Japanese Minimumweight champion Go Odaira (10-3-3, 1) successfully defended his title earlier today in an unexpectedly close contest with determined challenger Yuma Iwahashi (11-7-1, 1).
Odaira, a speedy southpaw from the Hanagata gym, worked well with his counters early on and was in the lead on all 3 cards as we entered the second half of the fight. Although he was in the lead it was close and and it seemed like Iwahashi could over-come the small deficit between the two men.
In the second half of the fight thins started to swing a little to Iwahashi who seemed to hurt Odaira slightly with a counter in round 7. Unfortunately for the challenger his lack of skills saw Odaira getting off the hook relatively easily and re-settling relatively quickly.
In the final round it seemed both men were unsure on who was winning and they both went for it in a very entertaining round that showed the character of both men.
Unfortunately for Iwahashi, who was challenging for the Japanese title for the second time, he came up just short losing a majority decision with scores of 97-93, 96-94 both being rendered for Odaira and 95-95 coming from the third judge.
This bout will be shown on Fuji TV in a few hours time on tape delay
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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