Home Boxing News Hiroto Kyoguchi defends title against Axel Aragón Vega in five round war

Hiroto Kyoguchi defends title against Axel Aragón Vega in five round war

Hiroto Kyoguchi lands a body shot on Axel Vega. Photo credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing

WBA junior flyweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi 15-0 (10) made a successful US debut when he stopped a very game Axel Aragón Vega 14-4-1 (8) in the fifth round at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on Saturday night.

The fast-paced fight was halted by referee Raul Caiz Jr at the 1:32 mark when Vega the sub-five-foot Vega, who goes by the nickname ‘El Mini’, sustained in injury to his right hand.

It was an unfortunate end to the fight which had featured exciting two-way action in every round.

Mexican Vega, 20, pressured the 27-year-old Japanese champion from the opening bell, with the pair exchanging furious blows on the inside in the second round.

Kyoguchi adapted little by little and as the rounds went by, he worked the distance better to put his rival at bay and began to impose his style.

But Vega kept the pressure on, using his shorter stature to make himself a small target as he continued to march forward. A right hand to the top of Kyoguchi’s head caused the challenger to turn his back and wince in pain. Kyoguchi didn’t miss the opportunity to land a right hand in return just before Caiz Jr stepped in to save the injured fighter.

It wasn’t the type of victory Kyoguchi wanted.

“I was expected to provide a different type of KO. I wanted to put myself on show a bit more,” Kyoguchi said after his first knockout win in three bouts.

Kyoguchi was fighting for the first time since October 2019 after a world title bout scheduled last November was called off when he contracted the coronavirus.

He said the time away from boxing made him question his future.

“I thought about quitting boxing,” admitted Kyoguchi, whose father was diagnosed with cancer in December. “I fought for the fans and for my father.”

The Osaka Prefecture-born fighter said he is eager to accept more challenges for the sake of his career.

“Fighting world champs from other sanctioning bodies generates excitement. I want to enrich my boxing career,” he said.

The fight was Kyoguchi’s first since signing with British promoter Matchroom Boxing.