Saturday, 27 October 2012

Takahiro Ao v Gamaliel Diaz

In this first of this weekends title fights we saw a noteworthy upset as Japanese fighter Takahiro Ao (23-3-1, 10) lost his WBC Super Featherweight title to Mexican Gamaliel Diaz (37-9-2, 17) via decision, despite the fact Diaz was the visiting fighter.

Despite going in to the bout as the under-dog, the upset minded Diaz (who also holds wins over Elio Rojas and Robert Guerrero) managed to rip the title away from Ao in a rather uninteresting fight. The bout started well for Diaz who managed to land long right hands from the off and whilst Ao looked for the counters he was simply getting tagged far too often early on.

Diaz's domination would see him becoming more confident and sadly his confidence was punished as he was deducted points for low blows, however even the deductions wouldn't deny him as he repeatedly threw his looping right hand and repeatedly found the target. Sadly for Ao he didn't seem to have a plan B and even  when he upped his own work rate he failed to really force the issue, in fact when he looked to force the bout he merely suffered a cut as Diaz continued to to be the accurate aggressor.

Whilst a rematch is possible, I'd imagine that Diaz will look to "cash out" and make a name in the US. Although he's not the most talented he's a fighter who is confident and on a 14 fight winning streak and a fight with someone Diego Magdaleno could be very interesting. Despite being experienced I don't see Diaz holding the title for long.

For Ao this was a major learning experience. In terms of raw skills he's a much, much better fighter than he showed, he fought the wrong game plan and was punished and hopefully this will serve as a lesson that he will need to do more if he can encourage Diaz to give him a rematch. If Ao cannot get a rematch he will perhaps be looking for a bout with countryman Takashi Uchiyama or some confidence rebuilding "easy" wins.

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