The Evolve representative’s crisp kicks and knees were enough for him to claim a unanimous decision victory over Australia’s Kenny “The Pitbull” Tse following three rounds of action inside the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Karate World Champion Hiroki Akimoto outpoints a game Kenny Tse for his second victory in ONE Super Series kickboxing!: Check local listings for global TV broadcast: Watch on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, 12 July 2019
Tse opened up the ONE Super Series kickboxing flyweight contest with hard low kicks, and he signaled his intent to bring the intensity to his Japanese adversary. Akimoto’s strategy was also clear from the early moments, as he took aim with his left kick to the body.
The 24-year-old Aussie had promised to showcase some “new tricks,” and he went about doing that. He immediately tried to catch the body kick and counter with a spinning back fist, showing a new level of innovation to his game.
However, it was his usual forward pressure and high boxing output that gave him the most success in the opening stanza. He landed well with uppercuts and hooks on the inside, while Akimoto aimed at the liver with his left knee and shin.
“The Pitbull” continued to plow forward in round two to get into dirty boxing range. He fired off with left hooks and right uppercuts, but his Japanese opponent used it to time short knees to the liver.
From the outside, Tse’s overhand right found the mark. Akimoto, however, was keen to string his punches and kicks together to open up a route to the body.
Both athletes had done some solid work as the second period came to a close, but there was not much daylight between them when they came out for the final round. The Australian slugger chopped away with a hard right low kick and then threw his hands with vigor when he was close enough.
Akimoto’s agenda was clearly to take out the Melbourne native’s body, and he drilled short left knees into his adversary’s ribs time and time again.
He looked to create openings with his hands too, but Tse’s tight shell kept him safe.
“The Pitbull” tried a pair of spinning hook kicks to close out the round, but they were off the mark, and both men went back to their respective corners believing they might have done enough to seal the victory.
The judges at ringside came back with a unanimous decision in favor of the Japanese hero, who moved his professional record to 21-1.