In 2018 we have seen some amazing performances by Asian fighters. We saw Naoya Inoue in 2 fantastic, albeit short, performances against Jamie McDonnell and Juan Carlos Payano, Vic Saludar put in a great performance to take the WBO Minimumweight title from Ryuya Yamanaka, Shakhram Giyasov stopping the tough Albert Mensah, Masayuki Ito shining on his US debut against Christopher Diaz and Manny Pacquiao rolling back the clock to stop Lucas Mathysse.
For us the best performance however was by Kenshiro [拳四朗], who looked amazing when he took apart Milan Melindo in a virtuoso performance.
Melindo, although not a pound for pound elite level fighter, was a bonafide world class fighter yet was made to look third rate by Kenshiro. The Japanese fighter had the perfect gameplan and executed it to perfection to inflict Melindo's first stoppage loss. A stoppage loss that came as a result on consistent, sharp punches from the WBC Light Flyweight champion. Despite only being 30 years old Melindo was made to look like a shot fighter, not a fighter who had beaten Hekkie Budler just 13 months earlier, or stopped Akira Yaegashi inside a round just 3 fights earlier.
What makes the performance from Kenshiro so outstanding was the way he completely shut down and in a way toyed with a world class fighter round after round. This wasn't a steam roller job over someone who wasn't given a chance to respond and was instead a prolonged exhibition in boxing behind a jab and moving around the ring. A real showcase of boxing skill.
Melindo hasn't fought since his loss, and we wouldn't be surprised to see him return at a much lower level in the future as he rebuilds his confidence, whilst Kenshiro went on to score another notable win in December, beating Saul Juarez.
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