Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw a pair of OPBF title fights. One of those was at Flyweight, as defending champion Keisuke Nakayama (10-2-2, 4) [中山 佳祐] faced off with Filipino challenger Jobert Alvarez (17-2-2, 7), in what was Nakayama's first defense of the title.
In the early going things were close, with Alvarez looking the more talented fighter, but lacking the power needed to make an impression on the champion. whilst Nakayama attempted to press the action and dig to the body of Alvarez.
After 4 rounds it was a case of "what do you like?" and the judges were really seeing the bout as a very competitive one, with two having it scored 38-38 after 4 rounds, and the other judge having it 40-37.
The competitive action continued in the middle stages, though it seemed like Alvarez's right hook, smooth movement and counter punching was stealing the show as he managed to take a lead on all 3 cards after 8 rounds, 77-75 twice and 77-76.
Nakayama showed his fighting spirit and gritted his teeth hard as he fought back in the final few rounds. He didn't really dominate, but did enough to impress the judges, and earn their respect as he dragged out a draw, with scores of 115-113 to the champion, 114-114 and 115-114 to the challenger.
The general view from those at ringside seemed to be that Alvarez had done enough to earn the win, though few will complain too much with the draw.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see an OPBF Flyweight title fight, as champion Keisuke Nakayama (10-2-1, 4) [中山 佳祐] makes his first defense of the title and battles Filipino challenger Jobert Alvarez (17-2-1, 7).
Today the two fighters took part in theri weigh in for the bout, and both men made the 112lb Flyweight limit on their first attempt.
The champion, who won the title back in June with a split decision win over Richard Claveras, seemed in the less impressive shape of the two fighters, but seemed confident and full of belief ahead of his first fight as a champion. It's clear that he and his team believe he's the better fighter, but in some ways it's he who is stepping up here, to take on a man who gave Juan Francisco Estrada a very competitive contest a few years ago.
As for Alvarez this will be his first bout in Japan, though he has fought on the road in Mexico, Puerto Rico and the USA. He looked in sensational shape and it's clear he's not travelled to make up the numbers, instead he is wanting that title and will be looking to upset the Japanese fans in Tokyo.
Nakayama seeks first defense, as he takes on Alvarez!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On October 13th we'll see former world title challenger Hidenori Otake (29-2-3, 13) [大竹 秀典] defending his OPBF Super Bantamweight title against Hinata Maruta (5-0, 4) [丸田 陽七太] in what is a huge step up for the touted Maruta. Today saw the news being announced that the Otake Vs Maruta bout wouldn't be the only title bout on the card.
The other, newly announced, contest will see OPBF Flyweight champion Keisuke Nakayama (10-2-1, 4) [中山 佳祐] make his first defense of the title as he faces Filipino Jobert Alvarez (17-2-1, 7) in the chief support bout of the card.
The bout will be Nakayama's first bout since he upset Richard Claveras back in June. That win put Nakayama on the map, but to stay there he will need to hold the title for a while, and given the regional depth at 112lbs that's no mean feat. To make his first defense against Alvarezis a genuinely tough ask and is far from a foregone conclusion.
Alvarez has held a number of titles previously and is best known for his losing effort against Juan Francisco Estrada, where he held his own despite some very wide scorecards. His only other loss was a freak early blow out to Miguel Cartagena, who later made an impact in Japan by injurying Toshiyuki Igarashi. As for hi wins Alvarez has beaten Renren Tesorio. Jerry Tomogdan, Julian Rivera and Jionathann "Bomba" Gonzalez, showing that he can fight, and perhaps should be the favourite coming into this bout.
Last night fans in Kissimmee, Florida, saw a genuine upset as Filipino prospect Joebert Alvarez (15-2-1, 7) was stopped inside a round by the unheralded Miguel Cartagena (15-3, 6).
Alvarez had come into this one on the back of a shock win of his own, when he stopped the once touted Jonathan "Bomba" Gonzalez in Puerto Rico. That win had followed a solid performance against Juan Francisco Estrada, albeit in a decision loss to "Gallo" Estrada. Those performances had seen some suggest that Alvarez was likely to become a staple on the fringes of world class and had helped him earn top 10 world rankings with 2 of the 4 major title bodies.
Last night however the the youngster was dropped within a minute and finished off soon afterwards with the referee needing to save the 26 year old Filipino.
Coming into the bout Cartagen had been stopped in 2 of his previous 5 and was 2-3, including stoppages to Emmanuel Rodriguez and Timur Shailezov. His career was floundering however this win could potentially see him lifted into the fringes of the world rankings at Flyweight, whilst hammering yet another blow into Filipino boxing which appears to be going through a minor slump at the moment.
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