Moruti Mthalane Retains IBF Flyweight Title With TKO Win Over Masahiro Sakamoto

Moruti Mthalane made easy work of Masahiro Sakamoto in one of the last world title boxing fights of 2018.

Mthalane stopped Sakamoto after 10 rounds in a boxing card in Macau, China to retain his IBF flyweight world title. At the time of the stoppage, Mthalane was comfortably ahead on all three judges' scorecards, leading by scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92. 

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The fight, which featured several big exchanges between the boxers, saw Mthalane eventually dominate the fight by outlanding and outboxing Sakamoto. Sakamoto was able to hang in there, but Mthalane quickly punished his opponent, closing Sakamoto's right eye. Sakamoto was punished to the point he had to be examined by ringside physicians after the ninth round. Although Sakamoto was able to continue, he continued to get hit hard and the referee waved off after the 10th round.

This was Mthalane's first world title defense since winning the belt back in July when he defeated Muhammad Waseem. Mthalane, a two-time world champion, is on a lengthy win streak, winning all 14 of his bouts going back to 2009.

Sakamoto suffered his second pro loss, snapping his five-fight win streak since losing to Sho Kimura in 2016. Sakamoto, a former WBO Asia Pacific flyweight champion, came into the fight ranked No. 14 by the IBF at 112 pounds. 

The card featured two other world title fights: Donnie Nietes vs. Kazuto Ioka for the WBO super flyweight title and Hekkie Budler vs. Hiroto Kyoguchi for the WBA "Super" light flyweight title. 

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