An amazing fact, but in someways a disappointing one, is that no Japanese fighter has ever won a world title bout in Europe. That record continued earlier today as Japanese Light Welterweight Keita Obara (16-2-1, 15) [小原 佳太] suffered a painful second round loss to Russian puncher Eduard Troyanovsky (25-0, 22) in a bout held in Moscow for the IBF and IBO titles.
The opening round was a close one with both fighting cautiously, neither wanting to over-commit or take too many risks. It saw Obara being tagged by one notable right hand and one uppercut whilst landing one solid right hand of his own, pretty much everything else that connected was a jab with both understanding that the other man had serious power.
Whilst Obara seemed to acquit himself well for the opening round that was all forgotten in round 2 when Troyanovsky moved into third gear and Obara failed to respond before being hurt. A follow up attack sent Obara through the ropes and outside of the ring and immediately saw Troyanovsky celebrate with a backflip. Obara's fighting instinct kicked in and he pulled himself form the ground and back into the ring ring but hadn't recovered from the shots that had sent him out of the ring and and he was stopped soon afterwards from a follow up attack that forced the referee to stop him.
For the champion the this was one of his most impressive performances. A slow start saw him move through the gears, hurt his man and follow up with a vicious attack that leaves the champion as arguably the most destructive fighter at 140lbs today. Maybe not the most skilled, that's obvious Terence Crawford, but the most destructive.
For Obara the next move will be a difficult one. He could go back to Japan and fight at Oriental level, with fights against the likes of Al River and Hiroki Okada being interesting assignments, a move up in weight could also be interesting, with bouts against the likes of Suyon Takayama, Jack Brubaker and Toshio Arikawa. Sadly though the loss, and the nature of it, will be hard to bounce back from and it could be that he takes a long break before considering a ring return.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.