Moments ago we saw Yusaku Sekishima (8-1, 4) [関島優作] being crowned as the the 2018 All Japan Rookie of the Year at Super Featherweight following a decision win over the rugged Takuya Ota (6-2-1, 4) [太田卓矢].
The bout was a pretty technical one, with both fighters showing the other a lot of respect, and looking to land their right hands early on. It was a fight style that seemed to suit Ota better, but Sekishima seemed to be the smart fighter, with more to his game and he managed to land the more eye catching shots. Sekishima began to mix things up in round 2, slipping shots and countering more, though he failed to ever really back up Ota who took the shots well, trudging forward through out.
In round 3 we saw the pattern change again, with both men gritting their their teeth and biting down on their gum shields that little bit more. This led to both being tagged hard, and both looking hurt at various points. Ota, when tagged, regularly tried to goad Sekishima in, but the taunting did little to make Sakishima take excess risks.
Ota was instead the man who was taking more risks, and in round 4 he really went for Sekishima, who turned the tables and rocked him. Had Ota not been as tough as he is there is a chance he could have gone down under the onslaught from his foe. Ota wasn't even discouraged by the success of Sekishima and soon afterwards backed Sekishima up on to the ropes, and tried to take him out, before being countered.
The final round again saw Ota coming forward, using his jab to back up Sekishima and then trying to land right hands. Around a minute into the round Ota finally hurt his man, and went off on the offensive, looking for a decisive blow. Sekishima went into survival mode, back tracking around the ring, looking to a moment to recover, a moment that Ota was unwilling to give him. Realising that Ota wouldn't leave him alone Sekishima was forced to fire back, as he stumbled to the final bell.
Having landed eye catching counters through out Ota had been the one impressing the judges, all of whom scored the bout 49-46 in his favour.
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