On Monday Japanese fans had the chance to see two intriguing title fights at the Korakuen Hall. One of those saw Maayuki Ito retain the OPBF Super Featherweight title with a unanimous decision win over Shingo Eto, the other saw a new champion being crowned in a minor upset.
That upset saw Teiken's heavy handed Kenichi Ogawa (17-1, 14) claim the Japanese Super Featherweight title with a technical decision win against the previously unbeaten Rikki Naito (13-1, 5).
The fight was action packed from the off with both men meeting center ring. Sadly for Naito that wasn't a good decision and with in a round he had felt the much vaunted power of Ogawa, who dropped him with a monstrous right hand. Naito did beat the count but was fortunate that the bell came before Ogawa got the chance to finish the show.
Despite the knockdown Naito refused to be intimidated and came out fighting for round 2, a round that had fans raving due to the great 2-way action. For the most part Ogawa was the aggressor but Naito seemed to hurt the challenger with a solid counter attack late in the round.
In round 3 Naito looked like he was starting to find his rhythm, using his jab and moving, though was unable to really take control with Ogawa's strength and power always looking like a problem for Naito.
Sadly the bout failed to reach a natural end as a headclash forced the fighters to the cards part way through round 5. Given Ogawa's great start it seemed clear the title was changing hands, and no one really seemed to dispute the cards, which all favoured the puncher , courtesy of scores of 49-46, twice and 49-47.
Despite the win Ogawa seemed to suggest a rematch was the fairest thing and the two may well get it on again in early 2016. For Naito a smart decision may be waiting , as he did seem under-strengthed, though we could understand him wanting to avenge his defeat as soon as possible.
For those interested in watching this, it will be televised on Fuji TV on Friday night.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!