In late 2014 Hideo Sakamoto (17-5-4, 5) [坂本英生] scored a career defining win, as he stopped Hiriko Shiino and appeared to put himself on the road to a title fight. A subsequesnt win over Ryoichi Tameda, and a very hard fought draw with Hiroaki Teshigawara seemed like they would help him on that road to a defining fight. Sadly though a stoppage loss in late 2015, followed by decision loss to Seizo Kono the following year seemed to put those dreams on the back burner.
Today Sakamoto's dreams of getting a title fight were all but killed as he suffered a shock defeat to 32 year old Takaaki Kanai (9-7, 4) [金井隆明], who essentially saved his own career after losing 4 of his previous 5.
The bout was close throughout, though Kanai seemed to strike first, finding a homefor his right hand in the opening and stepping up the tempo a little earlier than Sakamoto. To his credit Sakamoto put his foot on the gas and got himself back into a great position, before being dropped by a right hand in round 5.
The knockdown proved to be the key, with Kanai taking the decision 76-75, twice, and 77-75.
After the bout Sakamoto stated he couldn't do things at his pace, and sounded rather dejected, with his career now hanging by a wire. For Kanai the win was one that should push him into the JBC rankings and could open the door for a potential Japanese title fight down the line.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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