March 18, 2018
Unbeaten Venezuelan Carlos Canizales (20-0-1, 16 KOs), 106.75, acquired the vacant WBA light-flyweight belt as he dropped also previously undefeated Japanese Reiya Konishi (15-1, 5 KOs), 108, in round three, withstood Konishifs furious retaliation and strong pressure but displayed a last surge to earn a close but unanimous decision over twelve hard-round rounds on Sunday in Kobe, Japan. The official tallies were as follows: Stefano Caruozza (Italy) 114-113, Ferlin Marsh (New Zealand) 115-112, Stanley Christodoulou (South Africa) 116-111, all for the fast-circling footworker. Konishi maintained the pressure and apparently weakened Canizales with persistent body bombardments, and some of the audience strongly believed Konish overcame his early deficits on points and seized a slight come-from-behind victory. But the judges might have evaluated the Venezuelanfs countering skills and his desperate attack down the stretch.
The reaction on the verdict was so strange that knowledgeable people concerned were arguing for and against it. Problem was whether (1) Canizales outlegged and outmaneuvered the less accurate aggressor, or (2) Konishi outhustled the less positive (if not say negative) dodger. The Venezuelan sometimes showed his back to the Japanese foe while circling and side-stepping to avoid mixing it up. It might be a sort of tactics even though our people fond of aggression might hate it since they believe boxing should be a battle of power and will. But boxing is also an art of sweet science. This reporter hereby wouldnft like to discuss the essence of boxing.
Konishifs trainer/chief second Hidenori Eto insisted that he had believed in his boyfs victory by at least three points. Konishi himself, however, frankly said, gI admit I lost. As I hit the canvas for the first time of my career, I lost my composure. Canizales was cleverer than me.h The winner and new champ Carlos said, gKonishi was powerful and persistent. His body attacks were sometimes effective to me. But I believe I won eight points out of twelve rounds.h
The newly crowned titlistfs promoter/manager Rafael Moron said, gKonishi was very tough and had a strong heart, but Carlos was more technical than Konishi. I think Carlos was the winner.h Konishifs promoter/manager Masato Yamashita said, gKonishi showed a very good performance, but in order to win the world championship, he will need more skills and career. For him, this fight was a very good lesson and experience.h
Some ringsider asked this reporter during the fight, gIs Canizales the same boxer that drew with the current WBA/IBF champ Ryoichi Taguchi in 2016? He looked much better last time, and he today only keeps running and running to refuse exchanging punches with Konishi. He probably didnft bring his fighting spirit from Venezuela.h I just replied to him, saying, gPlease let me concentrate on watching the fight.h
People are still arguing the decision pros and cons. This reporter has a single question on the tallies especially in round seven. I thought it was the seventh that Konishi showed his very best as he remained very aggressive for three minutes, almost stunned Canizales with his furious attack and have him look considerably tired and fading. But only one judge gave a point to Konishi, while the other two saw it a round for the Venezuelan.
In conclusion, Konishi threw much more punches that might be less accurate and less effective although Canizales awkwardly kept retreating and side-stepping to avoid getting hit the body. Carlos might be more effective although he threw less blows than Reiya. We had better stop our discussion because the main event of Yamanaka and Calleros will start very soon.
This reporter sincerely wishes the tape of this fight to be reviewed in the official seminar in the forthcoming WBA Convention not in terms of the verdict (who should be the winner), but in terms of the rounds/points that the judges tallied. Their scorings seemed very problematic.
WBA supervisor: Alan Kim (Korea).
Promoter: Shinsei Promotions in association with Teiken Promotions.
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