The bout, which we unfortunately can't find a video for, was described in all the the same terms as any great fight. Unfortunately however the disappointment of not winning seemed to get to Numata who soon announced his retirement and left us all feeling a little disappointed in not getting a rematch like everyone else seemed to want. Thankfully Numata thought twice about retirement and quickly agreed to face Shimokawara for a second time with the two men now meeting just 5 months after their first bout.
For Numata this will be his third shot at the OPBF crown and could well be his last. He's not "old" by any stretch at just 30, but he's taken a lot of damage and from his reaction from the first fight his heart is probably not in boxing to just compete, he probably thinks it's about winning or walking away.
At his best Numata was never a practitioner of the "sweet science". He's also been more of a fan of rough destruction and watching him you see a man who comes to fight not to box, you see a man who feels his power is more telling than that of his foes. In fact Numata's power is pretty impressive and has seen him stop the likes of Tadashi Yuba, Yuichi Ideta, Fukutaro Ujiie, Yoshihisa Tonimura, Go Nakahori and most recently Ryo Okayama. Sadly when he's not been able to blow foes away he has really struggled to pick up wins, in fact he has gone 5-4-2 in distance bouts.
Dangerous but crude really does sum Numata who is popular on the Japanese domestic scene due to his style but is probably stuck between the domestic level and the OPBF level due to his relative lack of boxing ability.
Whilst Numata is well known to fans who follow the Japanese domestic scene the same cannot be said for Shimokawara who is difficult to find footage of and very hard to get a real read on. What we know that he has shard the ring with some decent fighters, such as Akio Shibata, Akinori Watanabe, Numata obviously, Sanosuke Sasaki and Daisuke Nakagawa . Unfortunately for Shimokawara he does tend to come up short against those better fighters.
Whilst he's not managed to get many notable wins Shimokawara has shown that he's very hard to stop, in fact only the very heavy handed Watanabe has stopped him, and Shimokawara was still on his feet when that was waved off. The fact Shimokawara is a tough, tough guy is a problem for Numata and the reason why Numata wasn't able to blow him away in their first meeting.
As well as being tough we also know that Shimokawara is tall, rangy and difficult to get to. Yet more issues for Numata who will be giving away notable size going into this one. Though at 32 years old and with almost 200 rounds under his belt he has likely taken quite a bit of accumulative damage of his career.
Going in to this bout we expect a bout very similar to the first contest between the two men. Numata will, as he always does, look for the stoppage, bring a lot of action and go for the KO and we think Shimokawara will meet him centre ring as we get 12 more rounds of none stop action between two warirors who have contrasting styles but styles that work well together to give fans a great fight.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
(Video below courtesy of fukumen11)