Roman Gonzalez not just picked up his third world championship by knocking out Akira; he also knocked down referee Michael Griffin.
Although it appeared to be a slipped, but it seemed Gonzalez has thrown a punch before Griffin went down.
That’s how action packed, the fight between Nicaragua’s Roman Gonzalez and Japan’s Akira Yaegashi that even the referee went down.
Boxing fans at the Yoyogi #2 Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan were at the edge of their seats most of the time. But the excitement was not culminated by a victory from their countryman. Yaegashi was dethroned in Round 9.
In the Round 1, the fighters underwent the so-called feeling out round. Akira used his footwork and hand speed, which is his advantage, to move around, box Gonzalez. But in Round 2, the action immediately picked up and Gonzalez got the better.
Although the 31 year old champion Akira was quick on his feet, he was not doubling up to defend counters. He was tagged often with Gonzalez’s counters. He tends to put his guard too low.
In Round 3, Gonzalez landed a short left hook to Akira’s unfortified face. Akira went down butt-first! There were 32 seconds left. Akiras’s right eye swollen and almost shot, he got up and beat the count. He fought back strong in the remaining seconds but it was a clear cut 10-8 round for Gonzalez.
In round 4, Akira came out smoking and put Gonzalez on his heels. But it is obvious that Gonzalez punches were heavier than that of Akira. Akira would immediately stop on his track when Roman retaliates.
In round 8, the 27 year old Gonzalez pummeled Akira to the corner. Akira was able to move to his left, backpedaling. Gonzalez was stalking him. Gonzalez threw a punch that put down the referee. I’m not sure if Griffin got hit with that punch. But Griffin did hit the canvas.
In Round 9, Akira’s both eyes swollen shot. Sensing he’s way behind on the scorecards, Akira mounted the final push that was short lived. Gonzalez retaliated with powerful combinations that sent down Yaegashi to the corner of the ring. Badly beaten, the spirit broken, Akira did not resist as the referee stopped the contest. The official time: 2:24 in Round 9.
With the win, Gonzalez maintained an undefeated record of 40 wins, that’s 13 more wins compared to Andre Ward’s 27. Ward is currently number 2, on most pound-for-pound lists. Gonzalez’s victories include 34 by way of knockouts — a stunning 85 percent knockout ratio.
Now, where do you think “Chocolatito” stand in your pound-for-pound ranking?