Earlir this year Japanese Welterweight champion Toshio Arikawa (14-4, 12) [有川 稔男] suffered a nasty injury in training, forcing him to cancel a title defense against Daisuke Sakamoto (14-8-3, 8) [坂本 大輔]. The result of Arikawa's injury was that Sakamoto was made to face off with domestic foe Makoto Kawasaki (9-5-1, 2) [川崎真琴] in a bout for the intereim Japanese Welterweight crown.
That bout took place today and was a genuinely thrilling contest with both men giving their all in a bout that showed what hunger means, especially when both men are starving.
From the off Sakamoto looked like the aggressive fighter, and certainly did his best to force the pace of the bout. That did leave Kawasaki with some counter opportunities, but in the end Sakamoto's all out aggression and relentless work rate was simply too much for the light hitting Kawasaki, who never really hurt Sakamoto. Although cut, from a headclash early on, Sakamoto seemed to refuse to back from his foe.
After 5 rounds two of the judges had Sakamoto up, 49-46, whilst the other had Kawasaki leading 48-47. In the second half of the fight Kawasaki really struggled to have any success with Sakamoto doing enough to take a clear decision win, with scores of97-93, twice, and 97-94, and move towards a showdown with Arikawa, in what will be a Japanese title unfiication bout likely taking place later this year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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