Earlier today fans in Fukuoka saw local hopeful Takumi Sakae (15-2-1, 10) [栄 拓海] score a much needed win, as he stopped wild Thai visitor Nayoklek Sithsaithong (1-1, 1) in the 5th round of their bout.
Prior to this bout Sakae had gone 1-2-1 in his previous 4 bouts, following a 13-0 start, and there was some serious worry about how mentally tough he was. Those worries were amplified early in the bout with Nayoklek looking very wild and unpredictable, making life tough for Sakae. The roughness of the Thai saw him being deducted a point and wrestling Sakae down, in a messy moment from round 3.
Despite the wildness from the visitor Sakae showed his mental strength and remained calm. That clamess was his key and in round 5, a tired looking Nayoklek began to give him more openings. Those opportunites lead to Sakae landing some serious shots, including a left hand that dropped the Thai, and immediately led to the bout being waved off.
Although it's clear that Sakae has some rebuilding to do he's young enough and talented enough to reclimb the rankings and move his way towards another potential title fight.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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