If we're being totally hones the month of October felt really, really, really long. That sounds like a complaint, but it really isn't it was just so packed with great action, interesting fights and we seemed to get something worth talking about every few days. We had numerous great fights, we had a lot of free content, we had massive shows in the West and we had so much action that we, as fans, were left swimming in in joy at some of the stuff we were getting. October was a great month for boxing and today we look at the highlights for Asian fights with the latest in our Monthly awards.
Fighter of the Month
We begin this with an obvious award and that is the Fighter of the month. That honour easily belonged to Naoya Inoue, with the pound-for-pound claimant showing what he could do in his Las Vegas debut. The talented Inoue, who fought in one of the very last bouts of the month, was in with the very credible, and decent Jason Moloney. He was coming in after suffering a nasty injury last time out to his eye, and after almost a year away from the ring. He was coming in to the bout with pressure, and plenty doubting him, and also with history against him, having seen the last two Japanese champions in Las Vegas losing their world titles. Despite that he put on a fantastic performance, stopping in 7 rounds, and breaking the durable, brave and tough Aussie. Following the win Inoue made it clear he wanted to unify his WBA "Super", IBF and Ring Magazine titles with the other belts in the division and doesn't want to relax on his laurels. It was fantastic, once again, for the Monster.
Fight of the Month
Toshiki Kawamitsu Vs Kenshi Noda
The month of October really had some tremendous bouts, and we could reel off maybe a short list of 20 bouts from October featuring an Asian fighter worthy of your time. None, however, were as good as the war between Toshiki Kawamitsu and Kenshi Noda. These two youngster put on a show. From the opening round this was a technical, high speed, phone booth war. They were both sharp and accurate, they wanted to hurt the other man, and also show their skillset. As the bout went on both men were hurt, the action continued to be intense and there was no let up until one of the men began to lag. It's not the longest bout from the month, but it was, for us, the most enjoyable bout in Asia.
Sadly it was quickly overshadowed globally by the front runner for the global Fight of the Year with Jose Zepeda and Ivan Baranchyk giving us something other-wordly in the US.
KO of the Month
Janibek Alimkhanuly Vs Gonzalo Gaston Coria
We had a lot of really good KO's this past month, and they came from all over the place. We really were treated to some brutal finishes and the short list for this award was a fairly lengthy one. In the end however the stand out came from unbeaten Kazakh Janibek Alimkhanuly, who absolutely destroyed Argentina's Gonzalo Gaston Coria in the second round of their bout. This was brutal and nasty. Alimkhanuly dumped Coria on the canvas with a huge left hand, bloodied his face in the process and left Coria with no chance of getting up. It maybe wasn't the most eye pleasing, but it was the most brutal. A sensational finish by a very, very talented Kazakh hopeful
Prospect of the Month
When it comes to prospect of the month it's hard to judge who deserves the honour. Is it the fighter who looks the best, or is it the fighter who scored the most impressive result? This month we went with the second of those options with Thai novice Nonthasith Petchnamthong really impressing us in just his second professional bout. The talented Thai not only won his second professional bout, but did it against a former world champion, as he out pointed Kompayak Porpramook. Whilst it is fair to say that Kompayak is best his best, and fighting above his best weight, this was still a really impressive performance from the Thai novice against an awkward and aggressive fighter. Whether Nonthasith goes on to be a star or not is unclear, but we were certainly impressed by his performance here, and we're looking forward to seeing a lot more of him in the future.
Upset of the Month
Viktor Kotochigov vs Maxi Hughes
Although some categories has a lot of bouts to choose from we didn't really get too many upsets this month. The most notable of the ones we did get saw Kazakh fighter Viktor Kotochigov lose his record in a betting upset to the under-rated Maxi Hughes. The result was a surprise in it's self, with Hughes taking a decision, but it was the manner of this contest that was most startling. The light punching Hughes dropped Kotochigov early in the bout and had him reeling in round 4. The Englishman bossed it through large portions of the bout and was well deserving of the victory here.
Round of the Month
Toshiki Kawamitsu Vs Kenshi Noda (Rd2)
We close this by going back to the brilliant bout between Toshiki Kawamitsu and Kenshi Noda, for the round of the Month. Whilst their bout was tremendous, and genuinely we would advise anyone who missed it to watch the entire thing, round 2 was the one that stood out as the most must watch round. This was top tier action between two young novices who both dug deep, let their hands go and gave us one of the best 3 minutes of the year. The was something really special, and we implore you all to give the bout a watch and enjoy this round, and the others in the bout. Tremendous stuff from both youngsters.
Man what a week we've had! We've had so many fights over the last 7 days that we're genuinely exhausted but in a good way, having enjoyed so many great fights, so much brilliant action and so many things that have left us excited about the future of the sport.
With that said here are our award winners for this past week, and there really were a lot of contenders for some of the categories.
Fighter of the Week
We don't think anyone was really up in the running for this award other than Naoya Inoue, who secured a win on his Las Vegas debut without too much trouble. The "Monster" was under pressure to perform and he did just that, easing his way through the first few rounds before putting his foot on the gas. He had stubborn resistance from Jason Moloney, who played his part with a really brave effort, but in the end the power, skills, speed and accuracy of Inoue were too much. The Monster was out on Halloween and did exactly what he needed to to leave an impression on those who maybe weren't too aware of him.
Performance of the Week
There was a lot of really good performances this week, all for varying reasons. Inoue shining in Las Vegas was the biggest performance, Nanthasith Petchnamthong scoring a win over a former world champion in his second pro bout was impressive, Kosuke Tomioka shining in his Rookie of the Year bout was great. For us however the the guy with the most impressive performance was Kazakh fighter Ablaikhan Zhussupov. The Kazakh amateur standout made his debut in Kazakhstan against the very solid Meshack Mwankemwa and looked like a man who had had 10 or 15 professional bouts. It's a shame he's expected to compete at the Tokyo Olympics and not commit to the professoinal ranks for sometime as on this performance this kid is special.
Fight of the Week
Nonthasith Petchnamthong Vs Kompayak Porpramook
Whilst we certainly had bigger fighters, and bouts with more significance it was hard to think of a more enjoyable bout, bell to bell, than the exciting, competitive, engaging 10 round back and forth between Nonthasith Petchnamthong and Kompayak Porpramook. As with every Kompayak bout he was there to win, he was pressing, pressuring and trying to break his novice opponent mentally. Nonthasith showed his ring IQ, toughness and determination as he blunted Kompayak's aggression in a truly fantastic 10 rounder. Credit to both men for this one!
As we write this footage for Kenta Kamimura vs Yuto Kagata hasn't been made available, though reports are that this was a very special bout between two young debutants who let it all hang. As a result of not being able to see this bout it's not been considered for either the Fight OR Round of the Week
Round of the Week
Wanchana Menayothin Vs Omar El Ouers (Rd3)
As with the fight of the week we stay in Thailand for a bit of a hidden gem. The bout pitted Thai youngster Wanchana Menayothin against Thai based Moroccan Omar El Ouers and boy did they put on an under-rated, and under-seen, battle here. It always seemed like Wanchana was too big and strong for El Ouers, but that didn't stop the Moroccan from holding his own at times, and giving his some of the most exciting exchanges of the week. If you missed this one we particular advise rounds 3 and 4, as they let shots go at will and put on a show.
KO of the Week
Shu Utsuki TKO2 Takayuki Sakai
Some weeks we don't get any noteworthy KO's but this week we had several fantastic ones. The best of the bunch was the one scored by Japanese Lightweight prospect Shu Utsuki in his DANGAN A Class tournament qualifying bout against Takayuki Sakai. This was a thing of beauty! With Sakai near the ropes Utsuki lined up his man and threw a perfect 1-2, with the straight going right through the guard. A genuine brilliant KO and our favourite of the week.
Wanchana Menayothin TKO5 Omar El Ouers
Naoya Inoue TKO5 Jason Moloney
Prospect of the Week
Some weeks we don't see a single prospect that makes us sit up and take note. This week we had an abundance of them. For us however scoring a win over a former world champion in just his second bout nets Nonthasith Petchnamthong the award. His performance may not have been the the best of the week, but the manner in which he has moved his career forward in a single week can't be questioned. This guy has a lot of promise, and fingers crossed TL Promotions don't mess him up with too many tough bouts too soon. So far however their match making for him has been ambitious but very good.
Phetmorakot Petchyindee Academy
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