On Tuesday they saw Shintaro Matsumoto (13-4, 9) [松本 晋太郎] claim the OPBF Super Middleweight title with a shock technical decision win over Yuzo Kiyota (29-5-1, 27) [清田 祐三]. Just a day later they saw novice professional Noriaki Sato (3-1-1, [佐藤矩彰] take a decision win over former OPBF Light Welterweight title challenger Valentine Hosokawa (20-5-3, 9) [細川バレンタイン].
Coming in to the bout we were expecting Sato to put up a good effort but come up short against the more experienced man. Instead however Sato looked great from the off. He showed a very sharp jab, moved excellently and seemed to do little things better than Hosokawa did. Hosokawa was competitive but failed to build any real momentum until the middle rounds when the bout began to turn into a slugfest, with both fighting hard in rounds 6 and 7.
By round 8 it seemed like Sato had just done enough to claim the win with the judges agreeing, scoring the bout to the novice with scores of 77-76, twice, and 77-75. With the win we expect to see Sato climb into the Japanese rankings, whilst Hosokawa, who was ranked coming in to the bout, will likely consider his future, given that he turns 35 later this month.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)