By Juan Flores: Tevin Farmer (25-5-1, 5 KOs) and his team are appealing to the International Boxing Federation to order a rematch with IBF super featherweight champion Kenichi Ogawa (23-1, 17 KOs) following his questionable 12 round split decision loss to the Japanese fighter last month on December 9 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, Events Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Ogawa-Farmer fight was televised on HBO Championship Boxing, and there were a lot of fans that felt that the 27-year-old southpaw Farmer had done enough to deserve the victory.
The judges scored it 115-113, 116-112 for Ogawa, and 116-112 for Farmer. Boxing News 24 had the 29-year-old Ogawa taking the fight by a 116-112 score. Farmer lacked punching power, and he wasn’t letting his hands go on a consistent enough basis in the final 6 rounds to take the fight. I personally had Ogawa winning rounds 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12. Farmer appeared to take rounds 2, 5, 6 and 10. Farmer really caved in a substantial manner in the last 6 rounds of the fight.
Farmer looked tired, and didn’t react well to the pressure and the sense of urgency that Ogawa was showing inside the ring. Farmer was fighting like he thought he had the fight won in the last 4 rounds. He wasn’t putting in any effort.
Farmer was hurt in the 7th round from a big right hand from Ogawa. That was easily the worst round of the contest for Farmer. He was in full retreat in the moments of the round.
As the visiting fighter from Japan, Ogawa was up against it for the entire fight in terms of the crowd. The boxing fan were backing the American fighter Farmer, and Ogawa wasn’t getting much love from the fans no matter how hard he would nail Farmer. The difference between the cheering from the fans was dramatic. When Farmer would land even a glancing blow, the fans would cheer loudly.
Ogawa, who was the much bigger puncher of the two, would receive scarcely any applause when he would land his heavy shots to the head of Farmer. You can argue the crowd noise influenced a lot of the boxing fans that watched the fight at home, making them believe that Farmer was doing better than he actually was. Farmer didn’t do well at all. He was missing shots, fighting defensively and not attacking enough. Farmer was letting Ogawa dictate the pace. For a fighter with the kind of power of Ogawa, you don’t want to let him be the one that is coming forward.
“The basis for this request is the objectively inaccurate judging in the bout and the precedent the IBF has set, having granted immediate rematches in similar circumstances in which doing so was in the interest of fairness,” Farmer’s promoter Lou Dibella’s attorney Alex Dombroff sent to the IBF. ESPN.com got a copy of the appeal. “At its request, the IBF was provided a high definition copy of the Farmer vs. Ogawa bout on December 13.”
According to CompuBox, Farmer connected on 158 of 525 shots for a 30 percent connect percentage. Ogawa landed 99 of 445 punches for a lower percentage of 22. If you look at the stats for the Farmer-Ogawa fight, it would indicate the Farmer should have won the fight based on him landing 59 more punches and connecting with more of his shots. However, Ogawa was landing the much harder blows, and he was the one making the fight. Ogawa was coming forward most of the time whereas Farmer was often running, and trying to evade the pressure that was being put on him by the Japanese fighter. The body language of the 2 warriors was telling. Farmer looked timid a lot of the time, and not nearly aggressive enough to win rounds.
The IBF belt that Ogawa captured is the one that was stripped from previous champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis after he failed to make weight for his last fight against Francisco Fonseca on August 26 last year. Davis (19-0, 18 KOs) came in 2 pounds over the super featherweight weigh-in limit at 132 lbs. The belt was subsequently stripped from him and put up for grabs for Fonseca to try and win. However, Davis had little problems stopping Fonseca in the 8th round. The IBF 130lb title stayed vacant until Ogawa captured it with his 12 round split decision victory over Farmer.
Before Farmer’s loss to Ogawa, he hadn’t lost in 5 years since his 8th round knockout to Jose Pedraza on October 12, 2012. Farmer has clearly made a lot of improvements since that defeat. Farmer’s 18-fight winning streak is a testament to that, but the fact of the matter is, he didn’t do enough to beat Ogawa. Farmer lost the fight and he deserved to lose the fight to Ogawa in my view. The victory for the 29-year-old Ogawa gives him his 15th consecutive win dating back to 2012. Farmer is the best scalp by far on Ogawa’s 8-year pro resume. There’s nothing else that comes close to that win for Ogawa.
If the IBF orders a rematch between Farmer and Ogawa, it’s doubtful the outcome will be any different. The judges did an excellent job of scoring the fight, and the rematch will likely play out in the same way with Ogawa pressuring the weaker Farmer to get the better of him. If the light hitting Farmer can find some punching power somewhere and develop some aggression along the way, then I can see him giving Ogawa a lot of problems in the second fight. But without major changes to Farmer’s game in the power and especially in the aggression departments, he’s going to lose again.
Farmer’s in a bad place. He fights in the super featherweight division where the guys have a lot more punching power than him. There’s nowhere for Farmer to go, as Ogawa is arguably the weakest of the champions. Farmer doesn’t match up with the 130lb champions Vasyl Lomachenko, Miguel Berchelt and Aberto Machado. Farmer would be better off taking some weight off and moving down to featherweight. Farmer would have a good chance of beating IBF 126 lb. champion if he takes the fight to him instead fighting passively like he did all night long against Ogawa.