Last week we tried to answer reddit user negative5's question "Best Fights No One Talks About?" with our first "Closet Classic", which saw us talk about the incredible war between Koji Sato and Makoto Fuchigami. Now we go across Asia, leaving Japan and landing in Cheonan, South Korea, for an incredible Super Featherweight brawl that really was action packed, insane, and took the best from both fighters, neither of whom was ever the same again.
Taek-Min Kim (13-3, 8) vs Sonny Manakane (14-9-3, 8)
Korean warrior Taek-Min Kim was a notoriously tough guy, with an iron chin. He had gained a reputation as having a head so hard that sparring partners were hurting their hands with him. Although he wasn't the best fighter out there, he was insanely tough, with his only stoppage loss up to this point being a freak 8th round KO defeat to Sung Tae Kim, in what genuinely goes down as a freak result. Kim's toughness had seen him claim the Korean Super Featherweight title, defeat a debuting Min Wook Kim and then go on to claim the PABA Super Featherweight title. He would be making his first defense when he took on Sonny Manakane.
Manakane, from Indonesia, was nothing special as a fighter. With 9 losses in his first 25 bouts we don't think it's any surprise if we were to say he was pretty flawed. He was however a hungry fighter, and had travelled to face the likes of Z Gorres, Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym, Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym and Terdsak Kokietgym. Coming into this he has won just 1 of his previous 4, had been stopped 7 times and wasn't expected to give Kim any issues. He was expected to be beaten, and beaten quickly. Kim would be too tough to be worried of the Indonesian journeyman right?
What no one expected was for Manakane to totally ignore the script, take the fight to kim, and try to break the iron jaw of the Korean. What we got from this supposed mismatch was a ridiculous war, with Manakane trying to behead Kim at every opportunity and Kim being forced to grit his teeth and battle back.
This wasn't pretty, this wasn't highly skilled, it was however thoroughly entertaining and a full on war! Something that every fight fan owes themselves a chance to watch! Seriously, you will not regret making time for this amazing battle! Sadly we don't have many Korean fights since this to really excite us, but this was something very special!
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