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格闘技 : 西岡、TKO防衛 小堀は判定で王座陥落 〜ボクシングW世界タイトルマッチ〜
投稿日時: 2009-01-03 21:07:56

 ボクシングのダブル世界タイトルマッチが3日、パシフィコ横浜で行われ、WBC世界スーパー・バンタム級チャンピオンの西岡利晃(帝拳)が12R57秒TKO勝ちで初防衛を果たしたものの、WBA世界ライト級チャンピオンの小堀佑介(角海老宝石)は0−3の判定で敗れ、ベルトを守れなかった。この結果、日本人の現役世界チャンピオンは5名に減った。
(写真:最終12R、西岡の強烈なアッパーでレフェリーストップ)

 西岡は挑戦者の同級7位ヘナロ・ガルシア(メキシコ)と対戦。距離を保ちつつ的確にパンチを当て、途中で2度のダウンを奪うなど、終始、優位に試合を進める。頭を下げて、しぶとくくらいつく挑戦者に対し、最終12Rは繰り返しアッパーを放ち、起こしたところを連打で仕留めた。

 一方の小堀は同級1位のパウルス・モーゼス(ナミビア)の挑戦を受けた。序盤こそボディを浴びせて攻勢に出る場面もみられたものの、中盤以降は苦戦。無敗のチャレンジャー、モーゼスの速いジャブに懐へ潜り込めず、有効打を放てなかった。スコアは113−115、113−115、109−119だった。

<西岡「最後に倒せてよかった」>

「リードしているからこそ、みなさんKOを期待している」
 戦前、勝ち方にもこだわると語っていたチャンピオンは逃げなかった。挑戦者のガルシアは2年前、WBCバンタム級チャンピオンの長谷川穂積(真正)と戦い、ダウンを奪われながらも判定まで持ち込んだ。「頭も第3のパンチ」(帝拳・浜田剛史代表)とばかりに、重心を低くして突進してくるファイターだ。

 そんな厄介な相手に西岡は立ち上がりから右で相手の頭を抑え、得意の左を繰り出す。4Rには左アッパー、9Rには左フックが決まり、挑戦者をマットに倒した。ところがガルシアはひるまない。「どんどん出てくるし、スタミナ、度胸があった」(西岡)。何度もクリーンヒットでぐらつかせなから、とどめを刺せなかった。

 さらに3Rには右拳、後半は左拳を痛めていた。判定で逃げ切ることも充分、可能な展開だった。しかし、王者は「どうしても倒したかった」。葛西裕一トレーナーも「9R、10Rとムリさせた。マラソンでいえばロングスパート」と、あえて距離を縮めて打ち合いの指示を出す。
(写真:試合後の控室、笑顔の葛西トレーナー(左)と西岡)

 そして迎えた最終ラウンド。田中繊大トレーナーのゲキが飛んだ。「逃げて勝つのかよ!」。「“えー、逃げてねぇーよ”と(笑)。心をかきたたせてくれた」。最後の力を振り絞り、痛む左拳で下から挑戦者のあごを突き上げた。1度、2度、3度……。8度目のアッパーで完全に相手が伸び上がったところを今度は左ストレートで顔面を捉え、ケリをつけた。

「相手は倒されないために打ち合いを望んでいた。それでも最後まで立てないことを証明した。よくやってくれた」
 インファイトでも強さを見せたチャンピオンに葛西トレーナーは賛辞を送った。次の防衛戦は元WBO世界バンタム級王者ジョニー・ゴンザレスとの指名試合が予定されている。「正月がようやくやってきた。次はまだ。少し休ませて」。正念場となる次戦を前に、来月には待ちに待った長女・小姫ちゃん同伴での結婚披露宴がやってくる。

<小堀「相手のほうが強かった」>

 完敗だった。10ポイントの大差をつけたジャッジもいた。「今日はコンディションが悪かった。ミットを持っていても(パンチが)遠い感じがした」。田中栄民トレーナーの不安が的中した。

 立ち上がりは決して悪くなかった。前に出てくる挑戦者に対して、小堀も左、右とパンチを出し、無敗で日本にやってきた強敵をのけぞらせた。「そんなパワーがあるわけではない。ガンガン行こう」。5Rには左フックが効き、モーゼスの足が止まりかけた。
(写真:序盤は互角の打ち合いに映ったが……)

 だが、ここからはリーチで勝る挑戦者のペースにはまってしまった。距離をとって、繰り出してきた相手の左ジャブは「速くて痛かった」(小堀)。次第に左フックがガードされ、ボディを狙うなどの打開策も見出せなくなった。「相手はディフェンスに徹してジャブ、ジャブ、ジャブ。思うように行かなかった」。田中トレーナーは唇を噛み締めながら、試合を振り返った。

「10発もらっても1発返せればと思ったが、速かった」。小堀はロープに追い詰めて打ち合いに持ち込もうとしたものの、挑戦者に次々と有効打を当てられる。一方、王者には「手ごたえのあるパンチはなかった」。ダウンを奪われながら、逆転勝ちしてタイトルに輝いた昨年5月のホセ・アルファロ(ニカラグア)戦のような展開には、最後まで持ち込めなかった。判定の結果を聞く前に「負けているな」。敗北を素直に受け入れるしかなかった。

 小堀も含め、ライト級で日本人がチャンピオンベルトを巻いたのはガッツ石松、畑山隆則と3人しかいない。激戦の階級で再び王座を取り戻すのは容易ではないことはよく分かっている。「(今後については)少し考えるつもり」。いつものような自然体の発言は最後まで飛び出さず、赤く腫れた顔にはただ疲労感が漂っていた。


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