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HomeSportYoshiki Takei upsets Jason Moloney to win bantamweight title

Yoshiki Takei upsets Jason Moloney to win bantamweight title

Yoshiki Takei beats Jason Moloney WBO bantamweight title Tokyo Dome

Japan’s Yoshiki Takei celebrates his upset decision victory over Australia’s Jason Moloney at the end of their WBO bantamwight title boxing match at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo on May 6, 2024. (Photo by Yuichi YAMAZAKI / AFP)

Japan’s Yoshiki Takei beat Australian defending champion Jason Moloney by unanimous decision on Monday to win the WBO bantamweight world title at the Tokyo Dome.

Fighting on the undercard of undisputed super-bantamweight world champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue’s title fight against Mexico’s Luis Nery, Takei started strongly before Moloney came back into the bout in his second title defense.

But the Japanese fighter, a former kickboxer who had won all eight of his previous boxing matches by knockout, took the title in front of a raucous crowd at the 45,000-plus seater venue.

READ: Vincent Astrolabio first world title shot ends in defeat to Jason Moloney

“The 12th round was a real struggle,” said the 27-year-old Takei.

“I wanted to win by knock-out but Moloney was really tough.

“I knew he was strong before the fight and I trained really hard because of that — it’s thanks to Moloney that I was able to toughen up,” he added.

Moloney, who won the vacant title in May last year, saw his record drop to 29-3, with 27 wins by KO.

READ: Aston Palicte suffers TKO loss to Jason Moloney

Earlier on the undercard, Inoue’s younger brother Takuma Inoue defended his WBA bantamweight title with a unanimous decision win over fellow Japanese Sho Ishida.

Ishida floored Inoue in the first round with a left jab but the champion recovered to dominate the fight.

Japan’s Seigo Yuri Akui defended his WBA flyweight title with a unanimous decision win over countryman Taku Kuwahara.

Boxing was returning to the Tokyo Dome for the first time since 42-1 underdog James “Buster” Douglas knocked out unbeaten heavyweight champion Mike Tyson in February 1990 in one of the sport’s biggest upsets.

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The unbeaten Naoya Inoue (26-0, 23 KOs) puts his four super-bantamweight titles on the line in the main event against Nery, a former two-division world champion.

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