The last few Treasure Trove bouts have all been from Thailand, where we got a lot of great fights in 2020. For today’s fight however we’re off to the Aioi Hall in Japan to share a bout that was streamed live by a fan, who bought the rights to the event in what, we believe, is possible the first time a fan has ever bought rights in this manner. The rights holder has allowed the fights to be archived online and this one in particular stood out as one of the most dramatic and exciting fights of the year. Se before talk about the actual fight, a huge thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to Seki-chan and Sakana for what they did for this show in November!
Hummer Taku (0-2) Vs Yuma Yamanaka (0-0)
As anyone who follows this series will know, the Treasure Trove series is where we find the hidden gems from the year, as well as sharing some of the biggest fights. Typically shows from Central Japan don’t get much attention, despite how good some of the fights end up being. This bout however deserves all the attention we can give it.
Yes we know some of you have looked at the records and already turned away, but come back! This is a genuine treat of a fight! Seriously.
Hummer Taku, also known as Hikaru Kawase, had made his debut in October 2019 and had been blown away inside a round, with his corner throwing in the towel. He then returned to the ring in August 2020 and suffered his second loss, by TKO. Heading into his November bout his career looked to be hanging by a thread, dispute the fact he was only 23. He was from the relatively small Gifu Yokozeki Gym, in Gifu and there was little to say about him to get excited about going into this bout.
Yuma Yamanaka on the other hand was a 27 year old debutant from the Midori Gym, a pretty successful gym in Aichi. He was making his debut and, on paper, it seemed like he had a good chance to overcome a man who had been stopped in his two previous bouts.
Although both men were novices, what we ended up getting was something very, very special, and a bout where the novice status of both men helped make for a thrilling encounter.
From the off there was no real feeling out stage. Both men tried to use their jabs, in the opening moments but that less about setting the pace and more about trying to line up their power shots. Those power didn’t take long to land and around 1 minute into the bout Yamanaka was down from a hard right hand. He was up quickly, and looked fine, and only moments later the two men were back to throwing bombs. The action was the most intense, or smoothest, but there was a feeling now that either man could land something wild and drop the other. That was almost seen in the dying seconds of the round.
Round 2 started at a great pace as a now clear headed Yamanaka looked to turn things around. Sadly for him he walked on to a big right hand, but took it well and continued to try and turn the fight around. Several times he caught Taku with some heavier leather, and seemed to shake his man, who would fire back. It was a crude, but exciting round that again made both men look like novices, but men wanting to fight. It wasn’t pretty, by any stretch, but was certainly entertaining.
We again saw Yamanaka have success early in round 3, and at one point he seemed to be genuinely getting to his man, who was momentarily in trouble. Taku however seemed to know this was his chance to get a win, and weathered the storms that Yamanaka was putting him under, despite clearly being made to feel very uncomfortable. It was a clear round for Yamanaka, until the dying seconds, when, almost out of nowhere, Taku landed a sensational right hand that dropped Yamanaka. The poor got to his feet but had no idea where he was.
Officialt this bout was stopped at 3:06 into round 3. It’s not pretty. It’s not gorgeous boxing. It’s not even a good boxing contest. But it is a very entertaining, dramatic and engaging fight, well worthy of your time. And it’s the sort of thing we don’t see often enough from Japan, as event held in Central Japan rarely get shown online or on TV.
Once again thanks to Seki-chan and Sakana for making this available, and we hope you enjoy the crazy, wild, novice level brawl we got here!
Takahiro Onaga is a regular contributor to Asian Boxing and will now be a featured writer in his own column where his takes his shot at various things in the boxing world.