On paper this looked likely to be Laurente's first successful defense since winning the belt last year, stopping Tadashi Yuba, instead however the Filipino lost his belt with a split decision loss which favoured the home fighter.
From the opening round Hosokawa made the most of his foot work, letting the jab go and trying to stay away from a fire fight with the slow but more powerful Larente. The tactic was a smart one and saw the challenger establishing an early lead, with all 3 judges having him ahead after 3 rounds.
In the middle portion of the bout we saw Luarente come back into as he stepped up the pace and finally had some notable success as Hosokawa had to feel his power. That acted as a wake up call and Hosokawa got back on his bike and did his best to re-establish himself though struggled with Laurente being very much in his face.
By the end Hosokawa had done more than enough to establish his boxing, but had only just managed to do enough to rack up the rounds as he edged a split decision with cards of 115-113 and 115-114, both from Japanese judges, whilst a Filipino judge had seen the bout very differently scoring it 110-118 to Laurente, presumably giving him every rounds after round 4.
Given the close cards we wouldn't be surprised to see Laurente's team try to secure a rematch.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)