When a fighter has real power they tend to be able to capture the attention of fans and the media. When they can combine that power with skills and potential as well as a fan friendly style they really have the ability to be more than just a fan friendly fighter, they have the ability to be a champion.
One fighter who has shown that combination of skills, power and will to win is the heavy handed Hiroki Okada, the current Japanese Light Welterweight champion who began his career with 7 straight stoppages before getting his first title fight and finally being forced to hear the final bell.
Arguably the most impressive of those 7 stoppage victories came in Okada's 7th bout when he took on the experienced and durable Jaypee Ignacio of the Philippines. Ignacio had only been stopped twice in his previous 28 bouts and he had gone the distance with a veritable who's who of the Asian boxing scene including Akinori Watanabe, Terdsak Kokietgym, Adones Cabalquinto, Jimrex Jaca and Rey Labao. To describe Ignacio as a strong and tough opponent may be correct but it sells him short and he's one of the best journeymen in Asia.
Okada was stepping up in class for the fight but knew what he had to do to force a stoppage.and did it stopping Ignacio in the final round with an assault that forced the referee to save the tough and brave Filipino fighter.
Whilst some fans will likely say that this bout doesn't prove Okada's power it's fair to say that if the bout was allowed to go on then it could have gotten very nasty for Ignacio who was saved from a further 90 seconds of damage.
Since this fight Okada, as mentioned earlier, has become the Japanese champion and he will be defending his title in the coming week or so as he takes on Shamgar Koichi in what could be a genuinely thrilling bout between heavy handed and exciting fighters.
(Video courtesy of TV2NE1)
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