The closet classics continue with our 4th bout, and we return to Japan for Light Flyweight action, and a bout that bucks the trend of many great fights. Many of the best bouts start hot, and slow down after a few rounds, this fight however doesn't start off as anything special, but when it gets good, it really becomes something very, very special. It shows how good Japanese domestic fights can be, and why we love the G+ shows, which continue such a depth of action that we always end up with at least 1 bout worth remembering. It's actually worth remembered that this particular bout was on a show headlined by Ryosuke Iwasa taking on Dennis Tubieron, a main event that was far from memorable.
Kenji Ono (9-1, 4) v Jun Takigawa (7-1-1, 4)
Neither Kenji Ono or Jun Takigawa will go down in the history books as any stars of the sport, but in February 2016 both men had big dreams and both were making their way towards a potential national title fight.
Ono was a Teiken promoted hopeful who had won 9 of his 10 bouts, including a notable 2014 win over Seita Ogido to be crowned the All Japanese Light Flyweight Rookie of the Year. He was on a roll, having won 7 successive bouts, and looked to be getting better and better. At the age of 27 he was coming into his prime, he was in good form and seemed like he was heading for big things, especially with Teiken guiding his career.
Takigawa on the other hand had lost in the 2014 West Japan Rookie of the Year final at Minimumweight, losing to Reiya Konishi, but had bounced back with 2 wins and a draw leading into this bout. He was moving up in weight, but it did seem like his 25 year old frame had out grown the smaller weight class and he was expected to settle well at 108lbs. A win here would have seen Takigawa getting into the mix for the Japanese title, and be on the way to making his name.
Whilst the bout looked compelling on paper it didn't look like a Japanese fight of the year contender. It did however take on a life of it's own quickly, with Takigawa taking the fight to Ono, showing no fear of his foe, in what was Takigawa's first bout at the Korakuen Hall. It was Takigawa who made the action exciting early on but Ono was answering back and growing in confidence. By round 3 we were starting to feel like we had something worthy of a rewatch however things got better, a lot better, in round 6.
Takigawa got cut in round 5, from a head clash, and that seemed to drive him to taking more risks and be more aggressive. In round 6 that aggression, at least partly, would be responsible for both men taking heavier leather. It wasn't pretty but was entertaining and it lead to the fight's first knockdown. It wouldn't be the last and round 7 is a must watch round for any self respecting fight fan.
This is Japanese domestic boxing, and round 7 is one of the all time great closet rounds, with 3 knockdowns...Make time for this one!
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features