One of the things that's really interesting in boxing is the paths fighters take through out their careers. One bout could see two men fighting in their debuts then years later they could be clashing again for a world title. It's something that very few other sports have but is something that really interests us, especially on the domestic scene where fighters can often fight each other more than once and where the same handful of fighters all seem to fight each other.
Back in 2011 at the Strongest Korakuen final fans got to see a Light Welterweight bout between the highly exciting Shinya Iwabuchi and the dangerous Shamgar Koichi, then fighting under his birth name as Koichi Aso. The bout, scheduled for 8 rounds, was to decide the next challenger for the Japanese crown at 140lbs.
Surprisingly the contest lasted less than a round with Iwabuchi hurting and then finishing off Koichi with a devastating flurry of punches to secure his chance at the belt.
As history would have it Iwabuchi went on to win the title in his next bout, stopping Yuji Wauke in 7 rounds. After defending the belt 3 times he gave it up in 2013 to challenge for the OPBF title. Although Iwabuchi lost in his first OPBF title fight, dropping a decision to Min Wook Kim, he will be getting another chance at the belt in August 2014 when he battles Keita Obara. As for Koichi he's about to challenge Hiroki Okada for Japanese title, almost 3 years after losing this bout.
Note-An alternative video of this fight, taken from another angle, can be seen here.
(Video courtesy of suzufeel)
Traditionally Japanese fighters have only had limited success outside of the lower weight classes. This is because they usually lack something to they need to get international success, such as the natural size, power or skills to match their more successful counterparts from the US, Europe or Latin American. That however doesn't prevent them from being involved in some absolute thrillers courtesy of the flaws and mentality of the men involved.
One such exciting contest took place on November 3rd 2012 when the shaven headed Shamgar Koichi battled hard with the light hitting Tomohiko Sakai. The bout saw the dangerous but highly flawed Koichi applying near constant pressure though having very mixed success with Sakai all too happy to fight fire with fire. As a result of both men being limited the fight turned out to be a high entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable bout, especially the final round, between two domestic fighters who were both looking to score a win that could help them establish themselves as a domestic title contender.
Sadly the bout seems to have sent Sakai into retirement and he's not fought in the subsequent 20 months. For Koichi however the win has helped him earn his Japanese title shot and in less than a month from us posting this video he will be fighting Hiroki Okada for the Japanese Light Welterweight title. It wasn't a direct reward for this win but the win certainly helped him to get such a big title bout.
(Video courtesy of toneket2)
Here we include some of the best, most interesting, most exciting or most eye catching videos from around the Asian boxing world.