For fighters rematches can be "Revenge of Repeat" for fans however rematches can be a genuine treat. That was seen again earlier today in Japan as fans at the wonderdul Korakuen Hall saw a bloody tear up between Japanese Bantamweight champion Kentaro Masuda (25-7, 13) [益田 健太郎] and old adversary Yu Kawaguchi (25-8, 12) [川口 裕].
When the two men first fought, around 2 years ago, Masuda defeated Kawaguchi via technical decision after 10 pulsating rounds. This time we saw a full 30 minutes of action, and what great action it was with both men giving their all in a pulsating, engaging, competitive and bloody war.
From the opening round it was clear that the fans were in for a special fight and the action was hot from the off and by round 5 Kawaguchi was bleeding from the left eye and behind on the cards, with the judges having the bout 49-46 and 48-47 to the defending champion, whilst a dissenting judge had it 48-47 to Kawaguchi.
The second half of the fight was just as good as the first, if not better, as Kawaguchi looked to turn the fight around.
In the second half Kawaguchi upped the ante and Masuda was forced to go with him, thought in round 9 the champion appeared to be flagging with the champion having a huge penultimate round. Despite having merely survived round 9 Masuda came out for the final round like a man possessed and for 3 minutes the crowd were given a massive gift with the two men beating the snot out of each other.
After 10 rounds both were bloodied, both looked beaten and battered but the fans had had a treat. Unfortunately for the challenger the treat wasn't extended to him with the champion retaining his title with a split decision, courtesy of cards that read 96-94, 96-95 and 95-96.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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