Earlier today Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall saw OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (15-3-1, 8) [竹中 良] record the 2nd defense of his title as he defeated Filipino Randy Braga (19-2-1, 5) with a wide 12 round decision.
The champion got off to a solid start using his jab to establish the distance he wanted and slowly work in his straight left hand and right hook. Although Braga seemed faster he struggled to get a foot hold in the early stages, and by the time the scores were announced at the end of round 4 the action was heating up nicely.
Going in to round 5 Takenaka was in a clear lead, 39-37 on two cards and 40-37 on the other.
Takenaka's domination of the bout continued through the middle portion of the bout, with his right hook being a key punch, through the middle rounds and by the end of round 8 the champion was in a commanding lead, courtesy of scores of 79-74 and 78-74, twice.
In the final rounds Takenaka looked to try and up the pace, landing some brilliant body shots, but never managed to hurt the challenger who continued to try but struggled to claim a single one of the final rounds, losing with cards of 118-110, 118-110 and 119-110.
With the win Takenaka extends his reign but seemed to confess that he wasn't ready for a wold title fight and seemed disappointed in his performance. For Braga the loss is the clear defeat if his career, and he seemed to have nothing to really challenge Takenaka, and may well find himself struggling at this type of level going forward.
For fans wanting to watch this bout it will aired over the weekend on Fuji TV as part of their Diamond Glove series of shows.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see an OPBF Featherweight title fight, as reigning champion Ryo Takenaka (14-3-1, 8) [竹中 良] takes on once beaten Filipino challenger Randy Braga (19-1-1, 5).
Today the two men weighed in for their bout and both made weight, in fact both came in at an identical weight of 57KG's, around 1/4lb under the Featherweight limit for the bout.
For the champion the bout will be his second defense, and sees him hunting a third straight stoppage win, following wins over Vinvin Rufino and Akira Shono, it does however see him returning from a hand injury which has slowed his rise through the ranks. If he wins the aim is clearly to begin moving into the world rankings, and look to become the #1 Featherweight in Japan, supplanting Satoshi Hosono, and eventually move towards a world title bout.
The challenger, making his Japanese debut, will be fighting in his first OPBF title bout, but has previously won national titles and challenged in South Africa for an international title. Although the visitor he has an impressive record and some suggest he should be unbeaten coming into this, making him a very interesting challenger for the technically skilled champion.
Braga looks to dethrone Takenaka in OPBF battle
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Last month we reported that OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (14-3-1, 8) [竹中 良] would be defending his title on October 13th at the Korakuen Hall against Filipino Randy Braga (19-1-1, 5). It now seems that that card is being put together with officially announcements of two other, really interesting, bouts for the card. Confirming one we already knew about and announcing another for the show.
The main event between Takenaka and Braga sees the champion returning to the ring after surgery on his right hand and it will be his second defense of the title that he won last year, stopping Vinvin Rufino in eye catching fashion. For Braga the bout is his first OPBF title fight and sees him fighting outside of the Philippines for just the second time.
The bout we knew about is a contest between Dexter Alimento (11-0, 7) and the fast rising Masataka Taniguchi (4-0, 4) [谷口 将隆]. These two had their bout announced last week by Alimento's team, though at the time there was very few details actually revealed about the contest. We now know the bout will be an 8 round fought at 107lbs and the winner will find themselves highly ranked by the IBF.
Alimento will be looking to build on his big win earlier this year against Chanachai CP Freshmart and will also be fighting to protect his IBF world ranking, however Taniguchi has looked fantastic so far and has been fast tracked by Watanabe who are seemingly looking for their next generation of stars. This is a brilliant match up and the type of thing we want to see more often in boxing.
The fight that we saw announced saw announced this morning will see novice Shuichiro Yoshino (2-0, 1) [吉野 修一郎] face off against the once touted Kenta Onjo (6-2, 3) [恩庄 健太]. Onjo caught our eye early in his career scoring 4 wins in 16 months and showed real potential during that start. Things then went down hill in 2015 with stoppage losses to Jonathan Baat and Tomoya Yamada, though he did bounce back earlier this year with a notable win over Akihiko Katagiri. Yoshino only turned professional last December but has impressed with his win last time out against Thai veteran Chaiyong Sithsaithong being particularly notable.
At the moment it's unclear if the card will be aired by anyone, though given the quality on offer it would be a real shame if boxingraise or a-sign didn't get the card to show in full.
Dexter Alimento set to face Masataka Taniguchi on October 13th
Ryo Takenaka to defend OPBF crown against Randy Braga on October 13th!
Earlier today we were informed that OPBF Featherweight champion Ryo Takenaka (14-3-1, 8) [竹中 良] would be returning to the ring on October 13th at the Korakuen Hall to make the second defense of his title, a title he won in August 2005 by stopping Vinvin Rufino. The bout will see Takenaka up against the criminally under-rated Randy Braga (19-1-1, 5) in what should be a genuine test for the champion, who is 3-0 (2) since losing in his first title bout to Hisashi Amagasa, being stopped in the 12th round of a fight he was winning.
Takenaka, from the same Misako gym as Keita Obara, is world ranked by the WBC but is known for coming up short against his best opponents, including Amagasa who stopped him with 105 seconds to go and Ryol Li Lee, who stopped him in round 5. Despite those perceived frailties he has managed to carve out a decent career with wins against the likes of Vergel Nebran, Rene Bestudio and Rufino, who was KO'd in spectacular fashion last year. He's a gifted boxer who hits much harder than his record suggests and although not the toughest or fastest he is a very capable boxer on the Japanese and Asian scene, though is unlikely to ever claim a world title.
Filipino fighter Braga is one of the more under-rated talents from the often ignored Filipino domestic scene. His sole loss was a razor thin one in South Africa to the big punching Macbute Sinyabi, a bout that many those attending felt that Braga deserved, and since then he has reeled off 4 straight wins, including a narrow decision win over Neil John Tabano. Although relatively unknown away from home he's a tough and skilled fighter who won't be travelling to make up the numbers, instead he's travelling for the title, which he will be hoping to unify with his GAB title.
At the moment no details have been revealed about the under-card though we suspect they will be made public in the near future.
For those who haven't see Takenaka's title win we have included it below.
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