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Home > Match Information > Japan welterweight champion Obara stops interim champ Kobata, retains title for 3rd time

Japan welterweight champion Obara stops interim champ Kobata, retains title for 3rd time

Oct 12, 2022 9:10 am

Japanese welterweight champion Keita Obara of Misako Boxing Gym, displaying his devastating punching power, stopped interim champion Takeru Kobata of Dash Higashiho Boxing Gym in the third round and unified the title at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall on Oct. 11.

It was also Obara’s third successful defense of the title he won from Yuki Nagano of Teiken Boxing Gym in February in 2020. It was the 35-year-old Obara’s first bout in 10 months as he was suffering from a right-leg injury.

The technical knockout of the scheduled 10-rounder came 2 minutes and 35 seconds into the round when Obara landed a well-timed straight right to the head, sending his left-handed opponent hard to the canvas. While the 24-year-old Kobata got up at the count of nine, the referee waved off the fight.

After the fight, Obara, the World Boxing Organization’s 12th-ranked welterweight, said, ‘’I knew he would not be able to get up because it was my satisfactory punch. I was very nervous because it was my first fight in 10 months. What my fans expect of me is for me to move on to the next step. I will do my best so that I can live up to their expectations.’’

With the win, Obara improved his record to 26 wins, including 23 KOs, against four losses and a draw. As for Kobata, who occasionally landed sharp straight lefts to Obara, he fell to a 12-6-1 win-loss-draw tally with five KOs.

The title unification fight took place since Obara cancelled his scheduled title defense against Nagano in April this year due to the injury. Kobata was then called in to face Nagano for the interim title and upset him with a technical knockout in June.

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