Japanese Super Bantamweight champion Yukinori Oguni (14-1-1, 4) narrowly retained his title earlier today as he fought to a majority draw with the unheralded Gakuya Furuhashi (17-5-1, 7).
Oguni, a former OPBF champion, was making the first defense of the Japanese title that he won last year when he narrowly defeated Yasutaka Ishimoto, and was rather fortunate to keep the belt here as he was given all he could handle in an incredibly competitive and well matched bout.
To begin with it was Oguni's fight. He made the most of his speed and and busy jab to take a clear lead at half way mark with all 3 judges scoring the bout 49-46 in favour of the champion after 5 rounds. The problems for the champion however began in round 5 as Furuhashi began to get inside the champions reach and began to have his first moments of success.
Rounds 6 and 7 saw Furuhashi building on his success and forcing his pressure on to the champion. Although Oguni was having his moments it was Furuhashi who was catching the eye and working his socks off in an attempt to slow the champion down and make the contests into more of a fight. Oguni however had a much better 8th round before Furuhashi got his second wind and leveled things off on two of the cards.
For Furuhashi, who had to wait the better part of a year for his shot after having a fight with the then champion Hidenori Otake cancelled last year this would have been a very disappointing result however he will come again and at 27 he will certainly get another shot. As for Oguni this is back-to-back close fights and it seems his lack of power is going to make a lot of fights very tough. Saying that however Oguni is now 4-0-1 (2) since his sole loss, a stoppage to the brilliant Shingo Wake back in 2013.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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