Every so often we have a sensational modern bout that few had much expectations for. On paper it looked like the next step up for a prospect heading places, but ended up being so much more than just that. Today we have one such bout, that really didn't promises a lot but in fact it ended up being one of most under-rated bouts of 2018, and was a hidden of a fighter that gave us everything. We had skills, we had heart, determination, action, drama, and frustrations, in a bout that was thoroughly engaging from start to finish. More than that it also had meaning with the Oriental title on the line.
Carlo Magali (23-9-3, 12) vs Hironori Mishiro (5-0, 2)
Coming in to the bout the 31 year old Carlo Magali was the OPBF Super Featherweight champion a 35 fight veteran. Although not a world beater, and a lot way from being a world beater, Magali was a solid fighter on at this sort of regional level. Although he had 9 losses on his record coming into the bout many of those had been at Lightweight, or above, including defeats to Emmanuel Tagoe and Pavel Malikov, or had come way down the scales, such as a 2009 loss to Vincent Palicte at Bantamweight. When he was fighting at a weight he was comfortable at, and had been able to prepare properly he was a damn good fighter at this type of level, with experience, skills, decent power and the know how to get through some tough times in the ring.
In the opposite corner to the OPBF champion was Japanese professional novice Hironori Mishiro. Mishiro was 5-0, he had turned professional in 2017 after a solid amateur career, and had managed to impress since turning professional. After beginning his career with 3 easy wins he over-came Shuma Nakazato in a tough 6 rounder then beat Shuya Masaki in an 8 rounder.Coming in to this bout he had had 24 rounds of professional experience, had never gone beyond 8 rounds and was giving up pretty all the edges he could in experience. Aged just 23 at the time he was also very much a developing young man. Where he had advantages however was his skills, which were very well developed from his time in the amateur ranks, and his size, with significant reach and height advantages against the short and stubby Magali.
Straight from the opening bell it was clear that the size and speed advantages lay with Mishiro, and Magali knew it too. Magali was quickly onto the front foot, pressing forward and trying to get up close and personal on the challenger. Mishiro however tried to get behind his jab, box and move and avoid a tear up with the powerful looking Filipino. It wasn't the most exciting of rounds but it was pretty clear, if Mishiro could keep this at range Magali was going to struggle. However Magali was determined to get close and seemed to draw out the fighter in Mishiro late in the round.
We again saw Mishiro looking to box at range in round 2, but once again it was clear there was a fighter looking to get out. He was trying to be mature, trying to fight to a gameplan and be smart, but the fighting spirit was building and by round 3 we were seeing him give away his height advantage more often ad Magali began to put his foot on the gas and force Mishiro to respond. By round 4 the bout was a hard one to call, and was getting hard and harder for Mishiro as Magali's tempo continued to increase and the Filipino repeatedly landed big, heavy shots. The strong fight back from the Filipino had seen the scorecards all read 38-38 after 4 rounds.
Magali's momentum was growing and in round 5 he wobbled Mishiro, and seemed to have him badly hurt. This was a huge gutcheck for the youngster who seemed lucky not to end up on the canvas. Magali however was putting a lot of effort into what he was doing and questions had to be asked about whether he could keep up the pace.
Mishiro managed to come back well in rounds 7 and 8, ans the scorecards were reflective of an incredibly close bout at this point. Despite the spirited effort from Mishiro there was still the fear that that he could end up being hurt again, as he was in round 5. There was also a fear that his lack of experience was going to become a major issues in the later stages.
With the scorecards close going into the final 4 rounds it was all to play for as ended up seeing two men continue to dig deep, trade shots and put on a thriller for the OPBF title.
This had skills, bombs, heart and everything we could wish to see from a fight. It also had men with two very different styles combining to make a brilliant bout that's not an all out war, but is a compelling back and forth battle or skills, wills and wits.
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