Elwin Soto Picks Up WBO World Title Defense Over Determined Veteran Katsunari Takayama With Very Questionable Stoppage

Mexican WBO World Light-Flyweight Titlist 🇲🇽Elwin Soto (19-1-0, 13KO👊) is becoming a known commodity, in the midst of his stock rising. With him using DAZN as his platform to showcase his skills, he’s been looking to put forth statement performances to prove his worth to the rest of the 108 lb. division.  He had to go up against Japanese former 4-time Minimumweight world Titlist 🇯🇵Katsunari Takayama (32-9-0, 12KO👊), who recently emerged out of a four-year retirement in late 2020, for one more shot at Championship glory, and this was the night he envisioned coming into the bout.

As for Takayama, he was overwhelmed by the power of Soto early, and was rocked to his boots often early in the first couple rounds, but managed to stay upright to survive the onslaught. Slowly, but surely, Takayama worked himself back into the fight by letting his hands go in volume, and standing in the firing range to do so.

It seemed that the longer time went, Takayama was able to absorb Soto’s power punches better than he did early on, but Soto continued to bring the heat, and periodically landed big right hands, and left hooks, to keep the Japanese Minimumweight legend honest in his pursuit.

While Takayama was getting hit often, the damage done didn’t warrant any danger of the bout being stopped, but maligned Referee Laurence Cole inexplicably stepped in while they were in an exchange, to stop the fight, and just like that, Soto picked up the victory, and defended his WBO Light-Flyweight Title belt – Another terrible job, by a terrible Referee.

Throughout the fight, Takayama earned the respect, and the adulation of the pro-Mexican crowd at the AT&T Center, and that in and of itself speaks volumes to his spirited performance. Nearly immediately after the stoppage, Takayama shadowboxed feverishly for onlookers, drawing a roar from a crowd, and it was as if to say through his actions “do I look like a fighter that needed to be saved? do I look like a fighter that was out of it, to be saved?”

This may be Takayama’s final fight, and though he didn’t pick up the victory, this fight here may prompt boxing fans to look up his early career via youtube to see him in his glory days, so in a way, this is a win-win situation for him. As for Soto, he ranks as one of the best 108 lb. fighters in the world, and here, he was business as usual.

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