Earlier today fans in Japan were treat to a domestic title fight as the talent Yu Kimura (14-2-1, 2) successfully retainined his Japanese Light Flyweight title in a sensational performance.
Kimura, who narrowly won the title earlier this year with a debated victory over Kenichi Horikawa, was fighting the bigger, taller and harder hitting Yuki Chinen (14-2, 7) though made life look easy in arguably the best performance of his career.
Chinen went in to the bout with a reputation of being a heavy handed fighter. He had taken Ryan Bito out in 81 seconds last time out and looked good doing it. Unfortunately for the challenger that power did him no favours here as Kimura took his best shots and fired back.
The early part of the fight was competitive with Chinen having most of his success in the first few rounds. That success was reflected on the on the score cards after 5 rounds, which was when we had open scores issues. At this point the fight was in the balance with 2 of the judges scoring the bout 48-47 in favour of Kimura whilst the other judge had it 49-46. Unfortunately for Chinen his early successes vanished and in the second half of the fight he simply couldn't get past the defence of Kimura who was starting to control the tempo and range.
By round 10 it seemed like Chinen was a fading force and Kimura still had energy to burn. Rather than keeping that energy in reserve Kimura started to force the challenger back as if he was beginning to think of a stoppage. By that point there wasn't enough time to see of Chinen but the result was in no doubt and the scorecards reflected what everyone knew, Kimura had retained his title.
With scores of 99-91, 98-93 and 97-94 there is no argument that Kimura deserved the victory here though questions of "what next?" need to be asked. Does Kimura attempt to avenge his defeats at the hands of Ryoichi Taguchi and Shin Ono, does he go hunting for the OPBF title, currently held by Jonathan Taconing, or does he get ambitious and attempt to hunt a world title fight. At the moment Kimura holds top 15 rankings with the IBF, WBC and WBO. As for Chinen we're expecting a move up in weight, with his frame the 108lb division cannot be easy to make and he's probably sapping a lot out of himself by continuing to fight at the weight.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Yu Kimura's first defense set
Japanese Light Flyweight champion Yu Kimura (13-2-1, 2) will be putting both his 4 fight winning streak and national title on the line on June 7th at the Korakuen Hall.
Kimura, who won the belt in February when he took a razor thin decision over Kenichi Horikawa, will fighting against against former national title challenger Yuki Chinen (14-1, 7) whose only loss came in his previous title fight against Ryoichi Taguchi.
Interestingly Taguchi has actually beaten both the champion and challenger in recent years, though of course lost his title to Naoya Inoue last year when Inoue got a chance to prove he was as good as touted. The results against Taguchi saw Kimura being stopped whilst Chinen was widely out pointed suggesting that neither man could really beat Taguchi though together they may make for an interesting match up.
At the moment Chinen is the #3 ranked Light Flyweight according to the JBC though the #13 ranked #13 ranked fighter according to the WBO. Similarly Kimura is also ranked by the WBO holding a #15 position with that title awarding body. This bout would surely see the winner being bumped up the WBO rankings and in fact they'll be very interested in the upcoming bout between Filipino Donnie Nietes and Mexico's Moises Fuentes. The winner of that bout could well be a potential opponent for this winner of this one.
(Photo courtesy of Teiken promotions)
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