The 27-year-old proved to be too strong in his first defence at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham after judges scored the contest 118-108, 119-107 and 119-107
KAL YAFAI retained his WBA super-flyweight championship with a wide unanimous points decision against a brave Suguru Muranaka.
Judges scored the contest 118-108, 119-107 and 119-107 in a hugely exciting fight at the Barclaycard Arena in Yafai’s first defence of his belt.
The 27-year-old started off in blistering fashion, and knocked down his Japanese opponent down in just the second round after a flurry of combinations.
However to Muranaka’s credit, he fought on valiantly and tried to assert his own dominance in the next few rounds, as he was landing with clean body shots.
Both fighters were treating the fans to an exciting spectacle, with the Brit slowly wearing the 31-year-old with hurtful punches in the eighth and ninth round.
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Despite launching an onslaught of barrages in the closing stages of the match-up, Yafai couldn’t force a stoppage.
Muranaka duly deserved to hear the final bell in Birmingham, where Yafai moved to 22-0 and is now chasing huge unification fights in the division.
Speaking after the contest, the champion said: “I had to box my way through. I have a lot to work on, I am still a work-in-progress.
“He has one tough head, he took everything I had. My hands are in agony.”
Yafai’s brother – Gamal Yafai was fighting on the undercard, and he claimed the WBC International super bantamweight title with a seventh round stoppage against the previously unbeaten Sean Davis.
Yafai, who has now won all of his 12 fights, put his opponent down six times en route to an impressive victory.
The 25-year-old proved to be too strong with his body shots, and looks just as classy as his older sibling.
Elsewhere Frankie Gavin got back to winning ways after he beat Renald Garrido in a poor eight round showing with judges scoring the fight 77-75.
The former IBF world title challenger won on a decision – a much-needed victory after his dramatic loss to Sam Eggington back in October.
His former foe was also in action on the night, where he brutally knocked out Ceferino Rodriguez in the tenth round.