December 30, 2015
December 30, 2015
Yaegashi-Mendoza

Action Images/Reuters/Yuya Shino

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AKIRA YAEGASHI became the third Japanese fighter in history to win world titles in three weight classes when he outpointed IBF world light-flyweight champion Javier Mendoza yesterday.

Having previously won world honours at straw and flyweight, Yaegashi joined Kazuto Ioka and Koki Kameda in the exclusive club.

Mendoza travelled to Japan to defend his title, only to be outclassed over 12 rounds and lose on scorecards of 120-107, 119-109 and 117-111.

Stoppage defeats to Pedro Guevara and Roman Gonzalez seemed to signal the beginning of the end for Akira, but the 32-year-old has revived his glittering career with another world title.

Yaegashi started fast and dominated the first half of the fight, though had to survive some worrying stages in the seventh before swiftly regaining control until the final bell, almost stopping Mendoza in the 12th and final stanza.