Controversies in boxing really do come in so many shapes and forms. Be it alleged glove tampering dodgy officiating, poor scoring, the bell ringing early and the drug failures. Rarely, however, will they result in a TKO via headbutt. Today that's exactly what we bring you courtesy of a bout from 2008. Not only was the headbutt clear, but it wasn't the only headbutt in the fight, it resulted in a very controversial win, and also began one of the most amazing runs of a female world champion history.
Oh yeah this was a controversy that helped make a female fighter into a rather big deal, giving her a world title that she dominated for around a decade!
Momo Koseki (5-2, 1) Vs Winyu Paradorn Gym (6-1-1, 1) II
We need to start this looking back a little bit rather than looking at the fight in question.
In 2006 Winyu Paradorn Gym had began her career, she lost her second bout, to Samson Tor Buamas, but bounced back with two wins to earn a shot at the WBC Atomweight title, with the Thai looking to become the title's first holder.
In 2007 Japan's Momo Koseki began her professional career and after winning 3 bouts in a row and made up the other part of that inaugural WBC Atomweight title bout.
That bout took place on August 31st 2007 in Ayutthaya, Thailand and went the scheduled 10 round, taking us to the judges. The result of the scorecards saw Winyu taking a really close decision, 96-94 on two cards, both from Thai judges, and a 96-95 score from Thai based Swiss judge Franz Marti.
Although it's not known, it's probably fair to assume Koseki had felt stitched up.
We now fast forward August 11th 2008, almost a year to the date of their first bout, and the two women would clash again. This time in Japan, with Koseki having home advantage agaianst Winyu, who was still the WBC champion.
With almost a year of anger and resentment Koseki wanted revenge and likely didn't want the judges to have any involvement at all. From the off she pushed forward, not really giving a hoot about anything Winyu threw. This caused some real messy action, and numerous headclashes. Less than 90 seconds in Koseki was told off about the use of her head, but that didn't seem to stop her. The clashes continued.
Whilst headclashes are commonplace in bouts pitting southpaws, like Koseki, against orthodox fighters, there was a lot of them here. And Winyu was feeling everyone of them.
Just over 30 seconds into round 2 the Thai was dropped after a big clash of heads. She was in agony though bravely tried to climb to her feet whilst the referee counted. She managed to get her feet, but was stumbling all over the place as the referee stopped the contest. Koseki then began to celebrate before having her arm raised as the winner, by 2nd round TKO. It was a win that netted her the title, a title she likely felt should have been hers a year earlier.
Whether it was an intentional tactic, clumsiness, anger or something else it was clear this bout had ended due to the headclash. Winyu had been knocked silly by the clash and whether she wanted to continue or not was pretty irrelevant, though bout should have been stopped and ruled a technical draw.
The controversy grew and the WBC would order the two ladies to fight again. That rematch never occurred though. Instead of an immediate third clash Winyu returned to Thailand and lost a decision to Teeraporn Pannimit, retiring afterwards.
What became of Koseki? Well she ended up holding the title from August 11th 2008 to her retirement in 2018, having defended it 17 times and unified it with the WBA title.She would also go on to claim the WBC female Minimumweight title and become one of the most significant female fighters in Japan. Although she was always capable of being rough this was her at her most questionable.
Sadly we weren't able to find the broadcast version of the fight, though what we did find was video that did include a decent portion of the fight, including the fight ending headclash.
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