Today the attention of hardcore boxing fans is on Tokyo, for two world title bouts. Prior to those world title bouts, which will annoyingly be shown on tape delay, there was a Japanese title fight.
That bout saw Japanese Super Flyweight title champion Ryuichi Funai (28-7, 19) [船井 龍一] record his first defense, and over-come the challenge of Takayuki Okumoto (18-8-3, 8) [奥本 貴之], albeit in a less than fulfilling finish.
The champion started well and came out aggressive, before answering Okumoto's aggression with counter hooks. The challenger looked to up the pace, but it didn't bode well and resulted in a clash of heads in round 3, opening up a nasty cut on the champion.
With blood running down Funai's face it seemed that the challenger was inspired, and in roudn 4 the action intensified with both trading shots in a thrilling round of action. At the end of the round the doctors took a look at the cut but decided it was to contine. Another cut was suffered by Funai in round 5 and again the doctor took a look before allowing the action to continue.
At the end of round 5 we got the open scoring, which favoured Funai, 49-46 and 48-47, twice. The following round the doctors took another look a the cuts, and again allowed the fight to continue before finally stopping it mid way in to round 7.
With the cuts being caused by the headclashes, a problem when a southpaw and an orthodox fight face off, we went to the cards, which all favoured Funai with scores of 68-65, twice, and 67-66.
It's unclear where Okumoto goes from here, but for Funai it's likely we'll see him defending his title again before the end of 2017.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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