In a notable upset, Japan’s Masamichi Yabuki toppled long-reigning champion and countryman Kenshiro Teraji in 10 rounds to claim the WBC light-flyweight crown at the City Gym in Kyoto, Japan, on Wednesday.
Yabuki (13-3, 12 KOs) controlled the range to ruffle and rattle the previously unbeaten Teraji (18-1, 10 KOs) before withstanding fierce punishment himself and then halting proceedings in a breathless 10th round with the former champion cut over the right eye.
After seizing control in the ninth, Teraji seemed more likely to force a stoppage in the 10th with Yabuki wilting under ferocious pressure.
Incredibly, Yabuki fought through the fire and turned the tables, pegging Teraji on the ropes and punching him into submission in an enthralling finale.
Scores were 88-83, 87-84 and 86-85 for Yabuki at the time of the stoppage.