Japanese fighter Ryo Miyazaki (20-0-3, 11) successfully defended his WBA Minimumweight title for the second time earlier today as he unified the "regular title" and the "interim title" via a very hard fought decision victory over Mexican Jesus Silvestre (27-4, 20).
The bout started with the over-looked and talented Mexican fighting on the front foot, using a determined pressure style to for Miyazaki backwards. Miyazaki seemed to realise early on that he was up against a talented and strong fighter and instead of fighting toe-to-toe the Japanese fighter tried fighting off the back foot.
A clash of heads in round 2 saw the doctor called for to look over Miyazaki though the Japanese fighter seemed to be fine and immediately turned back to trying to out box his Mexican opponent.. Although it was Miyazaki who looked to be the more technically skilled of the two men, it was the pressure of Silvestre that was really controlling the ring and forcing a fight to happen.
Although neither man was too bothered from the head clash in the second clash of heads another, much more serious one occurred in the fifth round with both men feeling the effects. This headclash seemed to spring real life into the bout as the two men traded up on the inside and and give us the sort of action fans would have been expecting from the off.
It was obvious by the mid way point that Miyazaki was really struggling with Silvetsre, he was unable to force the Mexican to respect him and likewise he was unable to force Silvestre backwards, essentially forcing him to to use his legs as much as his hands.
Whilst the headclashes may have caused the cuts on Miyazaki's face the sixth round merely saw them worsen as both men picked up the pace in a genuinely excellent round, the first first stand out round of the bout.
Following Miyazaki's success in round 6 he went up a level and began to box to actually box, picking his shots and get in and out. This made him look a class ahead of Silvestre for the first time. The Mexican however proved not to be discouraged as he continued to apply pressure though for the first time he was beginning to be forced backwards.
Miyazaki's success seemed to breathe a new confidence in him and in round 10 we again saw trading, and a headclash. This time the clash lead to Miyazaki's right eye bleeding leaving him with cuts on both of his eyes, giving Silvestre two big targets to aim for.
With blood sticking to his face Miyazaki got on his bike in round 11 and tried to avoid any sort of a confrontation, that was until the warrior instinct kicked in late in the round and Miyazaki engaged in a turf ware with Silvestre. It wasn't pretty but it was thoroughly exciting with both men being forced to take bombs as the round ended in some of the best action I've seen all year.
With the fight still on the line going in to the final round both men gave it their all in an attempt to take home the decision. Unfortunately for the Mexican he was unable to do enough, in Japan, to defeat the home fighter, losing by a majorly thin majority decisions with scores of 115-114, 115-113 and 114-114 being rendered.
Had the fight been fought outside of Japan we'd have not been shocked to have seen the decision go the other way, though the fight wasn't a robbery, it was certainly a fight with no clear winner as both men each had a clean to many of the early rounds. In fact if anything it was Miyazaki's small run of of rounds in the middle of the bout that actually saw him claiming the victory here, despite Silvestre arguably taking the final 2 or 3 rounds.
After the bout Miyazaki said he would vacate and move up a division, looking at this bout it was seem 108 or 112 would be best for him, and in fact at 112 he could face Akira Yaegashi in what would be a nail on FOTY contender.