Amagasa has held the OPBF title for around a year, in fact when he returns to the ring this coming Wednesday he'll have held the title just over a year, and has already defended it twice. He now looks for the third defence of the belt as he takes on fellow Japanese fighter Ryo Takenaka (11-2-1, 6), a man written off as little more than an easy challenger for the interesting champion.
Whilst Amagasa is the champion he is also a fighter that really confuses us at times. He's a long and rangy fighter with solid power, great work rate and fantastic reach for a Featherweight. Yet he fights as if he's an untrained and under-skilled brawler giving up his height all too often whilst swinging some very loose and wild looking shots. This seems to work for him with some major wins though when he actually thinks about what he's doing he can land some of the most beautiful and thudding shots we've seen, such as the finishing uppercut in his bout with Koji Nagata, you'll be hard pushed to find a better uppercut KO. On the whole however his wins have have often been messy and down to grinding effect of his wild hooks as opposed to crisp and clean shots.
Although a flawed fighter Amagasa is a fighter who does show signs of improvement and has reeled off a 12 fight winning streak since losing a decision back in 2012 to Ryol Li Lee, a loss that was avenged in Amagasa's OPBF winning title bout last year.
As for Takenaka he's a challenger we don't know a lot about. 29 year old has been a professional since 2008 and although he showed early promise with some solid wins early on his career was derailed back-to-back set backs in 2012 as he lost a decision so Masayuki Wakimoto and was stopped in 5 by Ryol Li Lee.
Whilst those set backs were hurtful for Takenaka's rise he has since strung together 4 straight wins with those some of those wins coming over the likes of Vergel Nebran and Rene Bestudio and helped him climb into the OPBF rankings. Sadly however the leap from Bestudio and Nebran to OPBF level is huge, especially when you consider that Takenaka has never fought in a bout scheduled for more than 8 rounds. The step up from 8 rounders to OPBF title bouts is huge and that alone tells what we need to know here. Takenaka isn't ready for this fight.
Whilst we accept Amagasa is flawed he has the ability to challenge for a world title and make a good account of himself. Against someone like Takenaka it's hard to see anything but an easy win for the champion who probably scores a mid round stoppage with out too many problems. That's not to say it won't be fun to watch, we love watching Amagasa, but it will be relatively one-sided.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)