The talented Sawada was thrown in deep from the off, losing to Yusuke Suzuki on his debut on Hiroaki Teshigawa in his second bout. Since then however he has rebuilt and that rebuilding continued with a great performance today.
The bout looked really level early on, and there was little to separate the two fighters in the first 4 rounds or so, in some pretty solid back and forth action that saw neither man building too much momentum. The one, perhaps, telling issue from those rounds was Sawada's consistency with body shots which began to tell in round 5 as the two men began to fight more on the inside.
In round 6 Sawada had his first big breakthrough, backing Usui on to the ropes and going to work. By then it was clear that Usui was struggling to keep up the pace and the following round another big assault from Sawada forced Usui's team to throw in the towel, and save their man from further punishment.
The win for Sawada should push him up the JBC rankings and move him close to a Japanese title shot. Sadly for the 38 year old this is a 3rd loss in 4 bouts and may well mark the end of his career, which saw him challenge for an OPBF title last July.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)