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Mori, Watanabe fight to draw in OPBF super featherweight title match

Mar 30, 2023 9:44 am

Third-ranked Musashi Mori of Shisei Boxing Gym and sixth-ranked Takuya Watanabe of DANGAN AOKI boxing gym fought to a 12-round draw for the vacant Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation super featherweight title match on March 29 at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall.

After the hard-fought fight, in which there were no knockdowns, all three judges scored the fight 114-114.
The title was left vacant by Masanori Rikiishi of Midori Boxing Gym who currently holds the World Boxing Organization’s Asia-Pacific super featherweight title.

The 34-year-old Watanabe was slightly ahead in the first four rounds by connecting with wild heft hooks and uppercuts. The left-handed Mori, 23, attempted to land his vaunted straight lefts but lacked accuracy.

The two fought at close range midway through the fight with Watanabe leading on points after the eighth round.

Aware he is behind on points, Mori forced forward and occasionally landed his let punches late in the fight. But Watanabe hung tough to end the fight.

With the draw, Mori now has a record of 13 wins, including seven knockouts, against a loss and a draw, while Watanabe has a 39-11-2 win-loss-draw tally with 22 KOs.

After the fight, Mori said, ‘’I was able to hold on by the skin of my teeth.’’ For his part, Watanabe, a former WBO’s Asia-Pacific super featherweight champion, said, ‘’If I can have another opportunity, I want to have it.’’

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