Coming in to this one Takayama was the big betting favourite, it was supposed to be an easy defense against an inactive Mexican foe who had come up short every time he had faced a fighter of name value. In the end however it turned into an all action war, with back-forth action, high intensity and like many Takayama bouts, more trades the New York Stock Exchange.
The first round set the tone for the action with Takayama looking the more sprightly fighter but Argumedo looking like a big, tough solid
lump, and the bigger puncher. The round was one that could have gone either way, depending on whether quality and power trumps activity. Whilst the first was very competitive there was little damage to either man, despite the numerous shots that were landed. That wasn't the case in round 2 when a head clash left Takayama with a cut, a cut that worsened through out the fight. The action during the second was intense, and there was no wonder some blood was being spilled in what was quickly becoming an all out war.
The first was the start of a war that had serious battle through rounds 3, 4 and 5. During those rounds both men seemed to neglect defense, going all out with shots in what made for compelling viewing with round 5 in particular being something exceptional. Despite the action there was little to pick between them, except in round 4 which was a very clear Takayama round with Argumedo being backed up and bullied by the naturally smaller man.
Sadly for Takayama the warrior mentality was taking it's toll on his face and by the end of the 5th it appeared that both yes and his nose were leaking, a result of the shots from Argumedo and the fact he has had such a long and damaging career. The blood was beginning to look like and issue in rounds 6 and 7 but Takayama seemed to like the taste of it and upped the ante, throwing more than he had early in an attempt to break down a slowing Argumedo. The Mexican continued to look the stronger man but his feet were flat and his energy reserves seemed to be wearing away due to the intense tempo of the contest.
The battling spirit in Takayama again saw him forcing back Argumedo in round 8 but the Mexican could see the damage he was doing to the eye when he landed and seemed to target it with his heavy shots and by the start of round 9 the blood was a serious issue, along with the swelling around Takayama's face. The champion was beginning to look a real mess. The mess was so bad that the doctor had a really long, hard and serious look during the 9th round. It seemed as it the doctor was going to pull Takayama out there and then, though he relented, as if to say "you have until the round is over".
Knowing time was running out Takayama went on the offensive throwing everything he had at Argumedo, including the kitchen sink, but could stop the Mexican who saw out the storm and heard the bell. It was then that the doctor decided enough, was enough and called a halt to the bout.
This forced us to the scorecards for a technical decision, the second technical decision that Takayama has been involved in this year, though sadly for him he was to be denied of victory and his title with Argumedo taking a split decision with scores of 87-84, twice, whilst the dissenting judge had it 86-85 to Takayama.
This loss for Takayama will be a painful one, especially given the state of his face, though we doubt it'll be the end of the exciting "Lightning Kid" who seemed to suggest that he was heading to 108lbs next year.