The fight was competitive through out with neither man getting much of an upper hand at any point. It was back and forth with Kimura often coming forward with Horikawa landing some lovely counter shots. Unfortunately with neither man really having the power to hurt the other it was obvious the contest was always going to go the scheduled 10 rounds.
Although the bout lacked the drama of a knockout it did have drama as we went to the scorecards with no one sure who had really won. With scores read out as 96-95, 94-97 and 96-95 the drama was still there until Kimura had his hand raised and was declared the new champion.
For Kimura this was the biggest win of his career. It was his first title fight and his 4th straight win since being stopped by Ryoichi Taguchi. Unfortunately it was the 3rd Japanese title fight loss for Horikawa who had also come up short against Akira Yaegashi, in a narrow loss, and Ryuji Hara, also a narrow loss. For a man with 13 losses on his record and 3 losses in Japanese title fights Horikawa is a very unlucky fighter who could well have won any of those 3 bouts.
We're hoping that the men will have a rematch at some point due to the close nature of this one though with a number of emerging young Japanese fighters at Light Flyweight that, sadly, may not happen any time soon.