When it comes to what makes a good journeyman we tend to think they have to be tough, they have to be able to fight a bit and they have to come to win. There is no point in a journeyman who simply cannot be bothered to try and win and in fact the JBC seems to try and root out fighters who don't try and gives them some form of a ban.
With that in mind we need to give a lot of credit to good journeymen and one of the best in Asia is Marjohn Yap who isn't the most skilled fighter, or the best fighter but he is a very capable and tough opponent who never folds easily or gives away a fight. In fact if anything Yap has proven more than happy to pull the upset as he has done in a couple of visits to Japan.
One of the losses for Yap on the road came when he travelled and fought the highly skilled Ryosuke Iwasa in what was supposed to be an easy nights work for Iwasa but turned into a very good test for "Eagle Eye".
Yap came to win and made sure that Iwasa knew it in the opening round. Unfortunately for Yap he was unable to match the skills of Iwasa though continued to keep up effort from the bell to the final bell and actually took one or two rounds from Iwasa despite the hostile crowd cheering on Iwasa who began landing counters at will later on.
It was a clear loss for Yap but he made sure that Iwasa fought for the win as opposed to being given it without working for it. Courtesy of this fight Yap was later invited back for several other bouts, including a contest with the hotly tipped Naoto Uebayashi. Again Yap was out classed but he gave a solid account of his skills and heart by forcing Uebayashi to stay sharp through out the bout
One fighter we've tried to follow pretty closely is Naoto Uebayashi, an unbeaten Japanese prospect who was a former amateur standout. Tipped for stardom Uebayashi stumbled somewhat early in his career and was surprisingly dropped in just his second bout, by Thailand's Imron Lookkhlongtan, and held to a draw by the then 22 year old Yasaku Kuga, who also dropped him.
Just 3 months after the Kuga fight Uebayashi took on his most experienced, at least up to that point in time, Filipino Marjohn Yap. Yap, for those who aren't aware, is a sturdy and durable fighter who had shared the ring with some excellent fighters like Ryosuke Iwasa and had scored some notable upsets including a stoppage over Pramuansak Posuwan.
For Uebayashi this was a clear test and, for the first time in his career, he was scheduled to go 8 rounds. As we all know some fighters respond well to being moved up a level and given what they view as a real test as opposed to a bout they go into complacent and feel they can win one handed. For Uebayashi this test seemed to bring out the best in him as he showed off the skills that helped him become such a highly regarded prospect. He combined his skills to a cautious pressure based game plan, he forced Yap against the ropes and forced Yap to lead and made him pay.
From Yap's perspective he wasn't shown up and he'll be back in Japan in late 2014 to fight against Hirofumi Mukai. On this performance he has the ability to make life difficult for Mukai. For us however the performance from Uebayashi saw him winning rounds against a competitive Yap to take the win and build on his reputation as one of Japan's more over-looked prospects.
(Video courtesy of Akkie4410)
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