Kawaguchi looked spirited in the first round, and showed ambition to take the fight to Funai, though the champion didn't look in any sort of problem whilst sizing up his challenger. The one moment ofreal note cametowards theend of the round, when a headclash left Kawaguchi with a cut over his left eye.
Kawaguchi's ambition showed again early in round 2, but it wasnt long until Funai's footwork shone and he began to find a way to create space. It was from space that he landed a dynamite right hand late in round 2. The shot, in the final seconds rocked Kawaguchi to his knees and Funai followed up with a number of vicious blows, finally sending Kawaguchi down face first. The challenger showed his heart to try and beat the count, but was stopped whilst rising as his legs failed him.
The finish, officially ruled at 3:09 of round 2, showed Funai's killer instinct and the difference in class between the two men with the loss being Kawaguchi's 4 stoppage defeat.
With the win Funai leaves the door open for a potential world title fight in 2018, whilt it's back to the drawing board for Kawaguchi, who has now come up short in a Japanese and OPBF title fight in 2017.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)