Kimura got off to a great start, claiming the first 4 rounds on 2 of the scorecards and was level on the third card, using his jab and speed to out land and outbox Sakamoto. After 4 rounds it was clear that Sakamoto would need to change things around.
Knowing he was in a hole Sakamoto turned the fight around, picking up the pace in the middle rounds and winning rounds 5 and 7 on all 3 cards, and round 6 on two of them, as he began to reel in the fast starting Kimura. The fight back was great from Sakamoto Sadly for Sakjamoto round 8 saw Kimura having a great round, using a strong body attack to slow down Sakamoto who who seemed to struggle to get goinng again in the latter rounds, despite some great moments.
At the final bell it seemed like Kimura had done more than enough to claim the win and title. That was also the view of two of the judges who had Kimura winnign 116-112, whilst the third judge had the bout level at 114-114.
With the win Kimura claims his first career title and record an 8th straight win to extend huis current unbeaten run to 15 bouts. As for Sakamoto the defeat sees him losing his unbeaten record, but his performance was a very credible one and it would be no surprise to see him bounce back well in the near future.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)