Knockdowns Propel Katsunari Takayama Past Shin Ono
By Jake Donovan
Katsunari Takayama rode two knockdowns to a well-earned 12-round decision over countryman Shin Ono in their strawweight title fight Wednesday evening in Osaka, Japan.
Scores were 115-111 (twice) and 117-109. Takayama floored Ono in rounds 10 and 12.
The fight basically came in three stages. Takayama, fighting in his hometown for the second straight time after five consecutive road trips, boxed well early on, keeping the aggressive Ono at bay with a steady jab while using sound head movement to avoid the incoming.
Ono slowly began to close the gap in the middle rounds. The southpaw challenger fell behind on the scorecards, but made things interesting and uncomfortable for Takayama with a persistent body attack. Right hooks continued to score for Ono, who had just two knockouts through 24 pro fights but figured his only shot at winning a title was relentless pressure.
The strategy worked, until it didn't. Takayama regrouped in a big way in round ten, slamming home a straight right hand that froze Ono in his tracks. The 30-year old defending titlist kept attacking before willing his challenger to the canvas. The initial reaction from referee Larry Doggett seemed to suggest no knockdown was scored, but the official scorecards indicated otherwise.
Ono dusted himself off and came back strong in round 11, but paid the price for his aggression as he was back on the canvas in the 12th and final round. Takayama had knockout on his mind - despite just 10 stoppage wins in 32 pro fights prior to Wednesday - as the crowd rallied behind its champion.
The knockout wouldn't come, but Takayama instead picks up his third straight win as he improves to 27-6 (10KO).
Ono falls short in his first title bid, as his record drops to 17-6-2 (2KO).
It's been a long and winding road to the title picture for Takayama, who at one point spent 2 1/2 years fighting away from home in pursuit of a title. Because the Japanese Boxing Commission didn't previously recognize the International Boxing Federation (IBF) as a world title - only sanctioning title fights held by the "original two" World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association (WBA) - Takayama was forced to fight in his opponent's backyards in hopes of becoming a champion.
This meant fighting in South Africa, Philippines and Mexico after failed title bids at home in Japan versus Roman Gonzalez and Yutaka Niida. Takayama was nothing if not persistent, twice coming up short against Nkosinathi Joyi in South Africa, and dropping a decision to Mateo Handig in their Oct. '12 title eliminator in the Philippines.
Despite the title eliminator loss, Takayama still managed to land a title fight while Handig was strangely pushed towards a non-title fight with Ganigan Lopez - one which he would lose a decision. Takayama made the most of his opportunity, outpointing Mario Rodriguez on the road in Mexico to claim a strawweight title in his fourth attempt.
Two defenses have now followed, having outpointed Vergilio Silvano last December before Wednesday's big win over Ono.
The bout served in chief support to the flyweight title fight between Thailand's unbeaten defending titlist Amnat Ruenroeng and undefeated former two-division champ Kazuto Ioka, who moves up in weight.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment/View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Photos: David Price, Paul Smith Rack Up Big Wins in Liverpool Daily Bread Mailbag: Kovalev-Ward, Canelo-GGG, Crawford, More David Price is Hungry To Get His Hands on Anthony Joshua Hearn: If Haymon Brings Sack of Money - Burns vs. Broner in Vegas Andre Berto Targets Danny Garcia: I Want To Make a Statement! "Fighting Words" - The Revolving Door and Boxing's Changing Faces Mayweather Continues To Push a McGregor PPV With Poster Gervonta Davis is Set To Face Mario Rorozco on Barthelemy-Bey Photos: Orlando Salido Arrives in LA For Francisco Vargas War Mosley Tabs Porter Over Thurman: He Has Better Chin, Endurance Hearn: Badou Jack-Callum Smith is The Fight We're Pushing For Mares: Don't Rule Out Possibility of Cuellar Getting Knocked Out! Deontay Wilder's Handlers Reach Out To Alexander Ustinov Kosei Tanaka Stops Rene Patilano in Six Rounds in Nagoya, Japan Video: Shane Mosley Jr. Reflects on Win, The Future, More Tony Bellew: I'll Face That Bitch David Haye on That Joker Channel! Denis Shafikov, Joel Diaz Jr. To See Action on June 11 in El Monte Tony Bellew Gets Off The Deck, Brutal KO of Makabu For WBC Belt Video: David Avanesyan, Trainer Talk Win Over Shane Mosley Stephen Smith, Sean Dodd, Scott Fitzgerald All Victorious Video: Roberto Duran on Mosley Defeat To Avanesyan David Avanesyan Will Be Ringside To Scout Thurman vs. Porter Callum Smith Stays on Course For Title Shot, Get TKO in Six Ricky Burns Ready For Revenge on Crawford, Broner Showdown Video: Shane Mosley Talks About Loss To David Avanesyan David Price Returns in Style With Quick Knockout Victory Holyfield Believes Anthony Joshua Could Break Marciano's Record Bellew vs. Makabu LIVE Results From Goodison Park Frank Warren Questions Hearn's Position on Joshua vs. Haye James DeGale's Coach Confident: Badou Jack is Tailor-Made For Us Hearn: Eubank is Bigger UK Fight For Golovkin Than Saunders Golovkin's Coach: Only GGG Fight Brings Mayweather 100 Million! Bellew: I'll Fight That Bitch David Haye, He's Degrading Boxing! Photos: Ricky Burns Makes History, Blasts Di Rocco For WBA Belt Bellew vs. Makabu: Sean Dodd Looks To Enter The World Scene Viktor Postol Motivated By Underdog Role Against Crawford Arum: If Mayweather Wants Pacquiao, Let Him Come To Manila Haumono Saw Flaws, Believes He Will Chin Check Joseph Parker Glowacki Hopes To Get Usyk To Poland, Then Wants Lebedev Avanesyan Ends Shane Mosley, Secures Thurman-Porter Shot
Latest Boxing Video Video: Shane Mosley Jr. Reflects on Win, The Future, More Video: David Avanesyan, Trainer Talk Win Over Shane Mosley Video: Roberto Duran on Mosley Defeat To Avanesyan Video: Shane Mosley Talks About Loss To David Avanesyan Video: Shane Mosley Shows Off His Power and Speed at Workout Video: Shane Mosley vs. David Avanesyan Official Weighin Video: Shane Mosley vs. Cruiserweight Dimar Ortuz - Sparring Video: Joseph Diaz Discusses His Career, The Future, More Video: Sergio Mora Discusses Golovkin, Canelo, Jacobs, More Video: Ruslan Provodnikov Shows His Power on The Heavy Bag
Recent Top Stories
Latest Active Forum Threads