Some careers promise a lot but, in the end, deliver little. That seems to have been the case for former Japanese Featherweight title challenger Yuki Ogata (22-3-1, 4) [緒方 勇希], who announced his retirement today at the age of 32, with the announcement coming via his facebook account.
The Kadoebihouseki fighter debuted back in 2006 and got off to a good start, winning his first 3 bouts before fighting to a draw with Kohei Oshima. In 2009 Ogata would win the Featherweight Rookie of the Year crown and it appeared big things were set to happen for the Tokyo based man. Sadly though things were slow to build and by 2014 he had moved to 19-0-1 (3), but hadn't scored a really notable win, even a good domestic win was lacking. Despite the poor competition he was given a shot at the vacant Japanese title, though suffered a 10th round TKO loss to Satoshi Hosono.
Sadly for Ogata he never managed to rebuild struggling past Kenta Yamada in his ring return before losing 2 of his next 4 bouts, decision defeats to Noriyuki Ueno and Takahiro Arai, both in upsets. Those poor performances saw Ogata consider his future and decide to hang up his gloves rather than continue on with faltering form.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fans saw a notable upset on the domestic scene as former Japanese Featherweight title challenger Yuki Ogata (22-3-1, 4) [緒方 勇希] suffered a clear loss to the unheralded, a much unfancied Takahiro Araki (9-5, 4) [荒木 貴裕].
Ogata had started the fight as the favourite. He had only been beaten by veterans like Satoshi Hosono, in a Japanese title fight, and Noriyuki Ueno. Today however he was made to look like a very limited and lazy fighter by Araki, who out punched him, out moved him and out worked him.
Araki got off to a great start, landing booming right hands whilst Ogata seemed to be stuck in first gear. For the first 3 rounds Ogata did very little, almost as if he expected to be able to turn it on in the second half of the fight. Araki managed to find the range for his over-hand right, which landed consistently with eye catching effect,but also his jab which seemed to keep Ogata from ever building any form of momentum.
It wasn't until round 5 that Ogata seemed to finally realise he was losing thus and landed his best shot up that point, then began a mini fight-back,though it didn't last long with Araki reestablishing the following round with more solid right hands, and some intelligent movement that made Ogata look like a very clumsy fighter, firing shots too high and too short.
By round 8 it seemed clear that Ogata would need a KO but he never came close to scoring it, in stead he continued to look like a plodding fighter.
Although Ogata had started as the favourite he had performance like a dire fighter and never deserved to win. Thankfully the judges agreed scoring the bout 77-76, 77-75 and 78-75 all in favour of Araki.
Earlier today we reported that Japanese Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto (9-1, 5) would be defending his title against former foe Kotatsu Takehara (10-9-3, 4) at "Kamikaze 4". At the end of that report we promised to bring you the bouts announced for the show and that's what we've got here.
The chief support bout will feature former OPBF title challenger Yuki Nasu (23-8, 16) against a yet to be announced opponent in a 10 round fight made at Super Flyweight. For Nasu this is a major fight following back-to-back losses and if he suffers a third successive defeat their may well be calls for his retirement.
In a special 8 round KO prize fight, where a bonus will be given to the winner if they score a stoppage in various rounds, recent Japanese title contender Yuki Ogata (19-1-1, 3) will be battling against Kentaro Yamada (8-4-1, 6). With Ogata being a light hitter we'd not be shocked it the bonus for a KO wasn't paid though the ¥300,000 bonus for a KO inside 2 rounds may see both throwing caution to the wind. Whilst the top prize is ¥3000,00 the bonuses are staggered with ¥200,000 for a stoppage inside 4, ¥100,000 for a stoppage inside 6 rounds and ¥50,000 for a stoppage in the final 2 rounds.
In an 8 round Welterweight bout Shiro Saito (7-4-1, 2) will be battling against Daisuke Sakamoto (8-8-1, 4). Although Sakamoto is the man with the weaker looking record he is the #8 ranked Japanese Welterweight and has mixed with better opponents than Saito with many of his 8 losses coming to solid foes that would likely have gotten the better of Sakamoto as well.
A fifth bout that was announced will see a rematch between Kota Sato (9-5-2, 4) and Kenji Kubo (4-2-1, 2). The men fought back in January fighting to a split decision draw and if we get another equally as competitive match up then we'll be very happy.
(Image courtesy of http://www.kadoebi.com/)
Whilst "Ring of Diamonds" was, of course, all about the two world title fights that headlined the show, there was also a Japanese title fight earlier on the card.
The bout, for the vacant Japanese Featherweight title, saw former 3-time world title challenger Satoshi Hosono battling against the unbeaten Yuki Ogata. Going in to it Hosono believed that he was heading back on to a world title fight whist Ogata knew that this was his chance to score a major win and possible get himself in to the world rankings. Of course both men also know that this was a major title opportunity on one of the biggest Japanese shows of the year.
Note-Reading any further will including spoilers. Read at your own risk.
The fight started pretty well for Ogata (19-1-3, 3) who was up on the score cards early on courtesy of his sharp technical skills.
Unfortunately for Ogata this wasn't a short distance fight, in fact it was his first bout scheduled for more than 8 rounds. Whilst the good start had been impressive, his lack of experience in longer bouts told and Hosono (25-2-1, 19) started to pour it in the second half of the fight. Ogata managed to fight back but Hosono really starting to have more and more success.
Although starting to turn the bout around the big question was whether or not Hosono would be able to turn things around in time.
For the man dubbed "Bazooka" there was enough time, just, to score his 19th stoppage.
In round 10 Hosono managed to drop Ogata and a follow up attack, with a lot of time left, forced the bout to an early conclusion with with just over 30 seconds of the final gone.
On this performance it was Ogata who impressed, despite his loss, and we'd be shocked if he doesn't bounce back to take the national title at some point in the next year or two. For Hosono this was part of his rebuilding process though from his struggles with the skilful Ogata it does seem that he's going to be wanting a stylistically more straight forward contest next time out.
Although we can't see it happening, for other reasons, Hosono really should hope to avoid WBA super champion Simpiwe Vetyeka, a man who would be a complete night mare for him in terms of style. He'd be much better off trying to get a fight with someone like IBF champion Evgeny Gradovich in what would be a much more winnable encounter. For now though the focus should be on celebrating a fantastic win.
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