We return to the Minimumweight division for this week's closet classic which came in May 2013 and was a genuinely fun, and often over-looked bout from Japan. In one corner was the WBA Minimumweight champion, making his first defense of the title which he had won in an instant classic, whilst the other corner featured 22 year old Mexican fighting in his first world title bout. Together they made something short, but thrilling.
Ryo Miyazaki (18-0-3, 10) vs Carlos Velarde (23-2-1, 13)
No one will ever try to describe Japan's Ryo Miyazaki as a special boxer. Technically he was quite limited, almost predictable, but he was tough, rugged, and seemingly always got caught in wars. His technical limitations were always pretty clear, but his ability to fight hard and fight tough made him one of the most fun to watch Minimumweights of his time. His WBA Minimumweight title win in December 2012, against Pornsawan Porpramook, was a brilliant bout, but not his only classic. In fact just a few months after his title win he was involved in another great bout as he took on Mexican challenger Carlos Velarde.
Mexican youngster Carlos Velarde was relatively unknown outside of the Mexican domestic scene. His only bout outside of Mexico up to this point was a loss in Panama to Edwin Diaz. Despite that loss he had bounced back with 3 wins, including a technical decision over Oswaldo Novoa, to get a shot at Miyazaki and the WBA title. Aside from the loss to Diaz the only other marks on Velarde's record were a TKO loss to Jesus Silvestre in 2009, when he was just 18, and a draw in his 2007 debut, when he was just 16. Despite having no major win on his record he had proven to be exciting, fun to watch and aggressive. He was pretty much the type of guy who was going to make for fun fights, especially if he thought he needed to score a stoppage to get a win, as he likely he would here.
From the opening round Velarde came forward, trying to pressure Miyazaki. Miyazaki was more cautious, and willing to move away when he needed to, but still tried to fight fire with fire. Within a minute we were already seeing some great back and forth action. It was exciting, but also technically correct, with neither man being reckless. Miyazaki looked the more versatile, but the challenger looked very polished, and like a fighter with a very clear gameplan, based around breaking down Miyazaki.
In round 2 the tempo picked up slightly, but kept the same type of pattern as the opening round. Velarde coming forward, throwing more, and Miyzaki picking his spots more. It was great two-way action despite the fact the styles were often very different, with nice lulls to catch your breath, and then great intense bursts of action.
We won't ruin any more of this fight, but for those looking for something short and enjoyable to watch. It also has a truly brilliant finish to it and that alone is worthy of the time it takes to watch the bout.
A fun, short, exciting bout, with a fantastic finish. A perfect 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