On Monday Japanese fans had the chance to see the "Strongest Korakuen" return, and it did so in style.
One of the bouts was at Welterweight and it was that bout that resulted in the biggest shock of the day as former OPBF, JBC and PABA champion Akinori Watanabe (33-5, 28) suffered a shock loss the heavy handed, but relatively unknown, Toshio Arikawa (12-4, 10), who took his chance to make a name for himself.
The bout, on paper, looked like a sure fire shoot out and that's exactly what it became.
The first round saw the more experienced man starting well and through the first few rounds it seemed like he was going to win. In round 4 the fight turned with Arikawa tagging Watanbe hard and seemingly taking the fight away from him.
Despite the trouble in round 4 Watnabe came back in the fifth as both men were staggered in a brilliant round of action. Sadly for Watanbe however that was to be his final charge before Arikawa saw him off in the opening stages of round 6.
The little known Arikawa will remember the day for a long time to come. The win not only netted him a guaranteed shot at the Japanese welterweight title in 2016 but also netted him the MVP award, which came with a hefty ¥1,000,000 bonus!
Sadly, for the popular Watanbe, this loss could spell the end of his career or at least the end of his career near the top of the Japanese domestic scene,
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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