Friday, January 21, 2022  |


Kenichi Ogawa drops Azinga Fuzile 3 times, wins vacant IBF junior lightweight title

Kenichi Ogawa returns to the 130-pound rankings.

NEW YORK — Kenichi Ogawa stalked and bloodied Azinga Fuzile over twelve rounds to claim the vacant IBF junior lightweight title by unanimous decision Saturday at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Ogawa scored three knockdowns, all of which were on straight right hands to the southpaw Fuzile, to claim the belt in the co-featured bout of the Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos lightweight championship fight, which was broadcast in America on DAZN.

Two judges scored the fight 115-110, while the third had it 114-111, all for Ogawa (26-1-1, 18 KOs) of Tokyo, Japan to win the belt that Joseph Diaz Jr. lost earlier in the year after failing to make weight for a draw against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov.

Ogawa, 33, was the aggressor from the opening bell, pushing back a tentative Fuzile (15-2, 9 KOs) of East London, South Africa. Ogawa scored the first knockdown of the fight in round five, landing a straight right hand that beat Ogawa to the punch as he attempted a counter right hook.

Fuzile moved and slipped enough to survive, but wasn’t able to land any counters to hold him off. The ringside doctor examined Fuzile before the beginning of the tenth round to check on a cut on the outside of his right eye, but the action was allowed to continue.

Fuzile was awakened momentarily by the physician’s concern, landing several left hand counters on Ogawa that won him the tenth on all three cards.

With the result all but locked away, Ogawa continued to pressure Fuzile, and came within seconds of a final round knockout, dropping Fuzile twice in the twelfth, including once right before the bell to end the fight.

Also on the card, Raymond Ford (10-0-1, 6 KOs) of Camden, N.J. overcame a relentless challenge from Felix Caraballo (13-4-2, 9 KOs) to score an eighth round technical knockout in the ten-round scheduled featherweight bout.

There were no knockdowns, though Ford hurt Caraballo with a body punch and followed up with head shots to force the stoppage.


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