SHIBATA KEEPS OPBF/JAPANESE 160LB BELT


July 05, 2014

TOKYO, JAPAN

Slick-punching and fast-moving Japanese Akio Shibata (23-8-1, 9 KOs), 160, kept his OPBF (Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation) and Japanese middleweight belt as he managed to earn a unanimous hard-fought decision (115-113, 116-112, 118-110) over Hikaru Nishida (10-7-1, 3 KOs), 160, over twelve sizzling rounds on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. Having entirely lost his reputation with a second-round annihilation by ex-Olympic gold medalist Ryota Murata in his very pro debut, the OPBF ruler Shibata rebounded a little by acquiring a national belt by whipping Daisuke Nakagawa this March. The elongated footworker, six years his senior at 32, had a tough time coping with the slower but rugged challenger, but steadily piled up points with his favorite hit-rand-run tactics. Nishida monotonously went forward and tried to dig solid body shots to stop the champfs elusive mobility, which, however, didnft cease until the end.

Undercard:

Japanese #3 super-light Hayato Hokazono (18-4-1, 11 KOs) floored Osamu Hashimoto (9-7, 1 KO) with a smashing overhand right in round three and accelerated his attack en route to a well-timed halt with a towel-tossing at 1:27 of the sixth session in a scheduled eight.

Former Japanese 108-pound champ Ryoichi Taguchi (20-2-1, 8 KOs) came off the canvas in the second and battered hard-punching but quickly fading Filipino Florente Condes (27-9-1, 23 KOs), winning a close but unanimous nod (77-74 twice and 76-75) over eight. Condes, ex-IBF 105-pound champ, now lost four in last six bouts and revealed his lack of sufficient stamina since he was too often forced to the ropes by Taguchifs persistent retaliations. Without his second-round knockdown of Taguchi with a vicious left Condes would have been halted because of his lack of action thereafter.

Promoter: Watanabe Promotions.

(7-5-2014)


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