Closet Classics will typically feature fights that hardcore fans might be aware of, or at least have a fighter that fans know about. Today however we look at a genuinely obscure fight that we were lucky to find recently, and immediately decided that it would be featured in an upcoming Closet Classic. It will, probably, hold a unique role in this series as being the only all debutant bout to be featured, and one of the very few 4 rounds, but the reality is that it is something special, and was dubbed in Japan as the greatest 4 rounder ever. Coming from a country that gives us an annual Rookie of the Year event that praise is indeed very, very high, and may well be very accurate.
The only down point regarding the contest was the way one fighters out of the ring activity marred any hope of him having a notable career,
Ieyasu Yashiro (0-0) vs Ricardo Arredondo Jr (0-0)
The date was November 25th 1996, fans were heading to the Korakuen Hall to see OPBF Middleweight champion Kevin Palmer defending his title against Armando Andales, and former world champion Manny Melchor take on the enigmatic Masamori Tokuyama. Those who arrived at the Hall early got a few preliminary bouts, including an all debutant bout between Ieyasu Yashiro and Ricardo Arredondo Jr.
Both men were 19 years old and there was little to really say about either, with Arredondo being the more notable due to the fact his father, and uncle, were a former world champions. His father was popular in Japan with 7 of his bouts taking place there whilst his uncle Rene Arrdeondo, had twice fought in Japan.
With neither having much attention the two fight fought like they had a point to prove, and straight from the opening bell bombs were beign thrown, the crowd were ultra loud and the fighters, who showed a lot of technical flaws, just went at it. It was a fight, a true fight between novices each looking to leave a lasting impression, each looking to prove their machismo and each chasing the win.
Although the pace wasn't hectic for all 4 rounds it seemed like the bout just got better and better and round 4 was just as entertaining as round 1, with defense continually taking a back seat to long straights, hard hooks and crazy and back forth action as we some how went to the bell.
Sadly in the years that followed neither fighter would go on to have particularly memorable careers. Yashiro technically had the better career. He went 8-1 (1) fighting through to 1999. He wouldn't get a title fight before ending his career. Arredondo however had the more "interesting" career.
Arredondo had actually fought this fight under the name Ricardo Chiba and in 1998 he was arrested for killing a man in Chiba with a kitchen knife. Arredondo would essentially be sent packing from Japan follow his sentence and would fight again until 2006. He managed to fight 8 times in 2006, running up a 7-2 (7) record before leaving the sport himself at the age of 29.
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features