Yaegashi keeps WBC flyweight crown

Updated 18 August 2013
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Yaegashi keeps WBC flyweight crown

TOKYO: Japan’s Akira Yaegashi made the first successful defense of his World Boxing Council flyweight title Monday with a unanimous points decision over Mexican challenger Oscar Blanquet.
Yaegashi, 30, used his speed to try to catch Blanquet, while the Mexican relied on his reach advantage to keep the champion at bay.
But as the fight wore on the Japanese connected with a number of body blows, and a straight right in the eighth round put his opponent on the canvas.
“I fought in a way that was far from perfect. I have a lot of things to improve. I must work harder, otherwise I cannot keep on winning,” Yaegashi said.
“I am still an untested champion but I want your warm support.”
At the end of the fourth round, the two fighters were even at 39-37, 37-39, 38-38, but after the half-way point Yaegashi’s body blows began to connect and wear the challenger.
In the eighth round, Canadian referee Len Koivisto slapped Yaegashi with a one-point penalty for a low blow.
But with 10 seconds left Yaegashi floored Blanquet with a straight right for an eight count.
At the end of the round the Japanese was ahead on points 76-74, 77-73 and 77-73.
The Mexican chased with wide-swinging punches but the champion countered with right hooks to keep the points gap intact.
After 12 rounds American judge Don Griffin and Thai judge Noppharat Sricharoen identically scored it 116-110, while South Korean Lim Jun-Bae carded it 115-111.
The win stretched Yaegashi’s record to 18 wins, nine of them by knockout, with three defeats.
For Blanquet, 28, it was his sixth loss against 32 wins, 23 of them inside the distance, and one draw.
Yaegashi, who stepped up two divisions since reigning as a World Boxing Association minimum weight champion, won the flyweight title in April by outpointing fellow Japanese Toshiyuki Igarashi.


India confident they can end Test series duck in Australia

Updated 19 November 2018
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India confident they can end Test series duck in Australia

  • India have never won a series Down Under, but are hopeful they can end that run.
  • Four-match series starts on Dec. 6

SYDNEY: India have warned Australia they are in confident mood ahead of the their Test series Down Under, starting in December.
The Indians have never won a series on Australian soil and hitting that stat for six is the main aim of the tour.
“It’s the one place that we want to leave our mark and do well as a unit,” India’s vice-captain Rohit Sharma said.
“The last time we played test series here — although we lost two games and we drew one game — I thought there were a few close games being played.
“We want to make it count this time around. There’s a real good feeling inside the group.”
India top the current Test rankings, while Australia have slid to No. 5 in a year overshadowed by a ball-tampering scandal in March that ended in test captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner being suspended for 12 months from international and first-class cricket and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft barred for nine months.
India are No. 2 in the one-day international and Twenty20 international rankings, while five-time and defending World Cup champion Australia have slumped to No. 6 in the ODI rankings and No. 3 in T20s.
As far as Sharma and the India contingent are concerned, Australia cricket has never been more susceptible to losing at home. India have won only five Tests in Australia — three in the 1970s and early 80s — one in 2004 and one in 2008.
The four-Test series starts in Adelaide on Dec. 6 — a break with tradition from a regular first test venue at Brisbane’s Gabba ground — and will include matches in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.
Sharma knows that going from a relatively predictable Adelaide wicket to what is expected to be a bouncy, fast pitch in Perth could be the biggest challenge of the series.
“Australia has bowlers who are very tall and extract those conditions, use them to their advantage,” Sharma said of the Perth Test. “Indian batsman generally are not that tall.
“Obviously it’s not that easy for us but, again, all the guys are quite determined to change things around this time.”
A rebuilding Australia squad is coming off back-to-back series losses to Pakistan and South Africa in the limited-overs formats, following a Test series loss to Pakistan in the UAE.
The fallout from the ball-tampering episode in March at Cape Town, when Bancroft’s awkward attempt to change the condition of the match ball by rubbing it with sandpaper, has gone way beyond Australia’s playing XI.
Coach Darren Lehmann quit at the end of that series in South Africa, and has been replaced by Justin Langer. Cricket Australia’s chairman, chief executive and high-performance manager have also quit and been replaced in a period of destabilization for the national game.