Since the Amagasa Vs Rigondeaux fight we've seen one of the men stopped by Amagasa claim the title. That's current champion Vinvin Rufino (37-16-3, 16), a veteran from the Philippines who made his debut more than 13 years ago and, only earlier this year, scored what is arguably his defining victory. That was his win over Mark Gil Melligen to claim the OPBF title back in May.
For Rufino's first defense he'll be facing another of Amagasa's former victims, Ryo Takenaka (12-3-1, 6). Whilst Rufino was comfortably beaten by Amagasa, sitting several rounds down on the scorecards before being finished off in round 8, Takenaka was actually up on the score cards before being stopped with less than 2 minutes of the fight left.
For Rufino, 33, his loss to Amagasa has helped him revive his career with a trio of wins back home in the Philippines. The most notable of those was his win over Melligen. Interestingly the loss to Amagasa was Rugino's only defeat in his last 8 bouts, though he has, notably, had very mixed fortunes on the road with a record of 2-2 in Japan, 5-6-2 in Indonesian and 7-13-2 on the road in total.
In the ring Rufino is a handful. He's in an opponents face through out the fight and although he lacks concussive power he can hit hard enough to drop, or buzz, opponents, as he did with Melligen. Whilst he's not a big hitter he is the sort of guy who always brings a fight and will be looking to out work Takenaka here.
At 30 years old Takenaka is the younger man, but certainly isn't “young” as such and in many ways is looking towards the end of his career if he loses again here. The Misako gym fighter is a very talented boxer, as shown in his bout with Amagasa, but has been stopped in 2 of his 3 defeats and has sometimes struggled with opponents that he should really have breezed past. Notably he has also only fought once since being stopped by Amagasa and was relatively fortunate to pick up a win in that bout.
Although talented Takenaka lacks the power needed to make the most of his skill and at times has shown enough flaws for fighters to adapt to him. Interestingly, coming in to this bout, Takenaka is unbeaten against Filipino fighters, with whom he has a 2-0 record. They have however come against fighters less experienced and less proven that Rufino.
Coming in to this bout we really know that neither can afford a loss. Unfortunately for Rufino we suspect he's gonna come up short on the cards unless he can stop Takenaka. We know scoring in boxing is subjective but it often goes with the home fighter and we suspect that will be the case again here with a debatable victory for the Japanese fighter.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)