Late last year we saw Japanese Light Flyweight veteran Kenichi Horikawa (31-14-1, 7) [堀川 謙一] lose the Japanese Light Flyweight title to the brilliant Ken Shiro. Following that loss Horikawa announced his immediate retirement from the sport but then realised the boxing bug still had and today he made his ring return as he took on domestic rival Akiyoshi Kanazawa (13-6-1, 7) [金沢 晃佑] in a bout at the L-Theatre in Osaka. Not only did Horikawa return to the ring, but he also recorded a win, over-coming Kanazawa with a very narrow split decision victory.
It had been almost a year since Horikawa last scored a victory, his career defining win over Shin Ono last September, and the expected ring rust did show it's self with the Kyoto man never quite managing to look as sharp as he had done against Ono.
The bout was competitive from the off with Kanazawa more than holding his own with the former champion, in fact at times it seemed that Kanazawa was getting the better of things, particularly in the later rounds as Horikawa's break from the ring seemed to take it's toll on his engine. In the end however it was the experience of Horikawa that just did enough to edge him to the win, knowing that he was to pick up up the pace late in round to steal them and to leave a lasting impression in the judges eyes, in what was a genuine see-saw battle.
Those judges scored the bout 78-74 and 78-76 to Horikawa whilst the third judge went with Kanazawa 75-77, and the loser certainly didn't shame himself, despite this being his 4th loss in 6.
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