The Knock Out Dynamite tournament was one of a number of tournaments that began in 2019 and will finish in 2020, hopefully with another version of the tournament coming later in the year. The concept is simple, the tournaments are 4 man knockout tournaments with a twist. Knock your opponent out, and you get a bonus, do it quicker for a bigger bonus. It's not original concept, but putting it into a 4 man tournament format, with bouts scheduled for 5 rounds, does make for an interesting idea, and puts together a few things that other promoters need to think about.
We love tournaments, and we love promoters trying to do things to push action. The money is there for the fighters, if they want to try and grab it. This weeks one to watch will be one of those of those bouts where we expect the tournament's bonus structure to give us an extra intensity in a lower level bout.
The One to Watch?
Ribo Takahata (16-8-1, 6) vs Marvin Esquierdo (15-2-1, 9)
January 12th (Sunday)
As mentioned the Knock Out Dynamite Tournament has it's own format, and will see fighters going into the ring in the hope of blowing out their opponent and getting paid a nice bonus. One man who made the most of that in the first round of the tournament was Marvin Esquierdo, who took out Koichi Iro, and we suspect to see him trying to do the same here with Ribo Takahata. On the other hand Takahata is a more defensively minded fighter who will be looking to land counters on his foe, potentially giving a very nice styles clash.
Ribo Takahata is a 40 year old Japanese veteran who has been a professional since 2008. He's never been the most active, but has always been a very capable fighter able to test better fighters and has proven to be a rugged chap, even as he's gotten older.Coming in to this he's riding a 3 fight winning run. He's a true veteran who looks relaxed in the ring, though isn't very busy, very heavy handed or quick. Like Bernard Hopkins late in his career Takahata relies on what he has learned during his career, rather than what gifts he was given, to have success.
Filipino 24 year old Marvin Esquierdo was a relative unknown outside of the Philippines, where he'd fought all but 2 of his bouts. That was until entering the Knock Out Dynamite Tournament, and winning a shoot out with Koichi Ito, in a performance that made us sit up and take note. He looked exciting, hard hitting and like he got into the ring with the intention of making a statement. He's got a touch of crudeness to how he fights but he lets his hands go and looks very much like the sort of fighter that this sort of tournament was made for.
What to expect?
Given how Esquierdo fought Ito in the very first bout of the Knock Out Dynamite Tournament it's clear he's going to look to claim another big bonus and set off fast. He'll be looking to drag Takahata into a war and set a high tempo, a tempo with which to drown the 40 year old body of Takahata.If Takahata can take the early pressure and fire back we could end up with an all out fire fight here!
If Takahata crumbles then Esquierdo will be looking to get more and more fights in Japan, though Takahata has rarely crumbled during his long career. We expect the veteran to stand up to the early storm, and try to given back, in a thrilling little war.
The bad news?
Although Eqsuierdo was really exciting in his first bout Takahata wasn't and there is a risk that Takahata could again use his veteran skills to take the heat out of the bout. We don't imagine that'll happen, but there is certainly a risk of it
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.