Earlier today at the L-Theatre in Osaka saw the promising Dynamic Kenji (11-3, 7) [木久健次] being given a real scare as unheralded Thai Sophon Klachun (4-3, 1) pushed him all the way in an 8 round bout.
On paper this was supposed to be a straight forward win for the inform Kenji, who had won his last 5 by stoppage, including wins over Futa Akizuki and Shota Kawaguchi. It turned out to be a tough, tough fight for the Japanese fighter.
Kenji started well, and seemed to build a good lead in the early rounds. he pressed well and landed good body shots, in what was a good start. After 3 rounds however Kenji's work rate dropped and the Thai came into the bout, whilst Kenji looked exhausted, struggling to fire off with any power. He was just lucky that Sophon could never quite make him pay.
The poor effort from Kenji in the final 5 rounds lead to some very worried faces, and some incredible close scores, with one judge having the bout level, 76-76, another giving it to Kenji with a score of 77-76 and wild score of 79-74, in what was a hard to explain score from the judge.
Whilst the bout taking place at a contracted 54KG didn't help Kenji this performance will not convince his team to get him a title fight and there will, instead, be some series questions to answer for the OPBF, WBO Asia Pacific and JBC ranked Super Flyweight contender. As for the Thai he has, again, proven his value, and despite being 0-3 in Japan he has now twice gone 8 rounds with Japanese hopefuls and we suspect he will be invited back sooner rather than later.
Having started his career 2-2 it would have been easy to write off Dynamic Kenji (10-3, 7) [木久健次] as a fighter unlikely to be worthy of a mention. Over the last couple of years however Kenji has shone, stopping his last 5 foes including Futa Akizuki and Shota Kawaguchi, to become a really promising fighter who will likely find himself in the title mix sooner rather than later.
Kenji's recent run of form has seen him being boosted to a top 10 place in the Japanese, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific rankings and we have bow been informed that he will be returning to the ring on April 14th in his 14th professional bout.
At the moment the full details of his bout aren't confirmed, though we do know that it will be an 8 round bout at the El Theater in Osaka. The bout will also be the main event of Champion's Road 65.
The chief bout of this card has also been confirmed, and will be an 8 round bout between Noboru Osato (10-7-4, 2) [大里登] and the once beaten Ryotaro Motohashi (8-1, 2) [本橋遼太郎], in what looks like a mismatch on paper, but should be much more entertaining than the records suggest.
Earlier today at the L-Theatre in Osaka fight fans had a small yet notable card.
The originally announced main event was an attractive looking match up between the in form Dynamic Kenji (10-3, 7 [木久健次] and talented youngster Naoto Iwai (5-2, 3) [岩井尚斗]. Sadly that bout was cancelled late on due to Kenji suffering an eye infection.
As a result of Kenji's medical issues the main event became a match up between Hibiki Jogo (8-2, 4) [城後響] and Tricky Kumagai (9-9, 6) [熊谷直昭].
On paper this looked a mismatch, but as we know records don't tell us the whole story, and Kumgai lived up to his name, by being tricky.
Jogo looked the quicker fighter, and was sharp with his jab early on. Kumagai seemed to be fully aware he was the less skilled boxer, but looked to land the bigger shots, launching huge overhand rights early on. As the bout went on and Jogo slowed we saw Kumagai have more success, that success really came out very late in the bout, as a right hand dropped Jogo, just before the bell. It was too little too late for Kumgai, but the 10-8 round did make things very interesting on the score cards, which were 77-75, 76-75 and 76-76, giving Jogo the very thin majority decision win.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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