Updated: 12/04/2013 04:05 | By Agence France-Presse

Takayama retains IBF minimum title

Japan's Katsunari Takayama overwhelmed Philippine challenger Virgilio Silvano with a unanimous decision for him to retain his International Boxing Federation minimumweight title in Osaka on Tuesday.

Takayama retains IBF minimum title

Japanese champion Katsunari Takayama (L) lands his left straight on Virgilio Silvano of Philippines during the IBF minimumweight title match in Osaka, western Japan on December 3, 2013

There was no knockdown in the 12-round title bout with judges scoring 118-110, 120-108 and 118-110 in favour of the 30-year-old Japanese who was fighting at home for the first time in more than four years.

Takayama wrested the title from Mexico's Mario Rodriguez following the unanimous decision in the Mexican city of Guasave in March.

He gave up his Japanese professional boxing licence in late 2009 to concentrate on fighting abroad, but regained the licence in July after winning the IBF crown.

With quicker footwork, Takayama remained the aggressor from the first round when he staggered Silvano with a right hook.

In the seventh round, right-handed Takayama punished the No. 6 IBF contender in a corner with a flurry of punches.

Takayama lost the ninth round when two judges scored 10-9 for Silvano.

"I feel relieved. I thought I might be able to knock him out but Silvano held on," said Takayama, whose record improved to 26 wins, 10 of them by knockout, against six losses.

The 23-year-old Philippine boxer said: "Takayama was fast and experienced. I have sustained limited damage but he was a clever fighter with powerful right straights."

It was the third loss for Silvano against 16 wins, 10 of them inside the distance, and one draw.

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