Late on Saturday night/early on Sunday morning we saw one more Asian fighter in action as former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Seiichi Okada (18-5, 11) took on Mexico's Nery Saguilan (30-4-1, 11) for the WBC United States Silver Lightweight title. Unfortunately for Okada he travelled around the globe for naught.
The bout, a thrilling all action contest, was fought with bad intentions from both. The animosity between the two had grown in the week of the fight with Okada calling Saguilan a clown and commenting that the Mexican had a bad attitude towards the sport. Whilst what he said may have had some truth in it with Saguilan dancing with a Corona girl after the bout, there was little doubt about the winner of the fight.
Okada gave it his all though was no match for Saguilan overall with the Mexican being the younger, fresher and bigger fighter.
Sadly as the bout progressed Okada was slowly being broken down with a combination of body shots and head shots that just beat the fight out of Okada. His face was swollen badly by round 7 and and it appeared that Saguilan was just able to do that bit more in the exchanges. It was actually in an exchange the following round that cause the conclusion of the bout, with Saguilan landing a counter left hand on the jaw of Okada that sent the Japanese fighter to a knee. He rose before the count had reached 10 but was in no fit state to continue.
Interestingly the fight saw a bit of a cheap shot from Saguilan in round 7. Okada went to touch gloves but was sucker punched by Saguilan in an incident similar to the one saw Guillermo Rigondeaux knocking out Sod Kokietgym. This incident didn't end the fight but we do feel that this needs stamping out now, despite being totally legal. It shows a lack of sportsmanship and at the end of the day boxing, despite being a fight, is a sport not a brawl on the street. It did appear at the end however that Saguilan did find some respect for Okada and urged the crowd to applaud the Japanese fighter.
Sadly for Okada this could well be the end of his career. It was his 4th stoppage loss in 6 bouts and there is no reason to take any more damage. He showed his bravery again today and he's already achieved more in the sport by winning a national title than many fighters can dream of. He's no longer the fighter that pushed Takashi Miura close and beat Rikiya Fukuhara and in fact he's hardly even a shadow of the fighter he once was.
Having just mentioned Takashi Miura it may be worth considering that Saguilan may now be in line to fight the Japanese world champion. Although this bout was fought at Lightweight Saguilan has regularly fought at Super Featherweight and he would likely make the drop back down if a world title opportunity arose
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