Earlier today Japanese fans saw national Flyweight champion Takuya Kogawa (28-4, 13) [粉川 拓也] extend his reign with a clear, yet unexceptional, decision win over Yudai Arai (8-4-3, 4) [新井 雄大].
The bout started weirdly, with neither man quite looking like they had great balance in the ring, it was a slopping opening to the fight and certainly did suggest that either man was particularly comfortable. Thankfully though the bout warmed up drastically in round 2 as Yudai began to find his rhythm and timing. That resulted in the champion picking up his game the following round, and from then on we had an entertaining but weird bout.
It seemed like both men had issues landing with both often missing wildly, Kogawa, a highly cappable brawler, seemed unable to cut the distance on a regular basis though when he did he landed both single right hands at will and eye catching combinations. Arai, who had success with his left hand, seemed unable to ever take control and was well down at 5 rounds, with cards of 49-46 announced on the open scoring.
Kogawa's success bred more success and he extended his lead in rounds 6, 7 and 8 with his combinations, and often had Arai looking in trouble, but never quite had the balance to finish off his man, who showed real toughness.
In the final rounds a hungry Arai attemped to turn things around and won both round 9 and 10, having Kogawa in trouble for much of the final round. Had it been a longer bout there is a chance that Arai would have dropped, if not stopped Kogawa, who failed to look his usual self.
After the bout Kogawa seemed to suggest that he was hoping to get a world title fight. On this performance he wouldn't last with any of the world champions, but he did seem to fight much of the bout with a damamged right ear, that was badly swollen. It's possible that the damage to the ear caused some of his balance issues, which were certainly unusual to see from such a veteran.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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