By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda (to come soon)
A stunning upset has happened! Unheralded underdog Daishi Nagata (15-2-1, 6 KOs), 140, surprisingly captured the Japanese 140-pound belt when he dethroned previously unbeaten WBO#15 defending champ Koki Inoue (15-1, 12 KOs), 140, due to referee Someya’s halt at 2:17 of the seventh round in a scheduled ten on Thursday in Tokyo, Japan. It was the first show at the Korakuen Hall after a 140-day hiatus since February 27.
Koki, the cousin of the WBA super/IBF bantam kingpin Naoya Inoue, was a prohibitive favorite, but wasn’t sharp, nor swift, as usual only to allow Nagata to have the upper hand in the first half. The third round saw an accidental headbutt open a gash over the right optic of the hard-punching champ in a contest of southpaws. The interim tallies show Nagata ahead on points after the fifth: 49-46, 48-47 twice.
Inoue, in round six, displayed his retaliation but Nagata fought back hard with his determined two-fisted attack. The champ’s right eye became so badly swollen and almost closed as the contest progressed that the third man had his optic examined by the ringside physician and then declared a halt due to his advice.
For Misako Gym, Nagata is the sixth current national and/or regional champion to its credit.
It was a show behind closed doors presented by Ohashi Promotions.