Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall had the chance to see a Japanese eliminator at 140lbs, as the Japanese based Dominican slugger Vladimir Baez (24-3-2-22), aka "Destino Japan, battled Kazuyasu Okamoto (14-5, 4) [岡本和泰] with the winner set to become the mandatory challenger for the Japanese Light Welterweight title.
The bout was pitting the top two challengers in Japan against each other, but the reality is that the two men really didn't look like they belonged in the same ring together. From the off Baez looked too strong, too powerful and too good. Those traits proved to be the difference, as Baez took the first 4 rounds with no issue, and had his nose clearly in front at the mid way point of the bout.
In round 5 Okamoto managed to return fire, and had some moments, but a counter left hand from Baez dropped the out matched but spirited man from Nara. Okamoto to his credit got up but never looked like getting back into the bout. Instead of trying to win it seemed more like a question of whether or not Okamoto could see out the distance.
Sadly for Nakamoto Baez wanted to do more than just win, and in round 8 finally forced Okamoto's corner to throw in the towel, and save their man, in what was the final minute of the bout.
Baez's win secures a shot at the Japanese title next year, and he will face the winner of the upcoming title show down between Koichi Aso (22-7-1, 15) [麻生興] and Valentine Hosokawa (21-6-3, 9) [細川バレンタイン].
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp
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