By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Unbeaten southpaw prospect Kazuki Nakajima (10-0-1, 8 KOs), 117.75, acquired the vacant OPBF bantamweight belt (renounced by Takuma Inoue) as he defeated compatriot Kai Chiba (13-2, 8 KOs), 118, by a unanimous decision (117-111, 116-112, 119-109) over twelve fast rounds on Friday in Tokyo, Japan.
It was the first regional title bout of a doubleheader at the Korakuen Hall, where 726 spectators were in attendance with the JBC’s strict regulation.
Nakajima, formerly a good amateur boxer, took the leadoff and maintained his initiative in the first eight rounds, after which the interim tallies were announced: 79-73 twice, 77-75 all in favor of the upright lefty speedster. Chiba turned loose after he realized he was widely behind on points, and furiously mixed up in the close quarter in round ten. Kazuki responded to his late surge and it became a war with Nakajima still having the upper hand.
Highly expected ex-amateur high school champ Keisuke Matsumoto (3-0, 3 KOs), 126, collected another victim in Hiromu Murota (6-5-2, 4 KOs), 125.5, by finely halting him with a couple of knockdowns at 2:08 of the first round of a scheduled eight. Keisuke is the son of three-time world challenger and ex-OPBF ruler Koji Matsumoto (26-6-1, 15 KOs), who failed to win the world featherweight belt from Yong-Kyun Park, Yong-Soo Choi and Freddie Norwood. His talented 126-pound son may have his dream come true.
BoxRec: Koji Matsumoto
Promoter: Ohashi Promotions.