Last year Japanese fighter Ryo Takenaka (13-3-1, 7) came amazingly close to claiming the OPBF Featherweight title. The 30 year old form the Misako Gym was just 2 minutes from defeating Hisashi Amagasa before being stopped by the man who later went on to challenger Super Bantamweight king Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Given how close he was to winning that bout Takenaka may have felt he deserved a shot at the vacant title when Amagasa vacated the belt. Instead the vacant was picked up earlier this year by Vinvin Rufino (37-17-3, 16), who had beaten Mark Gil Melligen for the title in March. Rufino, like Takenaka, had come up short against Amagasa, but had given a spirited effort.
Today Takenaka got his second shot at the title as he became Rufino's first challenger, and unfortunately for Rufino he was simply too powerful.
The first was quiet with Takenaka doing enough to win it, but it was the typical feeling out round. The second round however saw both up the ante and unfortunately for Rufino that saw him step in to a monstrous right hand that dropped him hard. The Filipino veteran, who has been down in the past, showed his toughness and experience by getting back to his feet but it was a wake up call and showed that Takenaka had nasty power, something his record didn't really suggest.
The knockdown secured a 10-8 round for Takenaka who looked for the finish in what was left of round 2. Although Rufino saw out the round it was clear that Takenaka was smelling blood and he took the fight to Rufino in rounds 3 and 4. Whilst a lot of the eye catching shots were right hands up stairs the challenger also landed plenty of draining body shots that seemed to slowly beat the fight out of Rufino.
The champion knew he was in a huge hole at the start of round 5 as the open scoring had the challenger up on all 3 cards, with the score of 40-35 across the board.
Despite being in the lead Takenaka wasn't going to let his grasp on the bout go and instead came out firing for round 5. A right hand early in the round caught Rufino clean and sent the Filipino down for the second time. This time the referee stopped the bout immediately, waving off the bout and saving the Filipino from any more potential harm.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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