Sonny Boy Jaro lost the World Boxing Council flyweight title in a controversial split decision to Toshiyuki Igarashi in Saitama, Japan on Monday night.
Jaro, who won the title in Cinderella fashion after knocking out Thai legend Pongsaklek Wonjongkam last March, was making his first defense of the 112-lb. belt.
South Korean Kyung Ha Shin and American David Mendoza scored the bout 115-113 and 116-112, respectively, for the Japanese fighter, while American Luis Escalona gave the fight to Jaro, 116-112.
Jaro contended that he won the fight. “Alam ko ako nanalo sa laban,” he told Dennis Guillermo of Examiner.com after the match. Nasaktan ko sya. Marami akong power punches na na-i-connect.”
It was a double blackeye for the Philippines in the same card, as Filipino challenger Michael Farenas had to settle for a third-round technical draw in his bout against World Boxing Association Takashi Uchiyama.
The referee stopped the fight when the champion suffered a cut after an accidental clash of heads, resulting in the cessation of the fight.