Last year we saw Takenori Ohashi (15-5-2, 10) [大橋健典] claim the Japanese Featherweight title with a surprising win over Kosuke Saka. The bout had a rather peculiar ending, with Saka being stopped when he mistook the clacker for the bell, but it had looked like Ohashi was getting the better of it well before the stoppage. Today Ohashi retuned to the ring to defend that title, but instead of scoring his first defense he was given a real beating by mandatory challenger Taiki Minamoto (15-5, 12) [源大輝].
At the weigh in for the bout Minamoto boasted that his speed would be the difference, and it immediately seemed to b the case. The challenger was bouncing in and out of range, skipping around Ohashi and landing shots at will, with out Ohashi managing to respond. Ohashi looked lost and confused by the speed and movement of Minamoto who ended the round with some huge shots to the body and a massive left hand up top. Things went from bad to worse for Ohashi, who was hurt and wobbled at the end of round 2. It looked it looked like Minamoto was there to make a statement.
Ohashi managed to have moments in round 3, but those moments were over shadowed by the challenger who not only continued to dominate but came close to scoring a knockdown at the end of the round from a nasty 1-2 that left Ohashi wobbling before the bell. The champion was given the benefit of the doubt and managed to get some success in round 4, though every time he did he was forced to take return fire, with interest. The success of Minamoto was mentally damaging to Ohashi, who was forced backwards when they traded, and was unable to ever hurt the challenger, who looked to be having a lot of fun in there.
Things went from bad to worse for Ohashi, who was cut early in round 5 and seemed to become immediately desperate, throwing wild shots. Those shots almost all missed as Minamoto pressed forward and landed a number of big shots, rocking the champion again as we went to the bell.
After 5 rounds the scores were announced. Some how two of the judges had given a round to Ohashi, to have the scores at 49-46 to Minamoto, the third however had it 50-44, giving a 10-8 round for Minamoto's domination. Despite the judges being at ring side, they didn't really seem like they would be needed. Minamoto continued to dominate through round 6, shaking Ohashi in the final 20 seconds of the round. The referee looked ready to step in, but wait,and waited,before the bell run, and not for the first time Ohashi's beating was prolonged by the bell.
Given how badly stunned Ohashi looked to end round 6 a wise corner would have pulled their man out. Instead they sent him back out and he took yet further punishment as Minamoto continued to hammer him until the referee, after what felt like an eternity, jumped in and saved Ohashi, who was a beaten, bloodied, battered man.
With the win Minamoto scores a career defining victory and with the performance he put on he looks like a potential domestic star. For Ohashi his reign comes to a short conclusion, and it's hard to imagine him bouncing back from this defeat in a hurry.
Tomorrow fight fans in Japan will get the chance to see Japanese Featherweight champion Takenori Ohashi (15-4-2, 10) [大橋健典] defending his title against mandatory challenger Taiki Minamoto (14-5, 11) [源大輝], with the bout being shown on G+.
Today the tw omen weighed in for the bout and both fighters made the 126lb limit for the contest.
The champion for the bout was 125.88lbs on the scales,making the weight with some room to spare. Despite looking a little bit fleshy the champion looked solid and will be looking to build on his 2017 upset win over Kosuke Saka [坂晃典]. The champion spoke about being wary ofthe challenger and mentioned he felt when he challenged Saka, as if to suggest that he know how Minamoto will feel coming in to this bout.
The champion, who has previously challengedfor the Super Bantamweight title, was bang on the 126lb limit. He seemed tofeel that his boxing skills were the key to winning, and while Ohashi can punch, Minamoto seems to feel his speed and jab will be his keys to victory in this bout.
Asmentionedthe boutwill be aired in full on G+ and will come with a pretty interesting under-card, well worthy of a watch if you get the channel.
Related - Ohashi seeks first defense, takes on big punching Minamoto
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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