One of the great things about doing these Closet Classics is the fact we get to enjoy fights we've not seen recently, and get to re-enjoy some amazing contests from the past. These include wars, exciting matches, amazing shows of heart and brilliant battles where sometimes we get the unexpected one such surprise came in 2008 when Japanese fans saw the then WBA Lightweight world champion Jose Alfaro travel to Tokyo in pursuit of his first defense. His opponent was a Yusuke Kobori, former Japanese national champion at Super Featherweight.
Although the bout won't go down as an all time classic, it's a bout that has long lived in our memories as a very fun bout, with heavy leather being thrown by both, and it didn't take long for that leather to be thrown.
Jose Alfaro (20-3-0-1, 18) Vs Yusuke Kobori (22-2-1, 11)
Nicaraguan puncher Jose Alfaro had won the title in Germany in late 2007, when he took a split decision against Prawet Singwancha. That was Alfaro's 6th straight win, and has followed a big win over DeMarcus Corley 7 motnhs earlier. Although now a forgotten man of sorts Alfaro was a feat fighter at the time. He had been beaten thrice in the space of a year, losing to Sanots Benavides, Cesar Rene Cuenca and Miguel Acosta, but had bounced with a solid winning run and had proven to be a really devastating puncher.
Kobori on the other hand was a Japanese domestic level Super Featherweight. He had won the title in early 2006 and had made 7 defenses, winning the OPBF title along the way. His nost notable defenses, at the time, was probably Hiroyasu Matsuzaki, though looking back a win over a then unbeaten Takashi Miura is certainly a victory that aged really well. Despite being a long term Japanese champion he hadn't really done anything to suggest he would a world title, or even that he would be competitive at Lightweight, a division that he hadn't actually fought at.
The opening moments of the fight were simple enough, with both looking to dictate the behind their jabs. Although that's normal both seemed busier than we typically see of fighters in the opening 20 or so seconds. From then on though both began to let shots go more freely and by the end of the opening round both were throwing down heavy leather with both hands. This saw both men looking shaken before the round was over, and lit the touch paper for a thrilling second round that seemed to continue the intensity of the opening round. The action swung both ways in a round that really deserved to be watched as both looked for a stoppage win.
We won't ruin the rest of the fight, but this ended up bring a nail biting, war in the end and is a fight that every fan owes themselves a chance to watch. This quickly ended up being a pure fight and is well worthy of your time.
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