GUZMAN WINS VACANT IBF 122LB BELT


July 20, 2016

OSAKA, JAPAN

Unbeaten KO artist Jonathan Guzman (22-0-1NC, 22 KOs), 121, from Dominican Republic, acquired the vacant IBF junior featherweight belt as he displayed superior power in dropping IBF#1 Shingo Wake (20-5-2, 12 KOs), 121.75, four times and dominated the lopsided contest before the refereefs well-received halt at 2:16 of the eleventh round on Wednesday in Osaka, Japan. Itfs a Guzman night since he took the initiative from the outset, floored Wake twice in the second, bloodied his cheek, decked him again in the third and floored the gory contestant in round five. Wake had the right cheek badly swollen and almost closed as the game progressed. Wake, a 5f9h southpaw, showed his retaliation in the seventh, but Guzman still maintained his pace in controlling the gory affair. Finally did the third man Wayne Hedgpeth (US) declare a halt to save the loser from further punishment.

Wakefs right cheek bone was broken with a hairline crack and his eye socket was also fractured, which proved Guzmanfs awesome power. Before the refereefs intervention the official tallies were quite identical in terms of total points and respective scores: 100-86 for Guzman.

It was a very long wait for Wake, a tall Japanese lefty, to finally materialize a title shot since he defeated world-rated Thailander Mike Tawatchai on points to become the mandatory challenger to the then IBF titlist Carl Frampton in June of the previous year. Frampton participated in a lucrative unification bout with another champ Scott Quigg instead of facing IBF#1 Wake, and then renounced the IBF belt without fulfilling his mandatory defense with Wake.

It was Guzman that acquired the IBF#2 mandatory rank in another eliminator with IBF ranked Daniel Rosas, halting him after the eighth session in Atlantic City this April. Thus, an IBF title bout for the vacant championship was staged between IBF#1 Wake and #2 Guzman in Japan.

Wake, an upright southpaw at 28, looked nervous and tense from the start, while Guzman, 27, quickly started fireworks with solid combinations with Wake averting them with his fast footwork. Itfs Guzmanfs round.

The second saw Guzman, three inches shorter, keep boring in with strong and fast right-left combos to have Wake touch the canvas with the knee when losing his equilibrium. Itfs the first knockdown of this game. The aggressive Dominican again floored him with a quick combo moments later and completely seized the initiative. We saw a horizontal laceration on the right cheek of Wake, which was announced to have been caused by an accidental butt during Guzmanfs onslaught. The gash became worsened as the game progressed.

Wake attempted to keep his distance to the onrushing hard-puncher, but Guzman, in the closing seconds of the third, caught him with a strong left hook to deck him again. The bell came to his rescue just when they resumed fighting.

The hard-hitting Dominican, in round five, landed a very strong right to drop Wake on the back, but the game Japanese raised himself and resumed fighting. Just at the bell to end the fifth Guzmanfs looping left hook was thrown to the temple of the Japanese, who collapsed for the fifth time in the bout, but the ref Hedgpeth ignored it as he saw it just an unintentional punch. Wakefs corner, however, should have appeal to the referee to ask for his penalization or for an additional recess. Wake as well as his corner seemed to have lost their composure with the unexpectedly unfavorable processing.

Having consumed much energy to try to finish the affair early, Guzman apparently showed his fatigue and began slowing down in the sixth. Wake, encouraged by his manager/trainer Satoshi Koguchi, turned loose with right-left combinations, which, however, were less accurate and effective to the shifty opponent.

The seventh was one and only session that Wake might have won a point, if you are generous, as he kept stalking the retreating Dominican with southpaw lefts for two minutes and thirty seconds. Guzman, just before the bell, displayed a furious retaliation with powerful lefts and rights that almost toppled the game Japanese. All the judges, as expected, scored it in favor of Guzman, not Wake.

Guzman fortunately had a second wind and became aggressive and fast again in round eight. He kept stalking the Japanese southpaw and occasionally had him staggering with his roundhouse but less accurate combinations.

The ninth and tenth saw both considerably tired, but it was Guzman that still maintained the pace with his aggression?even if without good precision.

Grotesquely swollen his right cheek and badly streaming the gash, the third man Hedgpeth finally declared a halt to the loser who had been fighting only with his heart.

Upon the stoppage by the ref, the victor Guzman fell for joy a la Muhammad Ali in the Thriller in Manila. Wake knelt down to repent of his bad shellacking in his corner. Itfs a pity that he could show nothing out of his armory only to lose so one-sidedly and miserably.

The newly crowned Guzman said, gWake was overconfident. He might have misunderstood that I was exhausted in later rounds and he would capitalize on my fatigue to win. I accelerated my attack in the end and finally stopped him.h

His promoter Sampson Lewkowicz took his victory as granted, saying, gThis boy can punch. Wake fought well and showed his heart, but Guzman damaged him to win as expected.h

With the right optic closed and the cut still bleeding, Wake, in the dressing room, repented of having yielded the initiative of the game early, which was the main cause of his defeat. He said, gSorry not to be able to respond to your supports and expectations.h

We had a similar feeling to the foreign winner when Carlos Ortiz disposed of Teruo Kosaka, Sugar Ramos dispatched Mitsunori Seki, Wilfredo Gomez annihilated Royal Kobayashi, Pipino Cuevas destroyed Shoji Tsujimoto, etc. Jonathan Guzman may come back here to defend his belt again, when we had better prepare a tougher challenger in Wakefs wake.

Promoter:@Kyoei Promotions.

IBF supervisor: Anibal Miramontes (US).

(7-20-2016)


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