This past week has been a weird one, making our awards a rather frustrating one to do. There was two notable Japanese cards, but only one has been shown so far, there was a card in Pakistan and one in Thailand. Given that we can only talk about the bouts we saw, we haven't been able to include the Teiken show from Friday. Even with that in mind we still had plenty to talk about!
Fighter of the week
Usman Wazeer (4-0, 2)
We're going left field here, but it's not without a good reason. We saw good performance by a number of fighters, such as Mark Magsayo and Hironobu Matsunaga, but 20 year old Pakistani fighter Usman Wazeeer did something different. His performance wasn't the best, his opponent, Boido Simanjuntak was under-sized, over-matched and no competition. However Wazeer put Pakistan on the map with his win over his veteran Indonesian opponent. His win wasn't the biggest in terms of general standing in boxing, but his win gave a country without a boxing star someone to really get behind. With over 200,000,000 people in the country Pakistan is among the most populated countries in the world, and having a figure head for boxing there to build upon is huge!
Performance of the Week
Kiyohei Endo (3-4, 3)
We're going left field again here, and we're going with a man who lost, but sometimes a losing effort says much, much more than a winning effort, and that was certainly the case with Kiyohei Endo. The once touted former amateur standout has not been a success as a professional. He's looked the part at times, but it's always come undone for him and with 3 losses in his first 6, including a shock loss on his debut, he wasn't expected to do much at all this weekend. In fact 59% of those who predicted the result on Boxmob expected Endo to be stopped. Instead Endo gave former world title challenger Ryohei Takahashi all he could handle, and we dare say the judges got this one wrong. A great performance, despite a loss, but a man no one gave a chance to. Well done Mr Endo, hopefully another notable bout will come your way soon!
Fight of the Week
Toshiki Kawamitsu Vs Kenshi Noda
We had something truly amazing in the US with Jose Zepeda Vs Ivan Baranchyk, and taht's the front runner, by some margin, for Fight of the Year. Asian fans were however able to see their own thriller a few hours earlier with a brilliant clash between unbeaten hopefuls Toshiki Kawamitsu and Kenshi Noda. This lacked the knockdowns of the big fight in America, but was another all action contest, with the two men landing some huge shots through out. This was exciting, action packed, well fought, competitive and just an all round brilliant back and forth bout. If you've seen the Zepeda Vs Baranchyk bout 20 times and want to give something else a watch, give this one a go.
Round of the Week
Toshiki Kawamitsu Vs Kenshi Noda (Rd2)
Originally we were going to go with Round 3 from this sensational all-Japanese bout, but on reflection the third round was full of bizarre shenanigans from the referee, resulting in some moments that killed the action. By the end of round 3 Noda looked exhausted and had lost his way a bit. In round 2 however the fight had brilliant give and take action through the whole round, in what will go down as one of the best rounds in Japanese boxing this year. This was a wonderful mix of outside work, before the men worked their way inside and traded in a phone booth. Just pure boxing joy as a fan. Round 3 may have been more dramatic, but for us round 2 gets the nod on consistency of action
Prospect of the Week
Toshiki Kawamitsu (5-0, 2)
Well this was a foregone conclusion wasn't it? The youngster not only gave us the Asian fight of the week and the Asian round of the week but also scored his biggest win to date, and showed a lot that we hadn't previously seen from him. He showed real grit and toughness, and showed power and physical strength that we hadn't seen from him before. There really wasn't anyone even close to being competition for Kawamitsu this past week.
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