Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fans were given not only the 3 Hajime No Ippo Tournament quarter final bouts but also an interesting match up between the talented Masahiro Suzuki (4-0, 2) [鈴木雅弘] and the under-rated Hokuto Matsumoto (5-3, 1) [松本北斗].
This bout didn't get much attention, at least not compared to the 3 tournament bouts, but this was another bout worthy of attention, with Suzuki being a genuine prospect, with a lot of potential and a very good amateur pedigree.
Although the bout didn't get much attention it was an entertaining one, with both men really going for it. Matsumoto got off to a great start but it wasn't long until Suzuki managed to work his way back into the contest, and left Matsumoto cut and swollen. Matsumoto tried battling through the damage, and had moments, but was stopped in round 5 after the doctor took a second look at him.
The bout went to the scorecards, with the injuries being ruled as having come from a head clash. With less than a minute of round 5 remaining the scores were tallied, 48-47, 48-47 and 47-48, giving Suzuki a razor thin split decision.
Despite being very impressed by Suzuki on his debut he hasn't yet built on that debut as we'd hoped, however a tough bout today certainly won't have done his career any harm, and may well serve him better than an easy win. He's talented and getting tough bouts under his belt will certainly not be a bad thing for him and his development. As for Matsumoto he put his name in the mix for good domestic bouts and we look forward to seeing where he goes from here.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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