Earlier today fans in Osaka got the chance to see former Japanese Bantamweight champion Kohei Oba (36-3-1, 14) in action though it appeared he was a shadow of the fighter he once was, and most importantly he seemed to realise it.
Oba managed to to defeat the limited Keigo Soma (6-11-1, 3) with an unanimous decision over 8 rounds though it was clear that the loss earlier this year to Randy Caballero had taken much of the fight out of the Nagoya man.
Although Oba looked good in the opening stages it was clear by the middle rounds that he simply didn't have it any more and although he did take home the win he really didn't look like a man who was going to recapture even a domestic title. This wasn't just a poor performance, it was a man who didn't have what he once did. The timing wasn't there, the movement was limited and it was clear that he was questioning his own future.
After the fight Oba stated that he was going to retire, a statement he re-iterated in his blog a few hours later.
Aged just 29 Oba will be retiring at a young age though with 40 bouts under his belt in a career that dates back more than 12 years he has had a long career and one that has seen him take punishment in bouts with Malcolm Tunacao, Rolly Lunas and Caballero.
We expect to see Oba in the ring once more, in a retirement ceremony, and then he'll likely bow away from the sport to do something else with his life. Whatever he does we want to wish him all the best.
(Image courtesy of Shinsei Gym)
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