Hard-hitting Gakuya Furuhashi of Kawasaki Nitta Boxing Gym drew with top-ranked Yusaku Kuga of Watanabe Boxing Gym in a hard-fought battle and retained his Japanese super bantamweight title on Jan. 25 at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall.
While there were no knockdowns during the 10-round battle, both fighters exchanged fierce blows all the way. Only one of the three judges scored the fight 96-94 for Kuga. The remaining two had it 95-95, respectively.
It was Furuhashi’s second successful defense of the title he won from Kuga last January in a dramatic come-from-behind technical knockout victory in the ninth round. Furuhashi retained the title in his first title defense last August by stopping Seigo Hanamori of JB Sports Boxing Gym in the third round.
Both started fast by landing effective shots and did not let up on their offenses throughout the fight.
While Kuga, 31, led the fight in the first half of the fight on the judges’ scorecards, Furuhashi, 34, rallied strongly in the sixth round by landing tremendous body blows.
Though Kuga landed effective shots to the head later in the fight, Furuhashi showed his toughness and stupendous stamina, which resulting in a grueling match until the end.
After the fight, Furuhashi said, ‘’Though I won the fight last time, I was hit (by Kuga) tremendously. This time around, I was also hit many times. But if I have a chance, I want to aim at winning an Asian title next.’’
Furuhashi now has a record to 28 wins, including 16 KOs, against eight losses and two draws. For his part, Kuga has a 20-5-2 win-loss-draw tally with 13 KOs.