Some bouts don't go the way that they are expected to and that was certainly the case when the 20 year old Allan Tanada travelled to fight Japanese veteran Rikiya Fukuhara and scored a stunning upset victory over the former Japanese Super Bantamweight champion to claim the OPBF Super Featherweight title.
Going in to the bout the OPBF title was vacant and the men were the top 2 ranked contenders. Fukuhara, despite having achieved very little at Super Featherweight, was the the #1 contender and was widely viewed as the favourite courtesy of his experience and maturity. Tanada, ranked #2 by the OPBF, was still a kid and he was expected by many to walked over by the big punching Japanese fighter.
What happened instead is that a confident Tanada used his youth and speed to great effect countering Fukuhara early on and forcing Fukuhara to miss. After a good opening round Tanada amped up the pressure and forced Fukuhara to work hard to create space and have any real success. Not only was Fukuhars being forced to work hard but in the final minute of round 2 he was forced to eat some very hard shots from Tanada.
If the first 2 rounds had been surprising then the third was thoroughly shocking with Fukuhara dropped about 10 seconds into the round. Tanada then went hunting for the stoppage and dropped Fukuhara again about a minute later. It appeared that Fukuhara was going to go down for a third time but the referee intervened and saved Fukuhara from further punishment in possible the most disappointing performance of the Japanese fighters career.
Both men have continued to fight on after this fight though neither have had amazing success. Tanada lost his title in his first defence, being stopped in 5 against Masao Nakamura, whilst Fukuhara lost 3 of a subsequent 8 bouts though does now appear to have his career on the right tracks after a few successive stumbles.
(Video courtesy of Jerome Naldoza)
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