At the beginning of 2015 we tipped Kenta Onjo (6-2, 3) [恩庄 健太], then 4-0 (3) as one to watch. Sadly for Onjo he would go on to have a nightmare 2015 suffering 2 stoppage defeats in a really disappointing year. Today he began his 2016 and managed to record arguably his best win to date.
The talented, but flawed, Tokashiki gym fighter was up against the experienced Akihiko Katagiri (17-9-2, 8) [片桐秋彦] and made sure that he got things off to a good start, putting the pressure on from the opening bell. That pressure had Katagiri on the back foot and although Katagirio did have some success with his counters he was regularly forced to the ropes with Onjo proving too strong and too youthful. That youth and strength went on to help Onjo score a knockdown in round 4 and and come close to scoring a stoppage in round 5.
To his credit Katagiri did show a lot of heart, and seemed to worry Onjo late, but it was too little too late for the Kawasaki Nitta fighter, who was unable to turn around the bout.
At the end of the 6 round contest Onjo was rightly judged to be the winner, with scores of 58-55, 58-54 and 59-55. It now seems likely he'll spend the year rebuilding to try and get back some career momentum. For Katagiri however this loss is a genuine set back and will see him pushed down the queue for a Japanese title fight.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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