On Sunday there was a controversy that seemed to leave a very nasty taste in the mouth's of Japanese fans.
The controversy came from the scoring of the 8 round Super Flyweight contest between former IBF world title challenger Teiru Kinoshita (22-1-1, 5) and rising Japanese hopeful Cyborg Nawatedani (9-3-2, 4).
On paper the bout was a mismatch. Kinoshita was a former Japanese champion, a former world title contender and a man eyeing up a second world title fight. To him this was a formality as he moved towards a bout with McJoe Arroyo. Nawatedani on the other hand was a relative unknown looking to make a statement and and continue a 9 fight unbeaten run, which had seen him over-come the likes of Junichi Ebisuoka and Shunji Nagata.
From the opening bell it looked like Nawatedani was coming in to this with the intention of scoring the upset and destroying Kinoshita's hopes of getting another shot at a world title. Kinoshita tried to respond but more often than not it was Nawatedani landing the more numerous blows and often looking like the boss. It was a stirring performance from a fighter who was taking a step up in class and looking to make a statement.
By the final bell it had seemed clear that Nawatedani had done enough to deserve the decision. Then however we got the controversy as the judges awarded the bout, via split decision to Kinoshita. It was a result that didn't seem to make sense and left many fans very angry afterwards.
That anger was shown online with comments suggesting corruption and ineptitude. Some seemed to feel the cards were filled out in advance so that Kinoshita could move towards a world title fight and that JBC should investigate the judges. Whether anything comes of the accusations and a call for a review is yet to be seen, though it's clear that some fans are furious at the result and feel that Nawatedani was given the wrong end of the decision.
For those who haven't seen the bout we've tracked down full fight footage, which can be seen below, courtesy of Westbrook Satoshi,
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)