Japanese action kicked off today with the first show of the new. The card, held at the Korakuen Hall, saw action come to an end with an intriguing Japanese title bout at 140lbs between heavy handed champion Hiroki Okada (11-0, 9) [岡田 博喜] and in form interim champion Masanobu Nakazawa (18-2-1, 7) [中澤 将信].
Going in to the bout both had sounded confident with Nakazawa looking to build on his interim victory, last year over Masayoshi Kotake, whilst Okada was wanting to make an impact following 10 months of inactivity, due in part to a fractured right thumb.
Despite the inactivity, and the previous injury, Okada looked like he didn't miss a beat. He was sharp from the off and took the fight to Nakazawa, who was left with a bloodied nose before the end of the opening round.
Nakazawa tried to respond in round 2, and did some damage to the face of Okada, but he was unable to stave off the fearsome champion who hurt him early in round 3 and forced the referee to step in.
The win for Okada was his third defence of the title and he may well be looking at a return in the summer against the winner of the upcoming OPBF title bout between Shinya Iwabuchi [岩渕 真也] and Al Rivera, who clash in early February.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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