Due to the fact some fans will not be wanting to know the result of today's Japanese, OPBF and WBO Asian Pacific Lightweight title bout between defending champion Shuichiro Yoshino [吉野 修一郎] and veteran challenger Valentine Hosokawa [細川繁] we will begin this with a paragraph of text to act as a spoiler warning. Please be aware this is a 1-off paragraph designed to not ruin the bout for those who have accidentally stumbled on this page ahead of the TV broadcast of the bout this coming weekend on Fuji TV. This is something we are only going to be doing when we know that a bout will be televised on delay and will only ever be a 1 paragraph thing, with the idea of allowing fans to watch events as live. With that in mind we'd just like to remind everyone this bout will be aired on Saturday night/Sunday morning in Japan and can be watched as live as part of the Diamond Glove event.
With that spoiler warning out of the way we'll start by discussing the sole under-card bout, which was a blink and you miss affair. The one under-card bout on the show saw Yasutaka Fujita (6-1, 6) [藤田裕崇] blast out Kensuke Nakamura (4-9-2) [中村 堅亮] in just 19 seconds!
Fujita, who lost in the all Japan Rookie of the Year final last year, was fighting for the first time since transferring to the Misako gym earlier this year. Within seconds of the bout started he landed a huge left hand that dropped Nakamura. To his credit Nakamura managed to get to his feet, but was out of it. This really was the perfect start for Fujita as a Misako gym fighter.
The main event of the show saw the JBC, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino (13-0, 10) [吉野 修一郎] retain his titles as he took a clear decision over veteran Valentine Hosokawa (25-8-3, 12) [細川繁].
Yoshino seemed to be dialed in early on, showing respect to Hosokawa and boxing safely. He was likely aware of the strength and physicality of Hosokawa, and felt that that wasn't a type of fight he wanted. Instead Yoshino used his jab, boxed, kept it at range when he could and used his speed. To his credit Hosokawa was hungry and tried to pick up the pace in rounds 3 and 4. After 4 rounds the judges all had Yoshino in the lead, with scored of 40-36, and 39-37, twice.
In the middle rounds Yoshino picked up his own pace, though Hosokawa stood his ground and fought back, particularly in round 6, when he did that Yoshino got back on the move, using his feet to control the tempo and range of the fight, whilst keeping himself safe. It was a simple use of a clear advantage he had against a smaller, older, slower man. The speed and movement of Yoshino helped him extend his lead, and after 8 rounds he was up 80-72, and 79-73, twice.
Yoshino put his foot on the gas in round 10, as he looked to try and put an exclamation mark on the bout, but Hosokawa's toughness showed through as he refused to just accept defeat, and looked to turn things around. Sadly for him it wasn't to be, with Yoshino continuing to dictate the bout through to the bell.
After 12 rounds there was no doubting the outcome, with Yoshino taking the decision 119-109, twice, and 120-108.
Following the contest Yoshino spoke about the contest, and revealed that getting 12 rounds experience against a veteran like Hosokawa was a positive, and that he was glad to be able to defend his triple crown. He's aiming for a world title fight and a bout like this will clearly help him prepare for it.
As for Hosokawa it's unclear what his future brings. He was clearly beaten here, but Yoshino is a real talent who's style, today, was one that neutralised Hosokawa for the most part. Fingers crossed that this won't be the end for him, as he really does have so much more to give the sport, and he will be a handful for any of the top domestic contenders.
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