Facing a bigger foe in Sho Kimura, Carlos Canizales pulled off a brilliant gameplan to retain his WBA "Regular" light flyweight title.
In the main event of a boxing card in Fuzhou, China, Canizales defeated Kimura by unanimous decision, winning with scores of 119-109, 119-109 and 118-110. The fight was streamed worldwide on the WBA's official website, as well as on RingTV.com and on the Golden Boy Promotions Facebook page.
Kimura opened things up with several solid body shots and appeared to have the upper hand in the first couple of rounds. Kimura's size advantage played a role in giving him the early lead on Canizales, but Canizales would soon fix that.
During the middle rounds, Canizales started outboxing Kimura and move around the ring to make the challenger chase him. Kimura wasted a lot of energy chasing Canizales for several rounds and Canizales took advantage by landing quick combinations to Kimura's face, worsening a cut above his right eye due to a clash of heads early in the fight. Kimura tried to punch his way to victory late in the fight, but was unsuccessfully in seriously hurting Canizales.
This was Kimura's first title fight since losing his WBO flyweight title to Kosei Tanaka in September 2018. Kimura did bounce back from the loss to Kimura with a win over Wicha Phulaikhao on March 30, but that fight was contested at flyweight.
Canizales has held the WBA title since March 2018 when he defeated Reiya Konishi in Japan. Prior to the win over Kimura, Canizales made one defense of the title, a 12th round TKO win over Bin Lu in Malaysia last July.