Earlier today Japanese fans saw former world title challenger Hidenori Otake (27-2-3, 12) [大竹 秀典] claim a razor thin win over the limited but heavy handed Alexander Espinoza (11-9-1, 10).
Otake, who famously went 12 rounds with Scott Quigg in the UK in 2015, was expected to easily defeat Espinoza but was dragged into a bloody and tough war which saw Otake winning by the skin of his teeth.
The Japanese fighter had been very heavily favoured but was under pressure from the opening seconds with Espinoza starting and taking the first round. Otake won the second roubnd, and secured it with a knockdown to put his nose in the lead. Despite the success in round Otake struggled to establish any control and Espinoza went on to have really competitive rounds through to round 5. By that point the judges were split with one judge having the bout level, at 47-47, one having Espinoza up 48-46 and the other having Otake up 48-47.
In round 6 Espinoza was deducted a point, for a low blow, which secured Otake a second 10-8 round. Otake did manage to build on that bit of fortune by taking round 7 on all 3 cards but Espinoza manage to take the final round keeping the scores razor thin on all 3 cards.
The final scores saw the judges score the bout 77-74, 76-74 and 75-75, to give Otake the majority decision win, but one by incredible close margins. Whilst it was a style of fight that suited Espinoza the competitive action is a worry for Otake who indicated that he was chasing a 2017 world title bout. Given that Espinoza was white washed in September by Genesis Servania, who scored an 80-71 win across the board, this result really does little to help Otake's career going forward, however Servania certainly has his claim for a 2017 world title bout strengthened in the already packed Super Bantamweight division.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!