SAITAMA, Japan (AP) _ Top contender Julian Lorcy of France beat WBA lightweight champion Takanori Hatakeyama of Japan by unanimous decision in a title bout Sunday.
There were no knockdowns in the 12-round fight at Saitama Super Arena.
Hatakeyama, who dethroned Venezuelan Gilberto Serrano in June last year, never backpedaled throughout, chasing his opponents around with flurries of lefts and right punches.
Lorcy, 29, a former WBA lightweight champion, counterattacked with left straights combined with right hooks or uppercuts, some of which shook and slowed Hatakeyama.
Erkki Meronen of Finland scored the fight 117-112, Stanley Christdoulou of South Africa 117-111 and Lou Tabat of the United States 118-112, all in favor of Lorcy.
``Locy fought better and had more stamina than I did,'' said Hatakeyama. ``He was greater in all respects.''
``He (Hatakeyama) has powerful left and right punches, and I can see why he has been the champ,'' said the newly crowned champion. ``The difference was I had more effective punches than he had.''
Lorcy now has a record of 49 wins, including 35 knockouts, two losses and two draws.
Hatakeyama slipped to 24-2 with three draws.