The bout started tentatively, with both men trying to establish their jabs. Typically that's a battle that Nakatani would win based on his freakish size, but this time it was Tomioka who took control by boxing on the on to the back foot and using his speed. The back foot boxing of Tomioka was impressing the judges with the challenger in a comfortable lead on two of the cards when the scores were announced at the end of round 4. The champion however was leading on the third card and looked to be finding his rhythm.
In round 6 Nakatani had a big break through, dropping the challenger with a short right hand. The knockdown helped him take the lead when the scores were announced at the end of of round 8, and he seemed to be taking control, despite head clashes leaving both men cut. Tomioka, who had never been beyond 8 rounds, was slowing and his foot work was becoming less crisp that allowed Nakatani to control things with more ease and in round 11 he rocked Tomioka with a hard right hand, before following up and forcing the referee to save the youngster with just 20 seconds of the penultimate round left.
After the bout Nakatani spoke about moving on to a world title bout, something he has been speaking about for a while. It seems like he and his team know it will be hard to get a shot at a Lightweight champion but they are pursuing one with more intent now. Tomioka mentioned the knockdown was painful, and on review it does seem that was the start of his downfall. He did however put up an excellent performance in just his 7th bout and it's clear that he impressed despite the loss, and will be expected to bounce back and eventually win an OPBF title, perhaps in a few years when his body has matured just that little bit more.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)