The bout in question saw the once beaten Kenji Ono (10-1, 5) [大野兼資] force an 8th round TKO win over Jun Takigawa (7-2, 4) [滝川潤] but the result only tells a portion of the story of the bout which was captivating from the opening bell.
At the start it was Takigawa who was forcing the pace against Ono, who was looking to land solid left hands like Teiken stablemate Shinsuke Yamanaka. The activity of Takigawa was eye catching but it was clear early on that it was Ono with the edge in power and he seemed to clearly stagger Takigawa in round 2, though was unable to finish him off with a flurry as Takigawa managed to regain his balance and senses.
Through 5 rounds the action was competitive with the busier Takigawa continuing to out work the more accurate, and powerful Ono. It was a fight that looked potentially like it was heading to a close decision with 5 of the 8 rounds gone. At the end of round 6 however Ono's power told as he dropped Takigawa, who was lucky that there was only seconds of the round left.
Having notched up a 10-8 round for round 6 Ono could smell blood at the start of round 7 and swiftly dropped Takigawa at the start of round 7, kicking off a genuinely brilliant and insane round of action that saw the two men stand in front of each other unloading bombs as they squared up. Ono knew he had Takaigawa hurt but Takigawa was like a wounded animal and was still dangerous, dropping Ono as the two looked for a KO blow. Ono got up from the knockdown and the two went back to trying to bomb each other out, with Takigawa being dropped again before the round was over. The knockdowns and the intense, but wild, action made for great viewing and showed just how much both men wanted the win.
The round, which will only have been seen by a handful of people outside of Japan, was sensational and the reason that we all follow the sport.
Sadly for Takaigawa the action packed, and damaging, round 7 seemed to take most of his steam away and in round 8 he was dropped again with Ono's power simply being too much. This time he was unable to recover properly and the referee saved him from more damage.
For Ono this was his 8th straight win, and sees him continuing to build on his Rookie of the Year success in 2014. As for Takigaa this is a second. successive setback following a draw last November with Takeshi Sone, despite the setback he'll have made a lot of new fans who would have been impressed by his heart and courage during this bout.