Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas - In a battle for the vacant IBF super featherweight title, the HBO televised co-main event saw Tokyo’s Kenichi Ogawa (23-1, 17 KOs) become a world champion with a twelve round split decision over Philadelphia’s Tevin Farmer (25-5-1, 5 KOs).
The scores were 116-112 Farmer, 116-112 for Ogawa, 115-113 for Ogawa. There was many at ringside who felt Farmer had done more than enough to win the decision.
The title became vacant back in August, after Gervonta Davis was stripped for failing to make weight for a voluntary defense against Victor Fonseca on the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor undercard.
Farmer was on an 18-bout win streak, while Ogawa won 14 straight bouts following his only loss, in 2012. The fight was the first shot at a world title for either man.
Ogawa came out very aggressive, looking to do damage in the very first round. Farmer stayed composed and was carefully boxing against the Japanese slugger.
As the fight went along, Farmer used his slick boxing ability to control the speed and aggression that was coming from Ogawa, who was throwing heavy punches with bad intentions.
Farmer was starting to back Ogawa up by the sixth round and appeared to be taking over the fight, but then Ogawa came out swinging hard in the seventh round with two-fisted fury to land some hard shots of his own.
Ogawa continued to make things very close, as he was landing heavy shots on Farmer as the second half played out. Farmer was also answering back and landing big shots of his own on the inside to the body. Farmer was also boxing very well to keep Ogawa from landing too many of his big shots.
Farmer was tiring in the eleventh round, but sucked it up and continued to standing his ground against an incoming Ogawa, who never stopped coming and throwing big punches all night.