This past week has been a strange one, it feels like we've had a lot happen and whilst it was a busy week, it was the under-the-radar stuff that really stole the limelight. We had novice bouts in Tokyo really shining a light on how great they are, a fantastic KO by a female, something we rarely see, and it was just a genuinely low key but entertaining week. With that in mind lets find out where out weekly awards are heading!
Fighter of the Week
The newly crowned Japanese Minimumweight champion Masataka Taniguchi has had a few rough years in the sport. He turned professional along with Hiroto Taniguchi and was expected to pretty much lead the Watanabe gym with Kyoguchi. Since then he has come up short in a number of high profile bouts, and his most notable win was a low key WBO Asia Pacific title win in Thailand. He was 0-3 in title fights in Japan and he needed something big this week. Thankfully he got what he needed, dropping Hizuki Saso in the opening round and winning every minute of the fight after that until forcing a late stoppage. Fantastic week for a man who might, now, kick on and have the career we expected him to have.
Performance of the Week
We head over to Thailand for our performance of the week, which was scored by Thai youngster Phongsaphon Panyakum, who broke down the tough nosed Kompayak Porpramook on Saturday's WP Boxing event. The performance wasn't flawless from Phongsaphon but it was exactly what he needed, breaking down the smaller man and neutralising Kompayak's pressure. His his credit the veteran tried, as he always does, but met a stronger, younger, hungry man who just has too much in every area. This was the performance that suggested Phongsaphon has star potential, and fingers crossed we see him able to get a notable international opponent in 2021.
Fight of the Week
Tomoya Tanaka (0-2) vs Kenshiro Ishimori (1-0)
In a week that big name fighters stole attention in the US and UK it was a hidden gem on a Japanese card that left us feeling fuzzy and warm inside and with good cause. There really wasn't another bout that we saw that matched the drama and excitement of the scheduled 4 rounder between Tomoya Tanaka and Kenshiro Ishimori. From the moment this started it was clear both men were confident they could pick up a win and they fought with that belief. The opening round saw them trading jabs and straights with a right hand from Tanaka dropping Ishimori. The tide was turned in round 2 and Ishimori dropped Tanaka. Yes these were novices, but man this was great! We often rave about novice bouts on social media and it's because of bouts like this!
Round of the Week
Takumi Hashimoto Vs Soshi Goto (Rd3)
We're going to speak about Takumi Hashimoto in a bit more detail later on, but we need to give him credit here for the third round of his bout with Soshi Goto, which was 3 minutes of thrilling action. After taking the first two rounds Hashimoto looked to finish off Goto who realised the tide was well and truly against him. During round 3 he stood his ground more, partly a result of all the body shots he had taken, and it made for a great round of Hashimoto pressing forward like a baby terminator and Goto trying to create space and get his respect. This wasn't a hugely dramatic round, but it was a thoroughly entertaining one with both men needing to take some solid leather. A real joy to watch.
KO of the Week
Etsuko Tada TKO9 Ayaka Miyao
We mentioned a women's KO in the opening paragraph and it really was the standout finish of the week. It was scored by veteran Etsuko Tada who landed a short, counter, straight left hand that dropped Miyao face first. It was genuinely one of the best female KO's we've seen in terms of both quality of finish and quality of opponent. This was perfect and a great ending to their 2 fight series, which had seen the women fight to a draw in February. If you missed this one it's worth hunting down on Boxing Raise, a true beauty!
Prospect of the Week
Sometimes the key to winning Prospect of the Week is to score the highest profile win by a prospect, other times however it's about the fighter who has left us most excited about them, and with that in mind we need to have Takumi Hashimoto as this week's prospect. The debutant was in an all novice bout, against Soshi Goto, and despite being in such a low profile bout Hashimoto made his TV time count. He was all action from the off, pressing forward with hunger and a high octane pressure style. Within a round he had caught the eye and then he kept it up for 4 rounds. He was giving up size, height, reach and physical maturity here, but really impressed. Make a note of his name going forward
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