The Filipino was the naturally smaller man but made up for that disadvantage by simply knowing what he was supposed to do, and doing it. In the first round it was obvious that he was the more skilled, and he used his southpaw jab brilliantly to force Nakayama on to the back foot. The Filipino was forced to take some solid shows, but answered every one with interest and showed a brilliant ability to change the tempo of the fight at his will.
After 4 rounds the challenger was in total control, with the scores being announced as 40-36, and 39-37, twice, in his favour. Things then went from good to even better for the Filipino youngster, as he dropped Nakayama in round 5, showing he had power to go with the skills. He seemed to hurt Nakayama after the knockdown, with the Japanese fighter beating the count, but Nakayama was clearly struggling with the aggression of the visitor.
Amazingly after seeing out a torrid round 5 Nakayama managed to get some success, as he found a home for his body shots. It was just what Nakayama needed, and by the end of round 8 it seemed like he was genuinely starting to turn the fight in his favour, , with one judge having the bout scored very closely at 76-75 for Raquinel, whilst the others had it 78-73 and 79-72 to the Filipino, who was finally starting to take shots.
Sadly for the gutsy Nakayama he had given his all to just get back into the bout, and in round 9 he was forced to take some big head shots from Raquinel, and was dropped, as much from exhaustion as any specific shot, and despite beating the 10 count his corner threw in the towel, as he stumbled. The referee fully aware that the bout needed stopping well before he saw the towel.
After the win Raquinel seemed impressed by his own performance, admitting he didn;t expect to score the stoppage, and stated he wanted to fight again in Japan. Notable Takuya Kogawa was in attendance and would make for a very good bout with Racquinel possibly later this year. As for Nakayama he admitted that Raquinel hit harder than expected and that he was himself struggling to land headshots.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)