The 29 year old Hanagata, a former world title challenger, was attempting to defend the belt she won in March for the first time. Instead she found herself being out worked by the determined 31 year old challenger.
Oda, who had been inactive for over a year, was down slightly on all 3 cards after 4 rounds. This seemed to light a fire in the challenger who turned up the head and went on an all out offensive in an attempt to play catch up.
As Oda upped her work rate Hanagata was left losing rounds and unable to compete. This saw her early lead vanishing on the cards with Oda simply out working her.
Going into round 8 it was all to play for and Oda seemed to know that the bout was hers if she let it all go, which she did throwing relentlessly in an all out attack. It was this assault that effectively won the bout for Oda via a majority decision with cards of 78-76, 77-75, 76-76. He the final round not been so clearly won by the challenger the odds are that the title wouldn't have changed hands.
Whilst this is a major set back for Hanagata the loss should inspire her to improve. As for Oda this is, by far, the most significant win of her career and could lead to hern getting a world title fight in 2015.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)