In a thoroughly engrossing bout Venezuelan Liborio Solis (15-3-1, 7) managed to upset Kohei Kono (28-8, 11) and claim the WBA Super Flyweight title, upgrading his status from the "interim" champion in the process.
The bout, held in Kono's home country was fought at a frantic pace and was action packed through out despite a slow opening round. In all honesty the only round was the bouts only genuinely slow round as the two men traded bombs through out a very hard fought and very exciting contest.
In round 2 Kono managed to score a flash knockdown of the challenger who's knees buckled and he touched down after an excellent connect by the champion in what was one of 2 knockdown with Solis scoring one himself later in the bout.
Solis bounced back from the knockdown and appeared to win rounds 3 and 4, both of which could be on a shortlist for Round of the Year as both men cracked the other with bombs during long trading sequences. It was the was those rounds that saw the pace step up and the battling up close continued in rounds 5 and 6 as neither man wanted to give up more ground than they absolutely had to. For Kono however round 6 was a key round as he landed umpteen noteworthy body shots that looked like they were having an effect on Solis.
Kono's body attack continued through out round 7, a round that he clearly won after a number of close and debatable rounds. It appeared in that round that not only were the body shots taking their toll on Solis but so too was the hectic pace of the early rounds. Just a round later however Solis had his key moment of success dropping Kono and then bringing a lot of offense as he tried to take out the champion. Despite being visibly hurt Kono fired back at the end of the round and appeared to rock Solis very late in the round.
Round 9 was an intriguing round as Solis dominated the first 2 minutes of it with his jab and movement showing off his excellent boxing ability to keep the champion chasing him and looking wild. Late in the round however things turned around and Kono managed to detonate on him several times in an attempt to steal the round.
With both men having put in a lot of work it wasn't a shock when the pace of the bout dropped in round 10 with Solis holding repeatedly and the referee was forced to pull them apart. This round also played a big part in the eventual outcome as Kono was deducted a point which appeared to undo his good work from through out the round.
The bout ended on the same high as much of it was fought with Kono bringing heavy pressure and forcing Solis to to move or fight. Solis however was just a tad too slippery for Kono and used his feet excellently to make Kono look a little bit reckless coming in. Despite the movement of Solis, Kono really went for the finish in round 12 as he appeared to feel he was behind, sadly for the defending champion however he couldn't quite finish off Solis who had to take some shots before the bell.
To much shock the decision was read out as majority decision (115-111, 114-112, 113-113) in favour of Solis who perhaps could feel himself lucky considering he was the challenger and fighting in the champions homeland.