WBA Light Flyweight Champion
Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images
Japan’s most-recent annual New Year’s Eve showcase featured five world title fights.
One of which was Ryoichi Taguchi’s WBA light flyweight defense versus Luis de la Rosa in support of stablemate Takashi Uchiyama’s 24-fight unbeaten streak.
The Japanese made easy work of Rosa, forcing the Columbian to quit on the stool. Rosa, however, had no business fighting for a belt. His only two wins over the last three years were to Deivis Narvaez (0-20) and Gustavo Cortes (11-31-1).
After winning the WBA belt in 2014 over Alberto Rossel (a decent opponent), Taguchi has made two title defenses. There are a few other nice touches to his 23-2-1 record: a points loss to world-beater Naoya Inoue; a sixth-round technical knockout of Yu Kimura, the WBA light flyweight champion after a controversial victory over Pedro Guevara; and maybe a decision last year over Florante Condes, a bit of a strawweight legend but long past his expiration date.
Asian Boxing, the gurus of all things Eastern boxing, frequently refer to Inoue’s decision win over Taguchi as the two-division titlist’s toughest professional match.
A competitive fight with him “Monster” Inoue, given his promising future, is a fine feather to stick in anyone’s cap.
But it is not enough to keep Taguchi off this list.