By Joe Koizumi
Japanese veteran campaigner Daisuke Nakagawa (22-3-2, 17 KOs), 159.5, impressively captured his third national belt in the middleweight category when he battered defending champ Tomohiro Ebisu (11-3, 11 KOs), 159.5, from all angles and finally dropped him for the count at 2:56 of the seventh round on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. The elongated Nakagawa, ten years his senior at 35, had previously held the welter and super-welter thrones, and thus became the fourth that seized the Japanese titles in three or more different divisions—following the footsteps of Noboru Godai (126, 130, 135), Hiroyuki Maeda (135, 140, 147) and Takashi Yuba (135, 140, 147, 160).
The national 160-pound belt busily changed hands from Yuba to Sanosuke Sasaki and then to Ebisu. The hard-hitting champ took the initiative with solid opening rallies, but Nakagawa was in command with a fusillade of punches, especially left hooks to the cheek, from the second rounds onward. Ebisu, in round four, attempted to turn the tide and was almost successful to do so, but Nakagawa gamely fought back hard with light but busy combinations to have the upper hand again.
The fatal seventh witnessed Nakagawa connect with solid combos to the fading champ, who badly hit the deck. Referee Vinny Martin didn’t hesitate to count him out though he barely stood up as he was not apparently ready to resume going on. It was such a hard-fought war that each often absorbed much punishment but withstood it with the pride and determination.
In the main event, WBC#5/WA#12 Daiki Kaneko (19-2-3, 12 KOs), 129.75, made short work of grudge rival Mitsuya Omura (16-8-1, 12 KOs), 133.55, halting him at 1:55 of the opening session. The Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) registered it as Kaneko’s fourth defense of the national super-feather belt despite the challenger Omura failed to make the weight, finally scaling still three and a half pounds over the 130-pound limit. Kaneko, who had suffered a fifth-round TKO at the hand of the wild-swinging Omura in 2007, thus avenged his bitter defeat, after which he scored thirteen wins with ten inside the distance. Kaneko, the fast-improving youngster at 25, is said to be one of possible candidates as the next challenger to WBA titlist Takashi Uchiyama in December.
Filipino flyweight champ and OPBF top contender Arden Diale (21-8-2, 12 KOs), 112.5, finely stopped Japanese southpaw Yota Hori (9-2-2, 6 KOs), 113, at 0:59 of the seventh round. Daile lopsidedly controlled the affair and swarmed over him with vicious uppercuts, dropping the loser twice to prompt the referee’s intervention.
Promoter: Yokohama Hikari Promotions.