Japanese boxing is full of prospects right now, some of which are are obviously going to fall before reaching the top, or at least are going to have to rebuild following a set back. Earlier this weekend we saw Takumi Sakae (13-1, 8) [榮 拓海] suffer his first loss, being out pointed in a Japanese title fight by Tatsuya Fukuhara (17-4-5, 6) [福原 辰弥]. Just 24 hours later we saw another much touted Japanese youngster suffered an unexpected set back.
That set back was suffered by touted Osaka Teiken hopeful Sho Nakazawa (8-1, 4) [中澤奨] who went from being on the verge of an OPBF title fight to being a man in need of rebuilding.
Nakazawa was up against Japanese based Korean Teiru Atsumi (10-1, 4) [テイル渥美]* in what was supposed to be the next step in Nakazawa's promising career. Instead it turned out to be a launch pad for Atsumi who took his chance and came to the ring with an unexpected desire to prove himself.
That desire was evident from the off as he took the fight to Nakazawa and seemed to hurt him with upper-cutts in round 3. In the 4th things went from bad to worse for Nakazawa who was cornered by the Korean who went to town. With Nakazawa trapped Atsumi's landed clean shots eventually forcing the referee to save Nakazawa, at an official time of 2:10 of the fourth round.
Following the win Atsumi mentioned that he was wanting to move to a Japanese title fight in the near future, with the win likely to shoot him up the Japanese rankings. Nakazawa on the other hand will have to seriously rebuild following what is a massive setback for the former amateur standout.
*Atsumi is listed as 7-1 (4) on boxrec, though sources in Japan have confirmed a 10-1 (4) record.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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