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.


Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City ease past Huddersfield to cut Liverpool’s Premier League lead

Updated 20 January 2019
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Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City ease past Huddersfield to cut Liverpool’s Premier League lead

HUDDERSFIELD: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was far from satisfied despite a 3-0 win away to Huddersfield Town on Sunday that saw his side cut Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League table to four points.
Liverpool’s compelling 4-3 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday heaped huge pressure back onto reigning champions City but they were rarely troubled by a Town side that look a certain bet for relegation this season.
City’s first goal, a deflected strike for Danilo in the 18th minute, brought up their 100th goal of the season in all competitions before Raheem Sterling scored a diving header from Leroy Sane’s cross in the 54th minute and Sane himself made it 3-0 with a calm finish just two minutes later.
For Guardiola, it should have been an afternoon of enjoyment as his side again proved their willingness to push Liverpool all the way this season.
The City manager, however, has forged a footballing reputation based on sublime performances as well as ruthless goalscoring and, on that basis, his team’s showing in West Yorkshire was not a success as the visitors never really clicked into gear on a day against a Huddersfield side who had parted company with manager David Wagner on Monday.
“During the season you have these kind of games,” Guardiola said. “It is important to win. We have scored many goals in all competitions.
“(But) the way we played, we didn’t deserve more than three goals. We will improve in the future.
“We have to demand more from ourselves in every game and do our best, but sometimes it’s difficult.
“Today we are happy we have won but after immediately we have to analyze. During the season you have games when maybe you are not in the top level and it is important to win these games.”
Although City’s fans were happier than their manager following this result, Guardiola could at least take some heart from the fact his side again refused to blink first in the race for the title.
For the second consecutive week, City kicked off knowing Liverpool had already won their weekend fixture and that, consequently, the onus was back on his players to secure three points as well.
Once again, Guardiola’s side managed to do that following up the 3-0 victory over Wolves with this showing and the City manager was more than happy to remind everybody that silverware is not handed out for another four months.
“One team has been better but we’re in January and there’s many more games to play,” he added.
“You don’t win or lose the Premier League in January. We have to focus on what we have to do. If Liverpool win, we have to win. And if Liverpool lose then we also have to win.”
This match was a baptism of fire for Huddersfield’s caretaker boss Mark Hudson and while the Terriers showed impressive fight to inspire some hope this season, this defeat still left them 10 points adrift of safety.
If, as expected, the Borussia Dortmund Under-23 coach Jan Siewert is appointed as Wagner’s permanent replacement, nobody would blame him if he spent his first day in the job preparing for a return to the second-tier Championship next season.
“It’s been a long week,” admitted Hudson.