Maybe it's just us but it really does seem like November was an incredibly long month, with so much going on and so many fights taking place. It seemed, during the entire month, that there was no time to sit and breathe as there was always a bout taking place or a bout being announced, or cancelled. It really does seem hard to believe that Naoya Inoue's win over Jason Moloney came just over a month ago, at the end of October, and since then so much has happened in the boxing world.
We're not here today for a history however, and instead we are here for the Monthly Award for November, and boy was there some hot competition for a number of these awards.
Fighter of the Month
Back on November 6th we saw Japanese youngster Junto Nakatani announce himself on the world stage with a clinical, brilliant, and educated win over Giemel Magramo, stopping the Filipino in 8 rounds to claim the WBO Flyweight title. This was just fantastic from Nakatani who controlled at range and dominated up close, which was supposed to be Magramo's wheel yard. The youngster has been the toast of Japan since and it's clear to see the youngster from Sagamihara City has all the tools needed to be a huge star in Japan over the coming years. This was the break out win he needed and the future is sensationally bright for him.
Honourable mention -
Fight of the Month
Yoshimitsu Kimura Vs Shuma Nakazato
We've been lucky in November to have a lot of fights worth talking about during the month, though for us the best was the stand out 8 rounder from Tokyo between Yoshimitsu Kimura and Shuma Nakazato. This was one of those rare bouts where we couldn't call it going in, and neither could fans. It was a true 50/50 match up on paper, and it was a 50/50 match up in the ring, from the first round, to the last. Both men boxed at a high level, both were dropped and both dug in deep when the tempo increased. This was worth the price of Boxing Raise for the entire month. A sensational fight that deserved a bigger crowd and a bigger stage.
Honourable mention -
Amnat Ruenroeng Vs Pungluang Sor Singyu
Wanheng Menayothin Vs Panya Pradabsri
KO of the Month
James Bacon KO2 Roque Agustin Junco
There was only going to be one winner here and that was always going to be Filipino slugger James Bacon and his jaw dropping, brutal and vicious KO of Roque Agustin Junco, which is one of the best KO's we've seen this year. Anywhere! Bacon caught his man with a vicious sweeping left hook, that he turned right into and landed bang on the chin. Junco was out cold before he hit the canvas and lay, on the ring, like an Angel for a few moments before coming to. This was absolutely sensational and is KO we advise everyone to go and watch. Just, a jaw dropping KO and we were all glad to see Junco responsive afterwards, and sitting on his stool.
Thitisak Hoitong (1-0)
We had a lot of excellent prospects in the ring during the month, though we'll admit the man who left the biggest impression on us was the debuting Thitisak Hoitong, who really impressed in a 6 rounder against multi-time world title challenger Wittawas Basapean. During the bout Wittawas was out boxed, out fought, out thought, out manoeuvred and pretty much beaten in every which way. Thitisak looked like a sensation here and like one of the most skilled novices we're ever seen. At one point it seemed like he had Wittawas ready to go, but then took his foot off the gas and got 6 good rounds of experience. Genuinely one to watch
Honourable mention - Phoobadin Yoohanngoh
Panya Pradabsri Vs Wanheng Menayothin
We only had one or two upsets of any note, though we did have a particularly big one towards the end of the month and that was the unanimous decision win by Panya Pradabsri against Wanheng Menayothin to claim the WBC Minimumweight title. The bout opened with Wanheng as a 1/12 favourite, close to unbackable in our eyes, with the bookies and whilst the odds did topple significantly by fight night Wanheng was still the clear favourite with his 54-0 record expected to have another win added to it. Instead we saw the 29 year old challenger take the victory and the WBC title in a career defining performance.
Honourable mention - Hyuma Fujioka UD6 Ryugo Ushijima
Junpei Tsujimoto vs Daiki Ogura (Rd2)
We legitimately had so many standout rounds in the month of November that we could probably put 12 together to make for an amazing full length fight, and still have rounds that are worth a watch missing out. For us the best round of the month was the second round of the bout between Junpei Tsujimoto and Daiki Ogura. This wasn't a world class round of high quality action, which we know some prefer, but this was drama, heart, determination, shock and surprise. For much of the round Tsujimoto looked a goner, he was rocked, hurt, dropped, and all over the place for much of the round until he turned it around later on with 1 huge right hand. There was no round as dramatic as this one. A truly tremendous round that deserves to be watched over and over.
Honourable mentions -
Ryoichi Tamura Vs Ryu Oba (RD1)
Takahiro Hamazaki Vs Takuya Takahashi (Rd 3)
Ken Koibuchi v Tetsuya Kondo (Rd 3)
Wanheng Menayothin Vs Panya Pradabsri (Rd 6)
Yoshimitsu Kimura Vs Shuma Nakazato (Rd7)
Wanheng Menayothin Vs Panya Pradabsri (Rd 11)
The past week has been an interesting one in Asian boxing. We had expected two world title fights but sadly Covid19 struck, removing one of those fights from the schedule the day before the bout was supposed to take place. Despite that we actually had a really good week. It was a week full of great stories, surprisingly good action, and a week that is worth look back over quite happily. It may not have been the biggest week we've had but it was a really good week!
Fighter of the Week
There really was only one man in the running for the Fighter of the Week and that was Junto Nakatani, who announced himself on the world stage with a TKO win over Giemel Magramo. The 22 year old from Japan shone as he outboxed, out fought, out punched, out though and generally out did Magramo in every which way to claim the WBO Flyweight title. After talking about Nakatani for years, following his Rookie of the Year success, we are so proud of seeing Nakatani getting plaudits from around the boxing world and it's well and truly due!
Performance of the Week
Not only did Nakatani get the biggest win of the week, which is generally what our Fighter of the Week award is for, but he also put in the performance of the week. He made a very dangerous, talented fighter look third rate. Magramo isn't a bad fighter but if that was the first time you'd seen him you were left with the impressed that he was completely inept. Nakatani didn't just beat Magramo at range, where he could have made life very, very easy, but beat him on the inside too, showing how effective he can be at either range. It wasn't quite a flawless performance, but it wasn't far off from the brilliant youngster. This was a complete performance and a star making one!
Fight of the Week
Amnat Ruenroeng Vs Pungluang Sor Singyu
We'll admit that we had high expectations and genuine excitement when we saw the announcement that Amnat Ruenroeng and Pungluang Sor Singyu would face off on a WP Boxing show. What we didn't expect was for the two men to put on something truly brilliant. This 8 round bout was marred with controversy before hand, with Amnat citing a hand injury, changing the weight of the bout and the length of the bout, but in the ring the two veterans put on a show and over-delivered. They was 8 rounds of fantastic action, with styles that gelled perfectly. Pungluang was the aggressor through out, pressing and pressuring whilst Amnat played the role of counter puncher, making for a sensational bout with brilliant back and forth. If you've a bad taste in your mouth after the DAZN and PBC cards give this one a watch, it'll remind you why you follow this sport!
Round of the Week
Junpei Tsujimoto vs Daiki Ogura (Rd2)
Whilst the Amnat Vs Pungluang bout was the best bout it didn't have the best round. That honour belonged to round 2 of the bout between Junpei Tsujimoto and Daiki Ogura. In fact this goes down as one of the best rounds of the year. The round started slowly but about 40 seconds in an Ogura left hook buckled Tsujimoto's knees and a follow up dropped him. To his credit Tsujimoto got to his feet and took a pounding whilst trying to survive. He was holding, spoiling, and doing anything to buy time to recover, whilst Ogura landed a number of big left hooks. It seemed almost certain that Tsujimoto would be heading down to the canvas again but he managed to shake the cobwebs and, 2 minutes after being dropped himself he knocked Ogura down and out with a huge right hand, turning the tables in a must see round. Fantastic stuff!
KO of the Week
Thananchai Charunphak KO4 Pigmy Kokietgym
We had some dramatic finishes this week, including the one between Tsujimoto and Ogura, but few were as painful looking and devastating as the brutal body shot KO scored by Thananchai Charunphak, who damn near gutted Pigmy Kokietgym. To his credit Kokietgym came to win, he just wasn't good enough to be competitive with the very highly skilled Thananchai who took control early on, and then started hammering Pigmy in round 3 and 4. In round 4 Pigmy was down twice, with the second knockdown being the finish. It came from a single, devastating, left hook tot he mid section that left Pigmy in pure agony on the canvas. This was what a body KO is supposed to look like and is a real treat for those who like to see bouts finished with gut busters and rib wreckers.
Prospect of the Week
When a promoter matches a novice with a former world title challenger that tends to mean one of two things. Either the novice is there to lose, and lose quickly, or he's seen the real deal. Thitisak Hoitong falls firmly in the category of "real deal". The 24 year old debuted on Sunday morning in Samur Prakan, Thailand, and boy did he leave an impression. He out boxed 2-time world title challenger Samartlek Kokietgym with ease and looked like a veteran. On his debut. Thitisak moved around the ring with ease, picked his punches perfectly, looked relaxed and calm throughout and showed all the touches of a future star. This may have been his first bout as a professional but we dare say his future is looking incredible and he really could be fighting for a world title in the next year or two. He looks like a very, very special fighter and if you missed his debut we really suggest hunting it down at some point this week. We suspect you'll be very impressed by the debutant, just like we were.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces