Whilst many Japanese boxing fans thought Thursday was a day off in their busy scheduled of fights this week one fighter didn't. That was the exciting and hard hitting Shuhei Tsuchiya (15-3, 13) who travelled to Australia to fight one time world title challenger Leonardo Zappavigna (31-2, 21).
Although Tsuchiya was a big under-dog he put on a stirring performance as the two men traded shots like their life depended on it. The combat took it's toll on the both men with cuts, swelling and various other markings showing on both of their faces from the combination of punches, head clashes and just sickening violence. It was the sort of combat that reminds us all why we love we boxing so much.
With bombs being thrown, and landed, by both it seemed clear that this bout wasn't going to go 12 rounds, especially when you consider the severe facial damage on both men. Amazingly however it got to round 10 before Tsuchiya was stopped with his corner men throwing in the towel to save the brave Japanese fighter.
Prior to the stoppage Tsuchiya had been down in round 4 and then down, earlier, in the tenth as a delayed effect from a body shot (which can be seen in the video below). A follow up barrage forced the towel to come in though it seemed Tsuchiya was likely to be stopped by the referee soon afterwards anyway.
If you've not managed to see this one yet we do recommend you hunt it down, it was genuinely amazing.
Although he lost Tsuchiya seemed to have enjoyed the encounter with his recent blog entry stating (via a rough translation):
"I was defeated by 10R TKO. I have lost the game, but it was a great contest that was able to show the ability to compete well with the world ranked players. Expedition to Australia, it was cheers for good work!!"
(video of the final 90 seconds or saw is courtesy of Aotearoa SportsVideos)
(Picture courtesy of http://www.kadoebi.com/)
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