, UK has produced not a few champions based on speed and skills, plus brain and heart. Warrington may belong to the same league as Winstone, who once halted Japanese southpaw Mitsunori Seki to seize the vacant WBC featherweight belt in London in 1968. This reporter, then a young boxing addict, vividly remembers both Winston (three times) and Seki (twice) were defeated by Vicente Saldivar, nicknamed El Zurde de Oro (the southpaw of gold) or Red Hawk, in 1965 through 1967.
I wonder why I have had such a clear memory on their triangle battles between Saldivar, Winstone and Seki, but it was due to a lack of video machine at that time that we, boxing mania, were logically obliged to concentrate on watching action unblinkingly with our highest energy because should we miss any scene it meant we missed the crucial moment eternally. Therefore, Eder Jofre (against Aoki and Harada), Antonio Cervantes (against Kadota) and Wilfredo Gomez (against Kobayashi) have been still alive in my vivid and vital memory.
Back to Amagasa, he said upon his arrival in Leeds, gIfve come here to prove myself and acquire the qualification to fight in quest of a world championship again. I believe I can decisively beat Warrington thanks to my experiences of having defended the national and OPBF belts and having battled with Rigondeaux. Please remember I am the man that floored Rigondeaux no less than TWICE.h
Three days prior to their forthcoming competition, the British commission mandated both boxers to make the weight less than three percent more than the 126-pound limit, approximately 130 pounds. Amagasa today tipped the beam at 129.2 pounds and passed the regulation. Tomorrow there will be a press conference scheduled at noon. It is Amagasafs ambition that leads him to Leeds.
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