Unbeaten OPBF Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0, 12) [中谷正義] successfully made his 11th defense of the title earlier today, as he stopped the hard hitting Hurricane Futa (25-8-1, 15) [中岸風太] and took one more step towards a potential world title fight.
The rangy champion got his jab working really early and dictated the tempo of the fight very early on. Futa, as he typically does, came forward, looking to apply pressure, but he struggled to get close to the champion.
The sharp jab of Nakatani controlled the distance well, though when Futa did come close Nakatani managed to use his uppercut brilliantly. Not only did the jab control the tempo of the bout, but it also cut Futa over both eyes, as Futa's face became target practice for the champion.
The cuts gave Nakatani areas to target, and in round 4 he worsened them, forcing the doctors to inspect the cuts, and stop the bout.
Nakatani and promoter Kazunori Ioka seemed to suggest that a world title fight would be be coming up, with Ioka suggesting a world title fight next year for his charge. Sadly we've heard that sort of thing a few times before so won't believe it until we see it, though we hope to see it rather than Nakatani continue to defend the OPBF title in bouts like this. For Futa he seemed to know he had to start fast, but the reality was that he was always up against it here, against an excellent champion.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow at the EDION Arena Osaka fight fans will be able to see OPBF Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani (17-0, 11) [中谷正義] take on Hurricane Futa (25-7-1, 15) [中岸風太], in what will be Nakatani's 11th defense of the title.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest.
On the scales the unbeaten Nakatani was 134.7lbs whilst Futa was bang on the divisional limit of 135lbs.
Despite being the lighter man Nakatani towered over his foe and has significant reach advantage. He seemed surprised by how short Futa was, though everyone knew there would be a notable difference in height.
If Nakatani wins here, we're expecting him to begin a long awaited pursuit of a world title fight, something that he really should have done a long time ago if we're being honest.
Related-OPBF king Nakatani battles hard hitting Futa!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Over the last few weeks we've seen a number of bouts being revealed for an December 9th card at the EDION Arena Osaka, with them pencilled in for a card that hadn't been officially announced but had had bouts leaked out.
The first of those bouts to lead was a contest between former world title challengers, with Japanese based Filipino Warlito Parrenas (26-8-1, 23) battling against Japan's very own Sho Ishida (26-1, 15) [石田 匠]. That was bout was revealed in late October and a few days later we saw WOZ boxing confirm that their star fighter, and former world title challenger, Shohei Omori (19-2, 14) [大森 将平] would be up against fellow puncher Takahiro Yamamoto (21-5, 17) [山本 隆寛], himself a former OPBF Bantamweight champion.
Despite both of those bouts being good ones, it did feel like the show needed one more big fight, a true main event contest if you will. We had assumed that that main event would feature OPBF Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani (17-0, 11) [中谷正義] but nothing really seemed to develop on that front until yesterday morning, when rumour began to surface that Nakatani would indeed be defending his belt on the show.
The name that was linked to Nakatani was that of the hard hitting and experienced Hurricane Futa (25-7-1, 15) [中岸風太] who has now been confirmed as Nakatani's challenger on the card, which is expected to be officially confirmed over the weekend.
For Nakatani the bout will be his 11th defense, of the title that he won back in January 2014, when he beat Yoshitaka Kato. In recent defenses Nakatani has failed to shine, beating the likes of Tosho Makoto Aoki and Allan Tanada. He was however given a very serious test last time out by Izuki Tomioka.
Futa is a bit known for scoring notable upsets, having scored big surprise wins on the road over Will Tomlinson and Vage Sarukhanyan in recent years. Although is no world beater, but he's heavy handed, tough and confident, and he could well cause Nakatani a really tough test. He is also, surprisingly, getting his second OPBF title bout, after having challenged for the OPBF Super Bantamweight title back in 2007, losing a decision to Thai veteran Wethya Sakmuangklang.
We're expecting a press conference from the Ioka Gym, to officially announce this bout, and the show in general, in the coming days.
Earlier today in Osaka fight fans saw OPBF Lightweight champion Masayoshi Nakatani (17-0, 11) [中谷正義] make his 10th successful defense and score a stoppage win over talented youngster Izuki Tomioka (5-1-1, 1) [富岡樹].
The bout started tentatively, with both men trying to establish their jabs. Typically that's a battle that Nakatani would win based on his freakish size, but this time it was Tomioka who took control by boxing on the on to the back foot and using his speed. The back foot boxing of Tomioka was impressing the judges with the challenger in a comfortable lead on two of the cards when the scores were announced at the end of round 4. The champion however was leading on the third card and looked to be finding his rhythm.
In round 6 Nakatani had a big break through, dropping the challenger with a short right hand. The knockdown helped him take the lead when the scores were announced at the end of of round 8, and he seemed to be taking control, despite head clashes leaving both men cut. Tomioka, who had never been beyond 8 rounds, was slowing and his foot work was becoming less crisp that allowed Nakatani to control things with more ease and in round 11 he rocked Tomioka with a hard right hand, before following up and forcing the referee to save the youngster with just 20 seconds of the penultimate round left.
After the bout Nakatani spoke about moving on to a world title bout, something he has been speaking about for a while. It seems like he and his team know it will be hard to get a shot at a Lightweight champion but they are pursuing one with more intent now. Tomioka mentioned the knockdown was painful, and on review it does seem that was the start of his downfall. He did however put up an excellent performance in just his 7th bout and it's clear that he impressed despite the loss, and will be expected to bounce back and eventually win an OPBF title, perhaps in a few years when his body has matured just that little bit more.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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