This weekend is a huge one for Japanese fight fans with two world title bouts, a Japanese title fight and OPBF title bout. Before the weekend kicked off however fans also had a Japanese title fight in Osaka, as Tetsuya Hisada (28-9-2, 17) [久田 哲也] traded blows with fellow veteran Kenichi Horikawa (32-15-1, 7) [堀川 謙一] for the Japanese Flyweight title, which had been vacated by Ken Shiro earlier this year.
The bout between Hisada and Horikawa had been put together on about 4 weeks notice, but both men had come in to the bout hungry, determined and full of desire, desire that shone through from the early moments, to the final bell. Were it not for that determination and desire the may not have been the war which it ultimately ended up being.
Hisada got off to the perfect start, winning the first 2 rounds on all 3 cards by using his jab well and keeping Horikawa at a relatively safe distance. Horikawa however wasn't ever going to just roll over and accept a defeat and he came out looking to up the pace in round 3, a round that one judge gave him. In round 4 Horikawa's aggression got a bit too wild and wreckless and he suffered a point deduction for using his head. The deduction put the 37 year old in a hole with the scorecards against him when they were announced after 5 rounds, all of which were in favour of Hisada.
Having been behind going in to the second half of the fight Horikawa tried to again press the action but was again deducted a point for use of the head, in round 6, before suffering a knockdown in round 7.
Horikawa bounced back with a good round 8, but it was too little too late and Hisada went on see out the storm and fight back in the final 2 rounds to claim a wide decision with scores of 95-92, 96-91 and 97-91.
With the win Hisada claims the biggest victory of his career so far, becomes a champion for the first time and avenges two previous decision defeats to Horikawa. Sadly for Horikawa the head clashes, and shots of Hisada left him looking like a mess with a huge gash over his right eye brow, and it's going to take some serious time for that to heal.
Aged 37 it may well be time for Horikawa to walk away from the sport, for good. He's had a memorable, exciting and very tough career, but one that has seen him claim both the Japanese title and the WBO Asia Pacific title, which he currently holds. For Hisada, who is now 33, the win is a career defining victory and one he will certainly savour.
(Images courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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