One of the great things about digging into the Closet for a Classic is that we can often find gems that really do deserve to be rewatched even if both of the fighters involved are relatively forgotten today. Today we look at one such bout that took place in the early 1980's and was all out action bout that was fought at an excellent skill level and despite the fact neither man had a great deal of power the bout was fantastic, high tempo, high level chess.
Katsuo Tokashiki (17-1-1, 3) vs Hwan Jin Kim (22-1-2, 8) II
In December 1981 Japan's Katsuo Tokashiki dethroned Korean Hwan Jin Kim, to become the WBA Light Flyweight champion. Notably Kim had won the title just 5 months earlier, stopping Pedro Flores who was known in Japan for ending the lengthy reign of Yoko Gushiken. Despite winning the belt in July he had managed to fit in a defense before losing to Tokashiki.
We're not going to talk about that first bout however, but their second bout, which took place just 13 months later. By this Tokashiki had ran up 3 defenses whilst Kim had bounced back with 2 low level wins.
Unlike most fights this didn't have a feeling out round, instead we saw both men looking to establish their jabs at a high tempo, from there on things only got better as they moved in and out of range, trading sharp punches on the inside and exchanging jabs as they tried to get close.
Through the rounds the jabs started to drop off a little bit in terms of number, however that was due to the fact the two men were getting closer to each other, and the middle rounds saw both men working more on the inside and trading more hooks and uppercuts up close. Despite the increase in power shots both stayed technical, there wasn't any significant drop in form, shots remained crisp and sharp from both, though neither had the power to really shake the other.
The form of both men only really began to falter in the later rounds as both began to tire.
Despite the bout going on long, and with Kim fighting with a bust nose in the later stages, the two men only got more intense in the later rounds, rather than slowing down, giving us an amazing 15 round bout, and a brilliant, exciting, thrilling battle of wills and skills.
If you've never seen this one, we can't recommend it enough. A genuinely brilliant fight!
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