By Joe Koizumi
Photo: Naoki Fukuda
Japanese veteran Akira Yaegashi (23-5, 12 KOs), 107.5, impressively captured the IBF junior flyweight belt as he pounded out an upset unanimous decision over highly regarded defending champ Javier Mendoza (24-3-1, 19 KOs), 107.5, from Mexico, over twelve furious give-and-take rounds on Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan. The tallies were as follows: Eugine Grant 117-111, Hilton Whitaker 119-109 and Mike Fitzgerald 120-107 (all from US), all in favor of the game and gallant challenger. The referee was Kenny Chevalier (US). The 32-year-old Japanese gained his third belt in as many categories (105, 112 and now 108) to his credit. There were no knockdowns, but Yaegashi sometimes had the Mexican at bay with his solid rights to the face and body bombardments in a gory affair.