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Home > recommend > Sakai decisions Minagawa, retains Japan welterweight crown for 2nd time

Sakai decisions Minagawa, retains Japan welterweight crown for 2nd time

Dec 03, 2023 11:30 am

Shoki Sakai of Yokohama Hikari Boxing Gym hammered out a close but unanimous decision over Seeser Minagawa of Hiranaka Boxing School Gym to retain his Japanese welterweight title on Dec. 2 at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall.

Sakai shows difference of career

It was the 32-year-old Sakai’s second successful defense of the title he won in this past April. Two of the three judges scored the 10-round fight 96-93 while the remaining judge had it 95-94, all in favor of Sakai.

Sakai, who had fought many times in Mexico and the United States before making his Japanese debut in 2020, chased Minagawa from the opening bell and pushed his left-handed opponent down after landing a left jab. Though it appeared to have been a slip down, the referee ruled it as a knockdown and issued a mandatory eight count.

The 31-year-old Minagawa, whose real name is Naoki Minagawa, picked up his pace from the fourth round as he severely staggered Sakai with a left uppercut, although Sakari recovered quickly and rallied toward the end of the round.

Both fought almost evenly during the rest of the rounds as neither boxer was able to land decisive blows.

With the victory, Sakai improved his record to 29 wins, including 15 KOs, against 13 losses and three draws. Minagawa, a former amateur boxer, impaired to a 4-2 win-loss record with one KO.

Sakai and his teammates enjoying victory
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