Last year we were given a virtuoso performance by Japanese youngster Shohei Omori (14-0, 9) who put on a beating to the then world ranked Christian Esquivel. At the time it seemed like a break out performance by the Japanese young who had previously won the Bantamweight Rookie of the Year crown in 2012. Today however Omori blew that performance out of the water as he destroyed Japanese champion Kentaro Masuda (21-7, 11) in such a manner that the whole Bantamweight division should be sitting up and taking note.
The young southpaw looked a division bigger than Masuda, he towered over the champion from the introductions and fought like a man who knew it was his time. Within a round Masuda was down and then again later in the round the difference in size was notable but the difference in strength was more telling with Masuda lucky to see out the opening round. Had the bell come just 30 seconds later Masuda wouldn't have seen out the round.
The defending champion managed to survive the second round though it was looking like a foregone conclusion. Masuda simply had nothing to bother his sensational young foe and in round 3 a series of heavy Masuda shots forced the referee to wave off the bout.
At just 22 years old Omori may be a youngster but he has quickly become the more promising fighter in the Bantamweight division. This victory is the type of victory that will see him go from strength to strength and the confidence he'll have developed from this win will help him progress his career. It's also the sort of win that will see his team push him for a world title bout, something he said he was after.
For Masuda, who entered the bout world ranked himself, this is going to be a very hard loss to take. Coming in he was #11 with the IBF and #14 with the WBC though now it seems like his career could be coming to an end. The 32 year old, who had won his last 7 bouts, had never been beaten like this before. This was a battering to a sensational talent who has really announced himself.