Sunday was a very busy day in Japanese boxing with a number of fights that went under-the-radar. One of those bouts was a Japanese Minimumweight title fight, for a title recently vacated by former world title challenger Go Odaira.
The bout in question saw Tatsuya Fukuhara (16-4-5, 6) take on Hiroya Yamamoto (9-4, 3), with Fukuhara coming out on top in a very competitive and well matched contest.
Early on it was Fukuhara who took the initiative with left hand to the body. Yamamoto tried to fight back, and did have some success, but the early portion of the bout was certainly Fukuhara's and he was in charge as they went into the second half of the bout.
It was in the second half that the bout began to turn with Yamamoto having success as he bit down on his gum shield and found a new gear. It lead to some great action in round 8 with Fukuhara eventually being forced to back off.
Given the fight back in the second round it seemed that both men knew the final round could be the key and it lead to a brilliant all action round with Fukuhara seemingly doing just enough to take the win in a thrilling contest.
The judges just agreed with two of the ringside three scoring to 96-94 to Fukuhara whilst the third judge had it a round wider at 97-93 to the more experienced man.
Despite the win Fukuhara was very complimentary of Yamamoto who impressed with his pressure and will to win, it was however his second defeat in a Japanese title fight, having also lost to Go Odaira last year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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