Hard-punching prospect, WBC#8/IBF#4/WBO#11 Kenichi Ogawa (20-1, 16 KOs), 129.75, successfully retained his national belt when he decked an important triumph over ex-champ Rikki Naito (15-2, 5 KOs), 130, by winning a close but unanimous decision (all 96-94) over ten hard-fought rounds on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan.
It was a grudge fight since Ogawa dethroned Naito, the son of former OBF middleweight champ Cassius Naito, by dropping him in the first round to be awarded a technical decision last December. Ogawa maintained the pressure to the fleet-footed southpaw speedster Naito, leading on points after the fifth by the open scoring system—all 48-47. In the second half Naito turned loose but Ogawa retaliated to dominate the last two sessions that carried him to a well-received victory. Ogawa belongs to Teiken Promotions like former WBC super-feather titlist Takashi Miura, and he will be also given an opportunity to fight in quest of a world belt in the near future.
The semi-windup stunned the well-packed crowd at the Hall, as unbeaten but unheralded Yuri Seigo Akui (9-0-1, 5 KOs), 110.25, quickly halted JBC#9 light-fly Kensuke Ono (11-2, 6 KOs), 110, at 2:03 of the opening session in a scheduled eight. Akui floored Ono with a first telling blow in the opener and so frequently shook him up that Ono’s corner wisely tossed in the towel.