KOBE, Japan -- WBC bantamweight champion Hozumi Hasegawa of Japan kept his title by stopping Nestor Rocha of the United States in the first round.
Hasegawa sent Rocha to the canvas twice Tuesday before the referee stopped the bout after 2 minutes, 28 seconds.
This was Hasegawa's ninth title defense. He improved to 27-2, 11 by knockout. Rocha was bidding for his first world title and dropped to 21-2 with seven KOs.
In an earlier bout, Roman Gonzalez of Nicaragua retained his WBA minimumweight crown with a unanimous decision over Katsunari Takayama of Japan.
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Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press