On paper the bout didn't look like anything too special, but fans who had followed the Japanese scene over the last few years whould have been well aware of how well matched the two fighters would be, and that showed in a thrilling war.
The fight started perfectly for Takahashi, who landed a brutal right hand and dropped Nakano in the opening round. In round two another right hand dropped Nakano, who seemed unable to take the power of Takahashi, who is known as a crude but tough and rugged fighter.
With 2 knockdowns in the opening couple of rounds it looked like Takahashi was on his way to an easy win. Amazingly however Nakano started his fight back in round 3, and really fought his way back into the bout whilst gritting his teeth, battling toe-to-toe with Takahashi. The fight back was an incredible show of heart, and determination from Nakano, but it was too little too over-come the knockdowns.
The judges score-cards were split, with scores of 76-74 and 76-75 in favour of Takahashi and 76-75 in favour of Nakano.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)