Reiya Abe outboxes Kiko Martinez in Tokyo

Reiya Abe outpointed Kiko Martinez in Japan this morning to find himself one fight away from fighting for featherweight world title.

Abe picked up the biggest win of his career on the Teiken promoted show in the nation's capital, the scorecards reading - (117-111) and two judges both scoring it (119-109) to give Abe the wide unanimous decision.

Abe lands himself towards the very top of the featherweight hierarchy with his win in the IBF eliminator over the Spaniard. Luis Alberto Lopez will defend the IBF title against Michael Conlan on May 27th in Belfast.

Abe boxed to near perfection after a rocky start due to Martinez’s usual pressure. However, Abe settled down as the rounds ticked by, as Martinez came up with less and less answers as the fight deepened. Abe suffered a bad cut over his right eye, which was well looked after by his corner, never really becoming an issue.

Abe’s work rate and straight left hand were the real differences in the so called ‘crossroads’ fight. Martinez did apply heavy pressure in the closing rounds, but Abe’s superior movement kept him out of serious harms way.

Former two-weight world champion, Martinez moves to a record of 44-12-2, 30 KOs. Abe picked up his sixth straight victory against the seasoned veteran, enhancing his record to 25-3-1, 10 KOs.