The match up saw the top two ranked Japanese Welterweights, Nobuyuki Shindo (17-3-1, 6) [新藤 寛之] and Yasuhiro Okawa (14-12-3, 5) [大川 泰弘], trading blows over 10 rounds for the title which had been recently vacated by Suyon Takayama [高山 樹延] and they really did let it all hang out.
From the off it seemed like the range of the bout was going to decide the winner with Shindo towering over his opponent. Despite the clear size advantages Shindo was willing to give away his height and fought from a slight crouch. Whilst he did seem happy to give up some of his advantages he did seem to control the action and as winning on two of the cards after 5 rounds, with one judge remarkably having Okawa up.
In the second half of the fight head clashes did leave both with damage, but they were scarcely an issue as Shindo did enough to claim a well earned unanimous decision, with cards of 97-94, twice, and 96-94. The scores were fair and really showed just how competitive the bout was.
Shindo's first defense will come later this year and he'll have to face mandatory challenger Toshio Arikawa (12-4, 10) [有川 稔男], who earned his shot at the title last November.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)