Taguchi v Melindo: Results from Tokyo, Japan

The final world title bill of the year took place at Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan on New Year’s Eve and featured a quartet of champions in action.

On top billing, Ryoichi Taguchi defeated Milan Melindo to unify the IBF and WBA light flyweight straps via a unanimous decision in front of his home fans.

A competitive clash saw Taguchi push his name to the top of the 108 pound ranks above Kosei Tanaka with a 27th career triumph.

Cards at the completion of twelve rounds, judges came back with scores of 117-111 (twice) and 116-112 to hand Melindo a third career reverse.

In a WBO flyweight title defense, Sho Kimura built on his impressive win over Zou Shiming in the co-feature by halting ex-world ruler Toshiyuki Igarashi in nine rounds.

Kimura, 29, scored his ninth KO from ten bouts, taking every round and systematically breaking down the one-time WBC champion.

Upon having his hand raised, Kimura pushed his record to 16-1-2 and can now consider a further move up or unification in the coming year.

IBF minimumweight title holder Hiroto Kyoguchi put his belt on the line for the first time and recorded a seventh stoppage from nine contests by taking out Carlos Buitrago.

Another dominant performance from a champion on the bill saw Kyoguchi cruising until the bout ended in the eighth session.

Also on the undercard, ex-super bantamweight title challenger Shingo Wake continued to push for another opportunity by getting winless Adundet Saithonggym out of there in three, whilst flyweight Masataka Taniguchi, light heavyweight Shintaro Matsumoto and lightweight Yasuhiro Yamaguchi all enjoyed early victories against also-ran opponents.