Nonaka, who won the vacant title last year when he over-came Kengo Nagashima, started well boxing behind his jab and was in the lead on 2 of the cards when the scoring was announced at the mid way point boxing in his typical sharp manner.
The opening scoring seemed to spur on the challenger, who was forced to give up the belt last year due to health issues. From round 6 onwards Hosokawa's pressure became more effective, his shots began connecting at an impressive rate and Nonaka was unable to make the most of his size advantages.
Come the final bell the only thing that was clear was that this was close and that showed on the judges cards with the judging scoring it 96-95, 95-96 and 96-96.
After the bout both men mentioned a rematch and given the competitive nature and close scorecards it would make a lot of sense to see the two do it again, especially given the relative lack of depth in the division in Japan.
(Image courtesy boxingnews.jp)