Earlier today Japanese fans saw a notable upset on the domestic scene as former Japanese Featherweight title challenger Yuki Ogata (22-3-1, 4) [緒方 勇希] suffered a clear loss to the unheralded, a much unfancied Takahiro Araki (9-5, 4) [荒木 貴裕].
Ogata had started the fight as the favourite. He had only been beaten by veterans like Satoshi Hosono, in a Japanese title fight, and Noriyuki Ueno. Today however he was made to look like a very limited and lazy fighter by Araki, who out punched him, out moved him and out worked him.
Araki got off to a great start, landing booming right hands whilst Ogata seemed to be stuck in first gear. For the first 3 rounds Ogata did very little, almost as if he expected to be able to turn it on in the second half of the fight. Araki managed to find the range for his over-hand right, which landed consistently with eye catching effect,but also his jab which seemed to keep Ogata from ever building any form of momentum.
It wasn't until round 5 that Ogata seemed to finally realise he was losing thus and landed his best shot up that point, then began a mini fight-back,though it didn't last long with Araki reestablishing the following round with more solid right hands, and some intelligent movement that made Ogata look like a very clumsy fighter, firing shots too high and too short.
By round 8 it seemed clear that Ogata would need a KO but he never came close to scoring it, in stead he continued to look like a plodding fighter.
Although Ogata had started as the favourite he had performance like a dire fighter and never deserved to win. Thankfully the judges agreed scoring the bout 77-76, 77-75 and 78-75 all in favour of Araki.
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