By Joe Koizumi
Photo: Boxing Beat
Japanese super-bantam champ Hidenori Otake (19-1-2, 9 KOs), 121.75, a 31-year-old late bloomer, made the first defense of his newly acquired national belt as he weathered opening attacks of top contender Mikihito Seto (33-10-2, 17 KOs), 121.5, and persistently retaliated with short combinations in the close range to earn a close but unanimous verdict (96-95, 96-94 and 97-92) over ten hard-fought rounds on Monday in Tokyo, Japan.
Seto, 33, once decked an upset triumph over future WBA 122-pound champ Akifumi Shimoda in 2006, but his career wasn’t fruitful, having often lost in important opportunities. The tricky veteran made a good start to whip the still stiff champ in the first three rounds, but Otake finished warming up his engine and turned loose from the fifth round on. The seventh witnessed Otake badly shake up the fading challenger with solid left hooks in the close quarter. Otake scored with busier combinations upstairs and downstairs in the last two rounds to confirm his victory. Seto fought hard, but was unfortunate again.
Former WBC international champ Hiroki Shiino, 118, chalked up a fine TKO win over ex-world challenger and ex-national titlist Teppei Kikui, 117.5, at 2:36 of the second round in a scheduled eight. Ex-Japanese lightweight ruler Akihiro Kondo, 138.75, looked least sharp as he forgot to use his swift footwork and had a very tough fight only to earn a close but unanimous nod (77-76 twice and 78-76) over Kota Koike, 138.75, over eight.
Promoter: Kaneko Promotions.