As the raucous, impassioned and devoted following of featherweight hope Josh Warrington grew in voice, the heat of battle intensified and the aura of togetherness was apparent as one city came together in anticipation of the homecoming of their beloved hero.
Reminiscent of Ricky Hatton's glory days as the figurehead Manchester boxing, fans were pictured shirtless, swaying in excitement and relentlessly chanting as Warrington, flowing with confidence and vehement, marched towards the squared circle of conflict. Amagasa, albeit unfazed by the occasion, was drowned out in merciless boos.
As the arena continuously electrified, the 5ft 7ins tall Warrington, instantly established the jab - arguably one of his best assets. Amagasa, standing at 5ft 10ins, held the reach advantage over Warrington, but found himself on the ropes absorbing a swift tide of punches. Warrington showcased great shot variety; landing right and left hooks upstairs, and when the long arms of Amagasa blocked that onslaught, he then attacked the body.
Amagasa was unable to mix it up on the ropes, too, as when Warrington anticipated the return of Amagasa's own fire, he immediately backed up and held a tight, compact guard with the elbows tucked in low.
Despite this, the Japanese fighter did find success with regularity in the third. As Warrington marched in - still with his hands high, Amagasa landed long, leaping uppercuts from the mid-range. Bursts of shots inside the pocket reigned in on Amagasa, but he managed to stifle Warrington's onslaught on several occasions and landed a reasonable amount of hooks himself.
After four rounds, Warrington began to pepper Amagasa with a short, jolting jab and followed up with a series of punches to the body. Amagasa, however, remained compact, planted his feet and replied with a strong jab of his own.
Following the fifth stanza, Amagasa continued to impress and found himself at the core of the contest. A sharp right hand briefly wobbled Warrington, and then silenced the crowd. Compared to the earlier rounds where Warrington scored with the right/left hooks to the head and body, his work rate gradually slew down after six rounds and Amagasa began effectively use his superior reach. Warrington found it increasingly difficult to find the range, and the jab - one of his best assets - was nullified in the mid rounds.
The 25-year old, a former dental technician, suffered damage to the nose yet refused to be intimidated. Amagasa repeatedly invited Warrington to the inside, where he would surprisingly score many shots. An array of looping hooks and uppercuts ripped through Warrington's guard in the seventh, and by that point, Amagasa was oozing confident in the centre of the ring.
Despite winning the majority of the mid rounds, Warrington then gradually worked through the awkward angles posed by Amagasa, and landed a quick straight right through the guard. It briefly wobbled the Tokyo-born boxer, who floored Guillermo Rigondeaux twice, but Warrington failed to capitalise and score an unlikely knockdown, considering the lack of stoppages on his resume.
Amagsa's fine work with the jab and control of range during the middle rounds was effective, but the fit, strong Warrington started a late rally which began in the tenth. A punishing straight right sent Amagasa spiraling to the ropes, and the visitor found himself in survival mode; swaying side-to-side on the ropes as Warrington unleashed vicious hooks, yet with the raucous home crowd souring under the lights, he couldn't find the shot to end the contest.
Furthermore, testament to his talent and ambition, Amagasa then found his own response in the eleventh. A looping right hook wobbled Warrington and caused him to grab hold, but moments Amagasa sustained a cut above the eyebrow after Warrington landed a hurtful left hook. He yet again followed it up with a barrage, but Amagasa survived the onslaught.
In the twelfth round, as the levels of adrenaline culminated to an all-time high, both Warrington and Amagasa slugged it out in the centre of the ring. Hooks and uppercuts reigned in, and in a stanza where Warrington prevailed, both men embraced after the final bell.
The judges scorecards read 117-111, 118-111 and 120-107 all in favour of Josh Warrington by unanimous decision.