Earlier today in Camp Zama fight fans had the chance to see several notable Japanese fighters, including former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Rikki Naito (15-1, 5) [内藤 律樹], who fighting for the second time since losing the national title last year to Kenichi Ogawa.
In the opposite corner to Naito was Filipino Argie Toquero (9-5-2, 7), who was supposed to be little more than a journeyman there for Naito to shine against.
Toquero hasn't read the script and wasn't there just to make up the numbers but was there to upset Naito and came rather close to doing so.
From the off Toquero made it clear he wasn't going to be brushed aside and and he was looking to land powerful hooks when Naito came in, the Japanese fighter had success at times with his defence but did seem worried about the wildness and power of Toquero which seemed like a serious problem. The action was messy, and resulted in headclashes that opened up a cut on the Filipino, but it was intense and and the sort of enjoyable wildness that can make a fight exciting.
Sadly the cuts and headclashes caused an early conclusion to the bout, with the fight finally being called off in round 6, with Naito lucky to escape with technical majority decision via cards that read 58-57, twice, and 57-57.
This bout seems to sum up the general feeling that Naito is too small to make a genuine name for himself at Lightweight, which this bout was being fought. He got dragged into Toquero's fight and was very lucky to escape with the win. For Toquero there's a chance that the loss may help him get more notable bouts, possibly with other emerging Japanese fighters in and around the Japanese and OPBF rankings.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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