WORLD title contender Jeo Santisima demolished Hiroshige Osawa in five rounds to finally put a stop to a string of Filipino loses in Japan.
Santisima twice decked Osawa in the fight held at the Edion Arena in Osaka.
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A vicious body shot by the Filipino had the Japanese down on the canvas during the second round, before a barrage of punches put him out for good in the fifth round.
The victory by Santisima ended a winning drought by Filipino fighters in Japan in a stretch that saw boxing great Nonito Donaire Jr. twice losing against Naoya Inoue in Saitama in 2019 and 2022.
“I fought on enemy’s turf and it was not wise to let the judges decide the fight. The game plan was really to finish the fight within the distance. Trainer Michael Domingo had a great fight plan and I executed it well,” said Santisima, now with a 22-4 record with 19 KOs.
Jeo Santisima improves his win-loss record to 22-4, while Hiroshige Osawa drops to 37-6.
“Props to Osawa for a great fight. I am very grateful to ZIP-Sanman for this opportunity and dedicate this win for my countrymen.”
Santisima once challenged for the WBO super-bantamweight crown against champion Emmanuel Navarrete and lost via an 11th round TKO in the undercard of the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury II heavyweight championship bout at the MGM Grand two years ago.
The 26-year-old native of Masbate is also coming off a TKO loss against Joet Gonzales before bouncing back with the win over Osawa that opens another window of opportunity for a world title shot.
Santisima is managed and handled by ZIP Sanman stable. Noboyuki Matsuura and Marivic Kamiyama represents ZIP, while Jim Claude Manangquil heads Sanman Boxing.
Osawa is now 37-6 with 21 KOs.
The Japanese fought Mexican Oscar Valdez in 2016 for the WBO featherweight crown, but lost by TKO.