Today fans at the Korakuen Hall saw Shingo Wake (20-4-2, 12) [和氣 慎吾] record his 10th straight win as he took part in a tune up bout before getting a world title fight later in the year. That was the main event but it's fair to say that it did get all the attention as the under-card for the show featured two notable bouts, one of which really stole the show.
That show steal came at 115lbs where Katsunori Nagamine (11-1, 7) [長嶺 克則] took on Wake's stablemate Kenya Yamashita (8-2, 5) [山下 賢哉] in what may go down as one of the best Japanese bouts of the year, despite the fact it last just 3 rounds.
From the opening bell Yamashita came out firing with an ultra-aggressive style that paid dividends early on as he dropped Nagamine. Sadly for Yamashita his aggression was untamed and he was deducted a point following the knockdown for his opponent whilst he was still down. Despite the deduction the round was a 9-8 for Yamashita who looked like he was going to steam roll through Nagamine.
In the second round Nagamine began to find his timing and landed some solid counters whilst Yamashita continued to bring the intense action. It was a close round as the momentum seemed to swing, slightly, in favour of Nagamine who had seen out the opening round blitz and had had success himself in the second.
Having got himself a foothold in the bout Nagamine seemed to settle in round 3 and was landing the better, crisper shots. Those shots took their toll and a pair solid shots from Nagamine's right hand, an uppercutt and a hook, sent Yamashita down with the towel coming in from his team.
The bout may have only lasted 6 minutes 40 seconds but it was wonderful and intense action from the opening bell to the finish.
For Nagamine this was a perfect return to the ring following a loss, last year, to Ken Shiro and subsequent surgery to repair a damaged eye. For Yamashita the loss is a major set back, but given his style fans will want to see him again and he's certainly young enough to rebuild from this loss.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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