The second of the main fights from today's "Ring of Gold" card saw the promising and highly regarded prospect Ryo Matsumoto in action. Matsumoto, a former domestic amateur stand out, was taking a major step up in class to fight against former multi-time world title challenger Hiroyuki Hisataka. Hisataka, whilst never a world champion, had been in with the likes of Takefumi Sakata, Denkaosan Kaovichit, Hugo Fidel Cazares, Oleydong Sithsamerchai, Sonny Boy Jaro and most recently Omar Andres Narvaez
Note-Reading any further will include spoilers of the fight.
Despite the big step up Matsumoto (now 10-0, 8) made life look easy early on using his substantial height and reach advantage to tag Hisataka (who falls to 22-12-1, 10) from range. The control of range was key to Matsumoto taking a wide lead on the score cards early in the bout and by the midway point it was clear that Hisataka would need to make some serious changes.
In rounds 5 and 6 the experienced man tried to change things though struggled and instead he walked on to hard shots from Matsumoto who able to show why so many tip his as a future world champion. The tall and rangy prospect was making things look easy.
It wasn't until the final couple of rounds that Hisataka managed to put Matsumoto under any real pressure and turn the fight in to a bit of a dog fight. Matsumoto, to his credit, fired back when under pressure though seemed to drop the final couple of rounds. By then though Hisataka needed a stoppage and that was never looking likely.
The official cards read 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75 and it was difficult to argue too much, the 77-75 was perhaps a round closer than it should have been but the right guy won and won comfortably, despite a couple of tough rounds.
Whilst the 77-75 card may look competitive it does need to be noted that Matsumoto went beyond round 3 for just the third time in his career. The experience Matsumoto will have gained from this bout will be an invaluable addition to his highly impressive skills.
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