While most of his fans slept Danny “Baby-faced Assassin” Roman dominated Ryo Matsumoto across the globe to keep the WBA super bantamweight world title by unanimous decision on Wednesday in Japan.
It was only fitting that Roman (24-2-1, 9 KOs) make the first world title defense versus Ryo (21-2, 19 KOs) at Tokyo’s legendary Korakuen Hall. A subdued crowd saw the Los Angeles native showcase his fighting skills once more on the island nation.
Just last September in Kyoto, Japan, the amiable Roman took the WBA crown from Shun Kubo by knockout.
The first defense of the WBA title by Roman took place at 1 a.m. California time so many of his fans were sleeping. For those who woke up around 3 a.m. the fight was transmitted via Facebook on Roman’s page.
Roman, 27, faced a younger and much taller opponent in Matsumoto, a fighter known for crushing power. The lean Japanese fighter had a four-inch height advantage and 17 of the 23 opponents the Yokohama native had faced were disposed by knockout.
It was mentioned by some that the powerful Matsumoto had a tremendous advantage especially considering Roman only has nine knockouts in 27 pro fights. But that hardly describes his true talent which is systematically breaking down opponents with precision and timing.
Timing is everything for Roman and his knack for figuring out opponents and forcing them to resort to alternative plans disrupts opponents like tossing a wrench into a turbine engine.
Attacks to the body of Matsumoto opened up the guard of the Japanese boxer and soon Roman was delivering crushing blows to the head as well. Once Roman gets going it’s like watching a demolition crew take down a five-story building. It soon crumbles.
“Danny continues to shine on boxing’s biggest stages,” said Ken Thompson, president of Thompson Boxing Promotions. “He was a man on a mission. He faced a tough opponent in Matsumoto, but he made it look easy. That’s what world champions do.”
Roman has molded a style that is part instinct, part grit and part technical prowess as he displayed in front of the usually subdued Japanese audience once again. But this time it took place in a historic boxing venue that compares to the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles or the Blue Horizon in Philadelphia. The Japanese fans are quite knowledgeable and appreciative of fighting talent.
After 12 rounds all three judges scored in favor of Roman: 118-110, 119-109, 119-109.
“I’m thrilled with the decision,” said Roman, who is trained and managed by Eddie Gonzalez. “We came here well prepared to defend our championship and we did just that. I’m extremely thankful to all of my team for helping me get this win.”
The California prizefighter is another gem discovered by Thompson Boxing Promotions who in the past also uncovered Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley, Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera and Josesito Lopez. It should not be a surprise.
“Danny made another statement win tonight,” said Alex Camponovo, matchmaker and general manager for Thompson Boxing. “He wants to fight the best in the division and in time he’s going to get that opportunity. We’re going to enjoy this win and hopefully have another fight for Danny in the near future.”
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