Earlier today Japanese fans in Osaka saw 5 title bouts at the Sumiyoshi Ward Center. A number of those ended with upsets with one of those upsets being in an OPBF Middleweight title bout, that saw the heavy handed Koki Tyson (11-2-2, 10) [太尊 康輝] score a very surprising decision win against Australian Dwight Ritchie (14-1-0-4, 1).
Going in to the bout the perceieved logic was either that Ritchie would outbox Tyson using his skills, like he had in his title winning effort against Hikaru Nishida, or that Tyson's power would be too much for Ritchie and the Australian would be stoppage victim #11 for Tyson. As it turned out however Tyson proved his boxing ability and held his own with Ritchie in terms of boxing, and used his edge in power to stamp his control on things.
From the off the action seemed to be competitive with Tyson just getting the better of things, and after 4 rounds he was leading on 2 cards, 40-36 and 39-37, and was level on the other card.
The middle rounds were mostly even but the big telling point of the middle section of the fight was Tyson's power with the Japanese slugger dropping Ritchie with a big left hand and extending his lead after 8 rounds. The knockdown left Ritchie needing to have a fantastic end to the fight, and was 7 points down on one of the cards entering the final 4 rounds, with the other judges having Tyson up by 3.
Tyson, knowing victory was close, could have thrown it away but instead boxed smartly and ended up easily seeing off the final 4 rounds as he finished the bout winning with scores of 116-111 and 115-112, twice,
The scorecards, all though all providing similar scores, were all over the place with the judges only agreeing unanimously on rounds 1,2,5,8 and 9 for Tyson an 6 and 12 for Ritchie, showing that the fight was competitive, but Tyson had seemingly done enough to claim the title. He is however a champion who may not hold the title long. Ritchie was, in some ways, the type of champion that Tyson could shine against, knowing that the Australian lacked the power to really hurt him, however it was stillan upset. Sadly for the champion he is going to have to face a puncher,and keeping the title may be a very hard task going forward.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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