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Japanese Scene: Akaho Explosive in Claiming OPBF 115lb Title

Sidney Boquiren recaps Wednesday's boxing action from Japan.  For more Japanese boxing updates, you can follow Sidney on twitter: RingwalkNippon@Twitter

Knocking down your opponent with the first punch you land leaves a lasting impression upon your victim, and that is exactly what Ryo Akaho achieved last night to set the tempo for his TKO victory over Fred Mundraby. The Australian visitor received a rude welcome in the form of a left hook that sent him sprawling to the canvas in the opening minute of the first round. While Akaho did not end things then and there, it would be the first of four knockdowns over 15 minutes of action. The 24-year old bruiser earned the vacant OPBF super flyweight title with the win and improved to 16-0-2, 10KO.

An intriguing prospect in the 115-pound division known for power in both hands, explosiveness and, to phrase this in a kind manner, a charismatic personality, Akaho fell short in his only previous title opportunity, settling for a draw against national champ Daigo Nakahiro in December 2009. Against Mundraby, however, he took no chances in leaving the outcome to the judges, immediately imposing his physical superiority and heavy hands. As the Australian was cautious of Akaho’s left hook upstairs after the first round tumble, the native son opted to attack Mundraby’s body with thunderous hooks from both sides that rang aloud landed with a thud each time. Further adding to his troubles, Mundraby seemed to have injured his jaw sometime in the second frame.

Late in the third, Akaho notched his second knock down – the prettiest of the bunch. As the visitor continued to focus on defending against the left hook, Akaho followed a left to the body with a right cross up top. Mundraby likely never saw the punch and was floored instantly. The Australian, who had come up a weight class for the opportunity, certainly did not lack heart, and bravely rose to his feet again. However, his attempt to keep Akaho at bay with an active jab would only buy him six more minutes as the power puncher would find the mark with right hands again in the fifth frame that sent him to the canvas twice more. Mundraby’s corner, concerned that their charge had fractured his jaw, wisely called the fight before the start of the sixth.

With national titleholder and up-and-coming star Yota Sato, as well as bantamweight prospect Ryosuke Iwasa, in the stands for the fight, it is understandable that Akaho had set out to put on an impressive show. Fights with either of those guys would be fantastic. The newly crowned champ, clearly the type of brawler that tries to knockout his competition with every punch thrown, may want to at least try to become more well-rounded and add some method to his madness before taking on those technicians. Akaho shows a good jab, but uses it sparingly, and can bob and weave when necessary. It will be interesting to see if he can continue his bravado with an opponent that can match his arsenal punch for punch. Should Sato seek bigger names, Akaho’s camp might want to try to see if they can get Nobuo Nashiro in the ring.

e-mail Sidney Boquiren

For more coverage of Japanese boxing, follow Sidney on Twitter: RingwalkNippon@Twitter

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