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Boxing: Yabuki dethrones unbeaten WBC light fly champion Teraji

New WBC light flyweight world champion Masamichi Yabuki shows off the belt he won with a 10th-round knockout of Japanese compatriot and previously undefeated defending champion Kenshiro Teraji at Kyoto City Gymnasium on Sept. 22, 2021. (Kyodo)

KYOTO (Kyodo) -- Japan's Masamichi Yabuki won the WBC light flyweight championship by 10th-round technical knockout of the defending champion, previously unbeaten compatriot Kenshiro Teraji, on Wednesday.

    Yabuki, competing in the first world title fight of his career, landed fewer blows early on at Kyoto City Gymnasium but was eventually effective attacking in combinations with his left and a right hook.

    "I thought of giving up, but thanks to those cheering me on I gave it my all to the end," Yabuki said. "I thought that it would keep going -- even if it killed me."

    As the fight entered the later stages, the exchanges became fiercer and eventually forced the referee to stop it in the 10th round. Yabuki said he is now reconsidering his plan to retire regardless of this fight's outcome.

    "Now that I've won, I'll give it some thought," he said.

    The fight was postponed 12 days after Teraji tested positive for the coronavirus. Teraji, making his ninth defense of the title, fell to 18-1 in his career, while Yabuki improved to 13-3.

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