Last timeout Tomoki defeated the then champion Paulus Ambunda, this time it was the turn of "The Prince" Immanuel Naidjala (17-1-1, 11) to suffer defeat at the hands of Tomoki.
Despite the challenger showing a good jab in the first round it was Tomoki got off to the better start as he came forward, forced Naidjala back and looked from the off to be a stronger, faster and better fighter. The power of Tomoki, which is often under-rated, showed up in round 2 as he seemed to rock Naidjala and at that point it seemed to be a case of just how long would the challenger last.
The domination of Tomoki became more and more evident in rounds 4 and 5 as he began landing left hands to the body at will, walking through Naidjala's shots and generally doing as he pleased. It looked almost certain that Naidjala wasn't going to see out the distance due to the quality of body shots he was forced to take.
With the fight "in the bag" in terms of the scorecards after 8 rounds, Tomoki seemed to realise that Naidjala was genuinely a "teak tough African" and not the sort of fighter who was going to be stopped with out a real war. The rounds had been clearly Tomoki's up to this point but, other than a the moment in round 2 he had never really hurt the challenger. With that in mind the champion seemed to hit cruise control.
In the final 4 rounds Naidjala began to come on strong. This was partly due to Tomoki himself slowing down and partly due to the urgency that must have struck Naidjala. This saw Naidjala, who really needed a knockout to win, taking a share of rounds 9, 10, 11 and 12. It was however far too little far too late and some of the judges didn't even feel he deserved more than 1 of those rounds.
For Tomoki this is the first defense out of the way though at times, especially late in the fight, he looked a little out of sorts. It was probably the fact he switched off after taking a clear lead though it still a worry of sorts that he'd do that against an unbeaten challenger. The fact he couldn't, or at least didn't, turn up the heat in the championship rounds was a disappointment, though we do think he was cruising due to his early and mid-round domination.
The domination of Tomoki was reflected on the score-cards with Tomoki winning by scores of 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111. Of those cards we'd agree with 117-111 which was exactly what we had.
Sorry to say this but Adalaide Byrd, who turned in the 119-109, turned in yet another questionable card just weeks after her very odd score in the Carlos Molina/Ishe Smith fight in the US. She has also had a poor scores in the Carl Froch/Mikkel Kessler II fight and the Donnie Nietes/Moises Fuentes bouts also this year. She's starting to get a reputation for bad scorecards and if I was a fighter, fighting on away turf I'd certainly question her suitability for any fight right now.
Saying that however the right man won and that's really all that matters in the sport.