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International Boxing Federation’s third-ranked super featherweight Kenichi Ogawa of Teiken Boxing Gym scored three knockdowns and went on to earn a unanimous decision over second-round Azinga Fuzile of South Africa and captured the vacant IBF super featherweight title on Nov. 27 (28 Japan time) in New York.
After the 12-round fight at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater, two of the three judges had it 115-110 and the remaining judge saw it 114-111, all in favor of the 33-year-old Ogawa.
It was Ogawa’s first world title fight in about four years because while he beat Tevin Farmer of the U.S. in December 2017 to win the vacant IBF title, it was later declared a no contest since Ogawa tested positive for an illegal substance used to cure his cold and atopic dermatitis.
It was the first time in more than three years when a Japanese had won a world title overseas. In July2018, Masayuki Ito of then Banryu Boxing Gym won the World Boxing Organization super featherweight title in Kissimmee, Florida.
Both Ogawa and the 25-year-old Fuzile got off to a fairly quiet start with southpaw Fuzile sticking out right jabs followed by straight lefts while Ogawa throwing occasional left hooks.
But in the fifth round, Ogawa’s strong right to the head sent Fuzile on the seat of his trunks for a mandatory eight count.
Ogawa did not let up on his offense and controlled the fight since then. Fuzile began to bleed from above his eyelid in the ninth round.
While Fuzile momentarily rallied in the 10th round, Ogawa apparently rested in that round and rebounded strongly from the 11th round and decked his opponent in the final round with a straight right.
While Fuzile wobbled to his feet, Ogawa swarmed all over him in the closing moment of the round by throwing combination blows, sending Fuzile tottering down. The bell ending the round sounded then.
With the victory, Ogawa improved his record to 26 wins, including 18 KOs, against a loss and a draw with one no contest. Fuzile fell to a 15-2 win-loss tally with nine KOs.
After the fight, Ogawa said, ‘’My plan was to press forward and to make my opponent backpedal. Though I failed to throw more punches, I was able to display my straight right. My next target is to fight wherever in the world and make an appeal that Kenichi Ogawa is strong.’’