On paper the bout was a huge step up in class for Osato, , despite the fact he was ranked #3 in Japan. His best wins coming in had been a competitive decision over Retsu Kosaka and a clear decision over Sho Nagata, but he has been on a roll with 6 straight wins and unbeaten run going back more than 4 years. For Sugita, who came in #3 ranked, the bout was only 9 months removed from a razor thin loss to the new world champion Kenichi Ogawa.
In the early moments Osato showed little respect to Sugita's higher level of experience and fought brilliantly behind his jab,stopping Sugita from cutting the distance. Sugita refused to to just accept the loss and managed to have a break through moment in round 4, with a hard straight right, which seemed to draw out the fighter in Osato as the two began to trade more freely. It allowed Sugita back into the fight, whilst a cut over Osato's left eye worsened
Sugita's fight back made things very interesting on the cards, but wasn't enough to earn the win, with Osato taking a split decision, with cards of 77-75 and 77-76 in his favour, whilst Sugita had the backing of one judge 77-75. The win will see OSato take part in the Champion Carnival and after the fight he sounded very confident of coming out on top.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)