Earlier today Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall saw an OPBF Featherweight title bout, and unsurrisingly the 1/20 favourite Ryo Takenaka (16-3-1, 9) [竹中 良] successfully retained his title, scoring a 4th round win over compatriot Ryuto Araya (11-5-1, 3) [荒谷 龍人].
The fight started well for Araya who showed real confidence early on and backed up Takenaka in the early stages and used his jab well to keep the champion at range. Sadly though Araya never really built on his jab before long Takenaka was starting to counter the challenger and draw mistakes from Araya. In round 2 Takenaka began to find bigger openings and landed a solid combination that dropped Araya. From that point onwards Araya was looking to survive whilst Takenaka was looking to finish the show.
To his credit Araya survived the second round and did try to fight back in round 3. Unfortunately for the challenger he was unable to match the skills, speed or power of the champion slowly broke him down.
In round 4 Takenaka's dissection of Araya was completed as he scored a vicious knockdown with a brutal combination that caused Araya's team to throw in the towel. Araya had had his moments before the finish, but he never really seemed to trouble the champion who showed some real touches of class at times.
Following the win Takenaka suggested he would like some higher profile bouts with over-seas opponents as well bouts to unify the OPBF title with either the JBC or WBO Asia Pacific titles. It is worth noting several notable Japanese Featherweights were in attendance for the bout and both Reiya Abe and Hisashi Amagasa said to have shown interest in a bout with Takenaka for later this year.
As for Araya he was taken to hospital after the bout with a suspected facial fracture.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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