OSAKA, Japan - Japan's Katsunari Takayama retained his International Boxing Federation minimumweight title on Wednesday, beating compatriot Shin Ono with a unanimous decision by the judges.
Takayama, a former World Boxing Council minimumweight champion who also once held the World Boxing Association interim title, knocked down Ono twice in the 10th and 12th rounds at the Prefectural Gymnasium in the western city of Osaka.
It was Takayama's second successful defence of the 47.6 kilogram class title, which he claimed by outpointing Mexico's Mario Rodriguez in March last year.
The 30-year-old's record improved to 27 wins, 10 of them by knockout, and six losses.
For the 31-year-old Ono, the 10th IBF contender, it was his sixth defeat against 17 wins, two of them inside the distance, and two draws.
American judges Hilton Whitaker and Eddie Hernandez scored the fight 115-111 in Takayama's favour while Poland's Pawel Kardyni recorded it at 117-109.
With fast-changing footwork, Takayama dominated the fight against his left-handed challenger.
A flurry of blows to the face and body sent Ono sliding down from the ropes to the floor in the 10th round. Takayama staggered him to the verge of a knockout with more punches until the bell saved Ono.
In the final round, Ono buckled down after taking more blows for a count of eight.