On paper the match up was one of the best of the year and in the ring the fight lived up to expectation.
Nakamura started fast from the opening bell and left Kaneko with a bloodied early in the bout before Kaneko could get going. Kaneko avenge the cut by leaving Nakamura with a cut around his left eye.
The two would trade shots through out the bout with Nakamura forcing the action and Kaneko retaliating with solid counter shots. Everything from both men was thrown with bad intentions and it was a wonder that both managed to remain upright through out the bout.
Although neither man was down both were looking damaged with Kaneko's face being particularly swollen by the final bell.
Given the action and the back and forth this was never going to be the easiest of bouts to score and that was shown on the cards with one judging having Kaneko the winner by a point, with a score of 96-95, another judge had it to Nakamura 96-94 whilst the other judges had the bout 97-93 to Nakamura, to secure him his first decision win.
For Kaneko this is a second successive loss, following a defeat to Jomthong Chuwatana earlier this year. For Nakamura however this is a second successive victory following back-to-back losses last year. The win for the "KO King" may well guide him towards a rematch with OPBF champion Masayuki Ito or a bout with current Japanese champion Rikki Naito, both of which would be intriguing matches in the near future.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)