One of the best things about being able to do this Closet Classics series is our ability to look at fights that no one else would really think about shining a light on. Yeah, of course, we include some amazing FOTY bouts, great comebacks and historically significant bouts, but we can also pick the occasional bout from deep in the back of the closet and share the bouts that really won't have seen much attention from outside of Asia. Today we bring you one of the oddest Closet Classics we're ever likely to bring you, and it's true family affair!
Kusuo Eguchi (10-3, 4) vs Katsuaki Eguchi (10-4, 1)
As you can likely tell from the surname of the fighters these two men knew each other, in fact Kusuo Eguchi and Katsuaki Eguchi were brothers, who met on June 5th 1993 in a fight for the then vacant Japanese Minimumweight title. Despite being brothers they delivered a real fight, with both men wanting to take home the win and both men wanting to claim bragging rights ahead of their sibling.
At 24 years old Kusuo was the older man, with Katsuaki set to turn 21 weeks after this fight. Kusuo was also a southpaw, and had competed at a higher level to his brother, beating Korean champion Tae-Yung Kim and losing to former world title challenger Andy Tabanas. Kusuo also boasted more power than his younger brother, havign 4 stoppages in 13 bouts to his brother's 1 stoppage in 14. Katsuaki however Katsuaki however was no push over himself and had scored a very notable domestic win over Keitaro Hoshino prior to this bout, with Hoshino later going on to world title honours.
It was clear from the opening moments that both knew they were in a strange fight, fighting their brother, rarely looking at each other during the introductions and even looking down to the canvas during the referee's final instructions.
Despite the fact both seemed to realise they would be punching their own brother the fight was highly entertaining from the first round, with the men throwing a lot of leather from the off. Katsuaki was the one applying pressure, trying to take the fight to his older brother, with Kusuo fighting on the back foot, countering and, and breaking through with a knockdown part way through the round. Despite dropping his brother Kusuo looked away whilst the count took place, showing some concern to his brother. The fight would resume when Katsuaki got to his feet, and Kusuo would go to work, looking to close the show.
Round 2 started with the Kusuo scoring a knockdown, leavelling the knockdown counter and going to work himself, on closing the show and finishign things off. From there on the bout became a compelling battle between two men, who looked eager to impress and win, but thoroughly concerned about the health of the. It seemed that both thought it better to finish the bout early than go for a long and gruelling 10 round affair, and it was that mentality that gave us this brilliant Closet Classic.
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