By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Unheralded ex-national youth champ Takeru Kobata (12-5-1, 5 KOs), 147, acquired the vacant Japanese interim welterweight belt as he surprisingly upset former ruler Yuki Nagano (19-4, 15 KOs), 146.75, by an unexpected TKO win at 1:42 of the fifth round in a scheduled ten on Monday in Tokyo, Japan.
Originally slated to face current champ Keita Obara to regain his belt in a rematch, Nagano, 32, faced a younger and fresher foe, 23, who positively threw good combos from the outset and dominated the proceedings. The fifth saw the underdog Kobata, from Kyushu, accelerate his attack so furiously to almost topple the ex-champ that his corner wisely signaled a surrender, which was well-received by ringsiders.
Promoter: Teiken Promotions.