The fight began with Nakajima jabbing well but being backed up by Yap, who looked stronger and landed some eye catching body shots and right hands. The second round was a closer one, and one judge was swayed to Nakajima, as he landed some solid counter shots and stiff jabs, though that wasn't enough to help him build some momentum and the following round Yap too quite clearly, thansk in part to some hard left hooks to the body. Nakajima managed to get his first foothold in the bout in round 4, as he exchanged well with Yap and, despite a good counter from the champion he landed some solid blows of his own.
After 4 rounds two of the judges had the bout a shut out to Yap, whilst the other judge had the bout even at 38-38.
Nakajima put a lot in to round 5, though it was clear that he was unable to hurt Yap who came back into the round, which all 3 judges scored his way, and it actually begane a very credible charge from the challenger who took round 6 on card, round 7 on two and round 8 on two as he began a really credible fight back. Sadly though , for him, his efforts had only closed the gap on the cards with Yap leading 78-74 on two cards and 79-73 on the other.
Nakajima refused to backdown from the fight, knowing this could be his final title bout, and gritted his teeth, impressing in round 9 with combinations, body shots and pushing Yap backwards. With the win in his sails Nakajima came out hot for round 10 and rocked Yap with a big right hand, that forced the champion to back up and take some time to recover. Having hurt his man in round 10 Nakajima continued to pressure and rushed after Yap, who who boxed smartly to avoid a tear up. The clever movement of Yap impressed two of the judges, with the third swaying towards the aggressive Nakajima, who refused to back off in the final round as he further closed the gap on the score cards.
Sadly for Nakajima he was in such a big hole by the time he managed to begin his second half surge that he had simply left himself too much to do, and came up short with scores of 116-112, twice, and 117-111 all in favour of Yap.
This win sees Yap extend his current unbeaten run to 10 fights, including notable wins over Tatsuya Ikemizu, Hiroyuki Kudaka, Takahiro Yamamoto, Kentaro Masuda and now Nakajima whilst Nakajima suffers his 10th defeat, but showed that even at the age of 33 he still has plenty to give the sport going forward.
(Imag courtesy of boxmob.jp)