WBA super-flyweight champ Kohei Kono (30-8-1, 13 KOs), 115, barely kept his throne as he was held to a split draw by Norberto Jimenez (20-8-4, 10 KOs), 114.5, Dominican Republic, over twelve hard-fought rounds on Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan. Silvestre Abainza saw the sizzling affair 116-111 for Kono, Gustavo Padilla (Panama) had it 115-112 for Jimenez, and Michael Lee (Korea) tallied 114-114. The referee was Rafael Ramos (US).
Kono, a Roberto Duran stylist, kept stalking the taller dancer and tried to stop his mobility with his persistent body attacks, while Jimenez occasionally threw long countering uppercuts to the onrushing champ. Jimenez was penalized a point for repeatedly hitting low midway in the sixth. Jimenez looked slowing down in later rounds and Kono caught him with overhand rights to effectively hurt him down the stretch. This reporter saw Kono leading on points in the end of the Tom-and-Jerry fight.
Promoter: Watanabe Promotions.
WBA supervisor: Gilberto Jesus Mendoza (Venezuela).