Boxing Result

Shibata wins OPBF 154lb belt

By Joe Koizumi

Unheralded Akio Shibata (13-5-1, 7 KOs), 154, surprisingly captured the OPBF and Japanese super-welter belt as he pounded out a close but well-received unanimous decision (116-114, 16-113 and 117-113) over defending titlist, southpaw veteran Yuki Nonaka (18-8-2, 7 KOs), 154, over twelve upset rounds on Sunday in Osaka, Japan. Nonaka had both his regional and national titles at stake, and Shibata took all with a single victory. Shibata was aggressive from the start, effectively throwing direct rights without leading lefts to the southpaw champ. Inexplicably the champ remained less aggressive only to yield the initiative to the willing mixer all the way. Promoter: Amagasaki Promotions.

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