On Monday Japanese fans saw the 2015 Strongest Korakuen show which featured 4 Japanese eliminator bouts. One of those came at Lightweight and saw a popular warrior in action as he looked to move towards regaining the national title that he held in 2010-2011.
That warrior was Nihito Arakawa (26-6-1, 16) who managed to out point recent Japanese title challenger Yuya Sugizaki (20-11-1, 6), who had himself been stopped by current champion Kota Tokunaga just a few months ago.
Coming in to this bout it seemed like Arakawa was fighting for his career. He had lost 5 of his last 7, including his previous 2. Hie performance however showed little worry as he got in the ring and really did the business.
The fight started moderately well for Sugizaki earlier on and for the first 4 rounds things were moderately competitive, with Arakawa just getting the better of it. From round 5 however it was all one way traffic with Arakawa being too good and too smart for Sugizaki who slowed to the point where he was often a sitting duck for Arakawa's offensive work.
Come the final bell there was no doubting the winner with the former champion claiming a unanimous decision win with scores of 79-72, 78-75 and an oddly close 78-76.
The win for Arakawa should net him a shot in early 2016 at the Japanese Lightweight title and has already earned him ¥100,000 as he won the skills award at the "Strongest Korakuen" show and earned a sizable bonus payment.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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