Sakai edges Minagawa, keeps Japan 147lb belt

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By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda

Having campaigned long in Mexico and returned to his native land three years ago, Shoki Sakai (29-13-3, 15 KOs), 146.5, barely kept his Japanese welterweight belt as he eked out a close but unanimous decision (95-94, 96-93 twice) over fast-moving southpaw Seeser Minagawa (4-2, 1 KO), 146.75, over ten hard-fought rounds on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. Minagawa, whose university amateur mark was 70-17, revealed his puzzling lefty style, and occasionally confused the still stiff defending champ. Sakai, however, decked him with a solid right in round three, which eventually carried him to a close victory. The fourth saw a bad head collision, which opened wide gashes on both contestants so that it became a bloody affair since then. Seeser utilized southpaw left uppercuts to have the champ lose his equilibrium in rounds seven and eight, but that wasn’t enough to overcome his early deficits on points.

Promoter: Teiken Promotions.


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  • Shoki Sakai (29-13-3, 15 KOs), beat a guy 4-2 in a close decision and this worthy of making Fightnews, are you serious? This some B.S.!

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