Coming in to the bout Furuhashi was still very highly ranked by the JBC and had been hoping that a win against Watanabe would help him move towards a second Japanese title fight. Instead of Furuhashi's moving towards a title fight, it is now Watanabe who has leaped up the queue towards a title fight of his own.
The under-rated Watanabe started fast, finding a home for his left hook and straight right from very early in the bout. The good start from Watanabe saw him taking an early lead before Furuhashi managed to mount a comeback of sorts in rounds 3 and 4.
The comeback from Furuhashi was brought to a halt in the second half as Watanabe re-established his boxing and used his own strength to force back Furuhashi, who had been trying to bring the pressure and break down the 25 year old.
After the final bell it seemed like Watanabe had done enough, and the judges agreed, scoring the bout 77-76, twice, and 77-75 to Watanabe, who bounced back well following successive defeats. Sadly for Furuhashi this set back sees him falling to 0-2-1 in his last 3 and his career really needs a quick turn around if he's to get another shot at a Japanese title.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)