More than a month since we last looked at a major upset we return to our "What a Shock!" series and cover the final upset of 2013, which saw a former world champion lose to a then unheralded Thai youngster.
December 31st 2013
Bodymaker Colosseum, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
Ryo Miyazaki (20-0-3, 11) Vs Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (24-2, 16)
Japan's Ryo Miyazaki will never be remembered as one the greats but at one point he was seen as a future multi-weight world champion and a key fighter for the Ioka gym, along side Kazuto Ioka. He had won the OPBF Light Flyweight title before dropping down in weight to win the WBA Minimumweight title. In 2013 Miyazaki made the decision to move back up in weight, allowing his body to fill out as he looked to begin his pursuit of a title at 108lbs. Coming into this bout he had scored 10 straight wins, with 6 coming by stoppage and was expected to fight for a second world title in Spring 2014. He just had to get past Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr first.
The 20 year old Thai was, at the time, an unknown outside of Thailand.At the time Fahlan had had 26 bouts, compiling a good looking record, but there was nothing of any note on it. All 26 of hos bouts, up to this point, were in Thailand, against a mix of limited Thai's and terrible foreign imports. Worryingly for him he had even lost to some of those, including a 2012 defeat to Yodpichai Sithsaithong. The one thing he seemed to have was his name, and his father had been a former world champion back in the early 1990's. Of course this was him in the ring and not his father, and he was expected to be little more than a tune up for Miyazaki. Despite his competition Fahlan was an attractive opponent for Miyazaki and was ranked #6 by the IBF, giving Miyazaki a clear reward for his expected win.
What few had anticipated, given that Miyazaki was moving up in weight, was that he would totally mess up on the scales. What was expected to be an easy move up in weight resulted with him essentially passing out on the scales, with fighter showing symptoms of dehydration. This should have seen the bout cancelled, and he really was unfit to fight.
From the first round it was clear that Miyazaki was a shell of the fighter who had been the WBA Minimumweight champion just months earlier. The intensity wasn't there, he looked unsure of himself, and was slow, sluggish and almost seemed gun shy. The Thai, who was stepping up massively, used his jab, focused on keeping distance and had an easy task through the first round.
Fahlan continued to make things look easy in round 2 as Miyazaki began to struggle even more. He wasn't being hurt, but he wasn't doing anything to make things competitive. It was only the fact Fahlan was being cautious that we weren't seeing Miyazaki put in any trouble. Thant changed in round 3.
Just after the midway point of round 3 Fahlan landed a left hook, then a combination that ended with a push to the back of the head. It sent Miyzaki to the canvas, and whilst correctly ruled a push it seemed to give Fahlan the instant confidence that his man was done. A follow up attack, not long after the bout resumed, sent Miyazaki down. He got to his feet, wobbling around and left the referee with no option but to step in.
Interestingly just 4 months after this win, the biggest of his career, Fahlan would face a then 1-0 Takuma Inoue, and lose. Fahlan's career would continue on until earlier this year, when he announced he was retiring, at the age of 26, due to the economic situation of the sport. When he hung them up he had a record of 39-7-1 (21) and had mixed with the likes of Katsunari Takayama, Milan Melindo and Felix Alvarado. Although he failed to win a title he certainly fought a who's who and got out with his health intact.
As for Miyzaki his career never really rebounded. He scored 4 wins over the following 2 years to get a second world title bout, losing to Ryoichi Taguchi in 2016, before retiring. What had been a promising career before this whimpered out afterwards.
The action for November continues over the coming week or saw with 7 title bouts in the space of just 4 days, and whilst some of the bouts aren't great they do tend to feature at least one fighter of real note in every one of the bouts.
Of those 7 title bouts 5 come on November 23rd's show in Osaka, with the title number selling the show as being something special, though the reality is that the show just simply has some well matched, or interesting looking fights on it.
Dwight Ritchie (14-0-0-4, 1) v Koki Tyson (10-2-2, 10)
One of those title bouts will see the unbeaten Dwight Ritchie defending his OPBF Middleweight title against Japanese puncher Koki Tyson, with Ritchie looking for this first defense of the belt and Tyson looking to become an OPBF champion at the second time of asking. Ritchie impressed in Japan earlier this year, when he ripped the title form Hikaru Nishida but will be facing a totally different stylistic match up here against the crude but heavy handed Tyson, who has shown fragility but can certainly bang.
Takayuki Hosokawa (28-10-5, 9) v Yutaka Oishi (13-5, 7)
The other OPBF title bout on the card will see OPF Light Middleweight champion Takayuki Hosokawa defending his title against fellow Japanese fighter Yutaka Oishi. For Hosokawa the bout will be his second defense of the title and see him trying to put a very poor performance against Koshinmaru Saito behind him, with many feeling that Hosokawa was lucky to get the draw in that bout. For Oishi the bout is his first for an OPBF title, though he has previously fought for a regional title in Australia, and he could genuinely play a spoiler to Hosokawa's hopes of fighting for a world title in the future.
Hinata Maruta (3-0, 2) v Joe Tejones (6-1, 2)
In a WBC Youth title fight we'll see fast rising Japanese prospect Hinata Maruta take on Filipino southpaw Joe Tejones. For Maruta this will be his first title defense, and he will be looking to build on an excellent win over Wilbert Berondo. The bout will however be Maruta's first against a southpaw and the focus will be on getting some rounds against a lefty. For Tejones the the opportunity is a big one, but it's hard to imagine him living with a fighter as naturally talented as Maruta and it is the visitor taking a huge step up in class.
Hirofumi Mukai (12-4-3, 2) Vs Inthanon Sithchamuang (30-8-1, 18)
In a WBO Asia Pacific Super Flyweight title fight we'll former world title challengers collide as Hirofumi Mukai, a former 2-time world title challenger, faces Inthanon Sithchamuang in a really intriguing type of match up. Mukai is probably one of the least qualified 2-time world title challengers of recent times, having faced Pongsaklek Wonjojngkam and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, but is still talented and is a nice pure boxer. Inthanon challenged Kohei Kono earlier this year in a gutsy, but out gunned, performance and given the limitations of the two men this should prove to be a really interesting bout.
Masahiro Sakamoto (8-0, 4) v Sho Kimura (12-1-2, 6)
A second WBO Asia Pacific title bout comes at Flyweight where the unbeaten Masahiro Sakamoto takes on the once beaten Sho Kimura in a wonderfully well matched bout that should test the ability of both men and their potentials. Sakamoto is stepping up in a big way here but was impressive last time out, taking a wide win over Il Che, and was the 2015 Flyweight Rookie of the Year. Kimura hasn't really scored a win of any note, but does come in to this bout on a 14 fight unbeaten run following a knockout loss on debut.
Milan Melindo (34-2, 12) Vs Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (31-4-1, 16)
On December 30th we'll see IBF Light Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi return to the ring, his supposed opponent will be either Milan Melindo or Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr, who face off just 5 weeks earlier for the interim title. This bout will see Melindo getting a third shot at a “world title” and his first t home having had to travel to Macau and Mexico for his previous bit bouts. For Fahlan the bout is his second shot at a world title, after his controversial loss to Katsunari Takayama, and a win could see him return to Japan for another big bout, following bouts with Takuma Inoue, Ryo Miyazaki and the aforementioned Takayama. This bout will be a fun one and we wouldn't be shocked by any result.
Muhammad Waseem (4-0, 3) v Giemel Magramo (17-0, 13)
To end the month our attention turns to Korea where fast rising Pakistani fighter Muhammad Waseem takes on the unbeaten Giemel Magramo. Waseem, the most notable Pakistani born boxer since Hussain Shah, is looking to make his first defense of the WBC Silver Flyweight title and move towards a 2017 world title bout. For Magramo the bout is a huge step up and his first bout away from home, he's unbeaten but has never faced anyone with the pedigree or ability of Waseem, likewise Waseem has never faced anyone as hungry as Magramo.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).