Earlier today at Korakuen Hall fight fans had the chance to see unbeaten prospect Rei Nakajima (4-0) [中島玲] score the biggest win of his career, as he over-came former OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight champion Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (12-6-1, 11) [細川チャーリー忍], and took a decision win over the veteran.
On paper the bout was a massive step up in class for Nakajima. The unbeaten youngster was taking on his most notable foe so far. Hosokawa seemed to have almost all the advantages, being the bigger, stronger, longer, more powerful and more experienced fighters. That however proved to be for nought as Nakajima proved to be the quicker, smarter, better boxer.
From the opening stages Nakajima relied on his speed and movement. He was making Hosokawa miss, and nipping in and out with sharp, accurate shots. It was great gameplan from the diminutive youngster who looked really talented though out the early and mid rounds.
It wasn't until late into the bout that Hosokawa began to find his man, who was slowing down and feeling the pace a little bit more. In round 7 Hosokawa landed several good body shots, though his success was somewhat limited and in round 8 Nakajima again showed what he could do with his quicker movement and hand speed.
Despite the bout seeming to be a clear win for Nakajima, the judges actually had this one split. One judge some how, had Hosokawa winning 78-74, whilst the other two had Nakajima taking the decision 77-75. It should be noted that Nakajima, from Osaka, was in Tokyo for this bout, whilst Hosokawa wasn't just "fighting at home", but his promoter was also in charge of the show, which may have played a part in the scoring.
Following his win Nakajima stated that he wanted to get a Japanese Light Middleweight title fight as soon as possible. On the back of this performance that title fight might be a bit too soon, though we would love to see him take on Hironobu Matsunaga (17-1, 11) [松永 宏信] somewhere down the line.
On the same show there was a technical draw in the bout between Tulio Kuwabata (3-1-1, 2) [桑畑凜生] and Yoshihiro Utsumi (16-9-4, 10) [宇津見義広]. There was a headclash early on that left Utsumi cut, and in round 2 that cut worsened to the point where the bout had to be stopped.
For fans wanting to watch this one it will be put on Boxing Raise in the coming days.
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