For those who have followed Yamashita's career so far the bout was a typical Yamashita fight. It was fought at close range with both men throwing a huge number of punches and standing toe to toe. Surprisingly however it was Kimura who came out on top as he rode the assaults of Yamashita and banged in some pretty brutal body shots to take some of the sting out of his foe.
In round 6 it seemed clear that Yamashita was struggling with the pace, despite the fight being fought at his normal range. The youngster refused to back off however and was rattled by some clean shots from Kimura, who was using all the tools in his arsenal to pick away at Yamashita, and his badly swelling eye.
In round 7, with Yamashita's eye almost closed, the referee stepped in. The 21 year old hadn't been down, and had thrown a shot back just before the stoppage, but there was no real complaint with the referee's actions given the swelling and how Kimura was clearly surging whilst Yamashita was quickly fading.
With the win Kimura looks on the verge of a third Japanese title fight, and in all honesty it wouldn't be a shock to see him clinching the title in the near future. He's nowhere world class, but can certainly win a domestic title. For Yamashita there is no questioning his excitement or style, though he does perhaps deserve a bit of care from his team given this was his third stoppage loss, and his style doesn't make for very long careers. Saying that however Yamashita is one of the most exciting domestic level talents in Japan and we can't help but enjoy watching the heavy handed warrior, despite all his limitations.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)