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
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