LAS VEGAS - Kenichi Ogawa won a split decision over American Tevin Farmer to capture the vacant IBF super featherweight title in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Fourth-ranked Ogawa came out aggressive from the opening round and although there were occasions when he allowed fifth-ranked Farmer to counter, the 29-year-old from Aichi Prefecture continued to throw big punches all night to maintain the upper hand.
The scores were 116-112 Farmer and 116-112, 115-113 for Ogawa.
“I have wanted to get my hands on the belt for such a long time. It (the win) hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Ogawa. “I am both surprised and happy. My biggest objective was to carve out a name for myself.”
Ogawa, who was fighting in his first bout outside Japan, became the first Japanese boxer in 36 years to win a world title fight on the U.S. mainland. Tadashi Mihara was the last to do it in 1981.
The IBF super featherweight title became vacant after Gervonta Davis was stripped for failing to make weight for a voluntary defense in August.
Ogawa improved his record to 23 wins (17 knockouts) against one loss. Farmer dropped to 25-5-1.