When we talk about the best boxers on the planet right now we tend to talk about Floyd Mayweather Jr, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Andre Ward. The first two of those are particularly known for being able to use their legs to neutralise an opponent's aggression and pressisure whilst lading their own shots in return. Earlier today it appeared that Akira Yaegashi (19-3, 9) had been taking notes from both Mayweather and Rigondeaux as he put on a similar showing of boxing and moving as he defeated Mexican challenger Edgar Sosa (49-8, 29) and retained his WBC Flyweight title.
The fight, for the first two rounds, looked like a chess match. It was close, it was nip and tuck and neither guy made much of a statement as they felt the other guy out. By the third round however the fight was beginning to come alive as both Sosa moved up a gear and began to find his range with the right hand. This forced Yaegashi to do two things. Firstly he had to answer back which is exactly what he did, then he had to think of a way to neutralise it.
Rather than stupidly going toe-to-toe with Sosa we saw Yaegashi going on to the back foot, moving around the ring then cutting in and unloading before getting back out. It was negative and some what dull looking at times but he forced Sosa to come after him, circled away and then connected as Sosa struggled to cut the distance.
After 4 rounds we had began to settle into a pattern that would dictate much of the fight. Sosa would slow pressure Yaegashi, Yaegashi would skip around him. When Sosa was in distance and threw Yaegahi either returned the favour or avoided it and countered. At times it was was the sort of thing you'd expect to see from Mayweather, at others Yaegashi showed his warrior mentality and traded.
Whilst Yaegashi was losing the occasional round where Sosa managed to have that bit of extra success, it was clear that the Mexican was simply too slow with both his hands and feet to make this this close. The fighter's heart was still in Sosa but at 34 he was showing serious signs of slowing down and the wear and tear of a man having had a long and gruel ling career.
Going in to the final 4 rounds the WBC opening scoring had left us in no doubt that Sosa would need a KO. Unfortunately it seemed almost impossible. Unless Yaegashi had used up his entire there was no chance of Sosa forcing an early conclusion to the bout.
Rounds 9, 10 and 11 went on the same script as many of the previous rounds with Yaegashi boxing on the move. This changed however in round 12 as the men spent the final minute beating 7 shades out of each other in the longest action sequence of the fight.
With the decision already known before being announced due to the open scoring the question wasn't who had won but more, about the future. At 34 this could well be the end for Sosa who has a fantastic career, for Yaegashi this victory may well lead to a second contest with Kazuto Ioka and in all honesty, that's a fight I want to see all over again