Last October we saw Yudai Arai (8-5-3,4) [新井 雄大] battle against Takuya Kogawa in a Japanese Flyweight title bout. The challenger came up short, but showed his toughness, and he really gave Kogawa some problems late on, injuring the champions ear and hurting him in the final rounds. Today he returned to the ring to take on veteran Yota Hori (13-5-2, 8) [堀 陽太], who had lost his previous 3 bouts, going back over 2 and a half years, and hadn't fought since December 2015.
This was supposed to be a chance for the Japanese ranked Arai to get back to winning to winning ways and move towards a second title fight. Hori however hadn't read the script and instead he came out looking like a man with a point to prove, and he seemed to rock Arai early with a solid straight left hand that left Arai's knees wobbling. In round 3 Hori turned an Arai attack around and dropped him for the first time, before landing a right hook dropped Arai hard, and it was the start of the end for the former title challenger as Hori unloaded on him soon afterwards.
With the win it's likely that Hori will find himself back in the Japanese rankings, and it's obvious that the break from the ring has done him a fair bit of good, allowing his body to rest and his hunger to return. For Arai however this is a 4th loss in 6 bouts and it's likely that he's had his moment in the sun, the aforementioned bout with Kogawa.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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