Kobayashi, in his second title fight, fought like a man determined to make a mark on the fight and the first few rounds saw him bringing the pressure. Whilst it was rarely effective he did get some shots through the intelligent defense of Kim, who was happy to limit his own output. When Kim did throw however his shots seemed to have extra spite and venom on them with him often rocking and shaking the Japanese visitor. To Kobayashi's credit however he refused to be intimidated and always came firing back at Kim trying to turn the fight in his favour. Kim often obliged by hiding behind his defensive shell and fighting a lazy fight.
In the middle rounds Kim began to wake up a bit more, let his hands go more freely and seemed capable of a stoppage win, but never pressed the action enough to force it, often happy to hurt Kobayashi and back off. It was winning rounds, and impressing the loyal Korean support, but must have infuriated his team and neutrals who have to wonder if he will ever show that needed killer instinct.
Kim continued to look the boss, though often whilst fighting as an accurate counter puncher, until the final round when both upped the anti and let their shots go in an entertaining 3 minuts of action. Kim seemed to take a number of heavy looking shots, but withstood them well as his defenses started to fail him whilst Kobayashi fought like a man who felt he had a lifeline. Sadly for Kobayashi the finalcharge was never going to be enough and he was comfortably beaten on the scorecards.