In September 2008 Yuki Nonaka claimed his first professional boxing title, the Japanese Light Middleweight title. Just 3 months later he looked for the first defence of the the belt and took on the very heavy handed Takao Onda. The bout, on paper, was brilliant with a skilled and tough but light hitting champion fighting against a heavy handed and determined challenger with the winner set to end the year as the champion.
Although the bout looked great on paper it turned out not to be so great in reality with the power puncher often struggling to have much success against a man who was simply a level or two above him. In fact the bout proved how good the champion really was as he put on a bit of a masterclass at times with beautiful counter shots, intelligent movement and great variety in shots. It wasn't quite punch perfect but it did show off just how good Nonaka was, despite taking 7 losses into this fight.
Nonaka's reign sadly came to an end less than a year after this bout when he was out pointed by Akio Shibata and lost both the Japanese title and the OPBF title. By then however no one doubted his ability like they did earlier in his career when he had suffered a disproportionate number of losses.
(Footage courtesy of shibatakenji2517)
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