Denis Berinchyk wins thrilling fight over Nihito Arakawa
by Dmitry Mossienko at ringside
2012 silver medalist Denis Berinchik has successfully defended his WBO lightweight belt April 20 in a thriller clash with rugged Japanese veteran southpaw Nihito Arakawa on the ring in Kiev Sports Palace. The fight night was organized by Ukraine’s Klitschko brothers promotional powerhouse K2.
Long handed, slick, and hard hitting, the 37-year-old Arakawa came to Kiev with determined strategy to grab the belt back and take it home to Tokyo. Former OPBF champion Arakawa was perfectly ready for his a 12 round championship marathon. What many in Kiev expected after Berinchyk’s impressive wins over Thai boxers be a lopsided win, turned into a bitter and very tough battle.
Berinchyk started actively, using his long jabs, and skillful footwork, yet, Arakawa’s defense bounced virtually all what Denis was sending. Ukrainian’s corner reminded his fighter, that he start should loading opponent’s body with ripping punches early to have a better chance at victory.
After the first break, Berinchyk started combining head punches with ripping hooks to the body. Arakawa managed to land several dangerous left hooks, yet ate loads of body punches in the first rounds. Arakawa seemed to be always focused on careful and reliable defense and actually made Denis miss wildly, he also managed to cut Denis over the right eye as soon as in the first round.
Boxing is the pride of Ukraine, and with Berinchyk’s friends and patrons, Kiev city Mayor Vitaly Klitschko, K2 Promoter Alexander Krasyuk, absolute cruiserweight champion Alexander Usyk, WBC light heavyweight Alexander Gvzdik watching at ringside, the voices from the public started to demand “Usyk please help Denis”
Usyk was swift to respond and from his place in the first row started sharing some suggestions about changing the fight tactics which clearly were needed to regain initiative in the fight against slick and focused Japanese warrior.
After several hands language and mimic exchanges between the rounds, Denis seemed to be so inspired, that started to move so swiftly and change stances to the southpaw and back. The Japanese opponent was increasingly confused and lost control he seemed to have achieved earlier in the fight.
Berinchyk’s excellent physical condition enabled him to sustain a very high pace, which in combination with sustainable body punches, somewhat drained the scrappy Japanese fighter.
The championship rounds turned out to be very competitive except the 12th - when Berinchyk fully dominated bringing excellent physical condition and flexible bodyword to lead to winning a convincing unanimous decision.
Bloodied but unbowed, the two excellent warriors hugged after the final bell. In the spirit of true sportsmanship, the Japanese boxer was quick to congratulate his opponent.