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NOYNAY RETAINS WBO BELT WITH TECHNICAL SPLIT DRAW AGAINST OGAWA (PHOTOS)


PhilBoxing.com




TOKYO, Japan – Filipino WBO Asia-Pacific super featherweight champion Joe Noynay retained his belt with a technical split draw against Kenichi Ogawa in a headbutt filled contest at the famed Korakuen Hall here Saturday night.

The southpaw Noynay first sustained a cut above his left eyebrow in the second round from an accidental headbutt against the orthodox Ogawa. In the third round, from another accidental headbutt, it was Ogawa's turn to get a cut that sliced through from the bridge of his nose upwards to his right eyebrow that appeared more serious than Noynay's. As blood dripped from both combatants' faces, Noynay got cut again in the 4th round from another accidental headbutt as the Filipino dropped to his knees in his corner writhing in pain. The second cut was similar to Ogawa's but to Noynay's left eyebrow. As Noynay's cut was worked on in his corner, Gabriel 'Bebot' Elorde, Noynay's manager who also helped in the corner, motioned to Referee Michiaki Someya to check Noynay's cut probably hoping the referee would stop the contest and the fight declared a draw. However the Japanese referee allowed the fight to continue. Not long after round five begun, Noynay was again cut from another accidental headbutt when the referee finally stopped the fight and the verdict was now dependent on the judges' scorecards.









Filipino judge Danrex Tapdasan's score was first announced, 48-47 in favor of Noynay; then Tetsuya Lida, 49-46 in favor of Ogawa; the third judge, Toshio Sugiyama, scored it 48-48 ending the fight a 5th round technical split draw. WBO president Francisco 'Paco' Valcarcel and other WBO officials, fresh from attending the WBO convention that ended Friday, were on hand to watch the fight.

Noynay won on all judges' scorecards in the first round as he connected with jabs and straight lefts using good footwork. In the second round it was Ogawa's turn to pile up points from his rights that found home at Noynay's head as the Japanese fans loudly chanted Ogawa's name. The third and fourth rounds were close as the focus shifted to the cuts sustained by both fighters and whether the fight would be stopped before the 5th round.

As it was Noynay's team was all too relieved to retain their belt as Ogawa looks for another shot at the title.

Noynay (18-2-2, 7KOs) remains undefeated in Japan having won his last two fight in Osaka defending his WBO super featherweight belt. Ogawa (24-1-1, 18KOs) is now three fights removed from his controversial fight against Tevin Farmer of the United States on Dec. 9, 2017 in Las Vegas where he won the IBF super featherweight title but later stripped off him due to traces of performance enhancing drugs found in his urine before the fight. Ogawa later suspended by the Japan Boxing Commission for one year. Ogawa only fought again this year where he won two straight against Filipinos Roldan Aldea and Glenn Medura before taking on Noynay.


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