The former champion, who is looking to get another world title fight in the near future, set the pace early on. He was aggressive behind his southpaw jab but was forced to eat some hard shots, especially later in the bout as the two men traded hard blows in the final few rounds. It was an impressive performance from Fukuhara but not a dominant one, with Haruguchi always doing enough to be competitive.
The fight really picked up in round 9 as Haruguchi looked to pile on the pressure and forced Fukuhara to trade more, giving the fans some thrilling scenes, but by then it was too little too late and Fukuhara ran out a clear winner with scores of 98-93, 98-92 and 97-92.
Despite the win Fukuhara sounded a little but disappointed with the performance, and made life more difficult for himself than he needed to.
According to sources in Japan Fukuhara has been offered a WBA title fight, which would suggest a potential bout with Knockout CP Freshmart (18-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท], and that could take place before the end of 2018. News that will be sure to annoy fans of Byron Rojas, who appears to have already been pushed aside once this year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)