For this week's Treasure Trove fight we're looking at a November bout from Korakuen Hall that was shown on G+ and featured two relatively unknown fighters who ended up giving us a genuine treat in a bout that few would expected to deliver anything. That match didn't have any name value attached to it, in fact the show it was on was a pretty low key one, headlined by an 8 rounder after the originally planned main event was cancelled at short notice. For fans tuning in however, they were given something really exciting early on the show.
Shun Sekine (4-0, 3) vs Atsuyuki Sato (5-2-1, 3)
Coming in to the bout Shun Sekine was an unbeaten 23 year old Featherweight hopeful who had debuted in late 2018 and picked up 3 wins in 2019, including 2 in Thailand. On paper his record looked good at first glance, but his 4 opponents up to this point had a combined record of 1-10, and he had never faced a fighter with a winning record. He had looked powerful at times, but it was really hard to read much into his performances given how poor his competition had been. Having been out of the ring for 16 months it was clear he was going to want to make a statement here, and he was stepping up, not just in terms of opponent but also length of bout, with this being his first scheduled 6 rounder.
In the opposite corner to Sekine was fellow 23 year old Atsuyuki Sato. Sato's record was less eye catching than that of Sekine but in reality he had proven himself more than his foe. He had began his career in 2017, with a win, before going 1-1-1 in his next 3 fights to leave him with a 2-1-1 record. In 2019 he began a charge and managed to reach the East Japan Rookie of the Year final, losing a razor thin decision to eventual All Japan Rookie of the Year winner Hyoga Taniguchi in November 2019. He had been inactive since then, and like Sekine was desperate to get a win in his first 6 rounder. Interestingly his competition up to this point had a combined record of 15-20-4, significantly better than the competition of Sekine.
The fight started quickly, with both men looking to pump out their jabs and establish a range they were comfortable at. After about a minute of jostling for range the two men both upped their pace and tempo and during the second minute of the fight both men were standing their ground and letting their hands got up close. We had gone from a slightly fast start to the bout to a contest that was very exciting, very quickly. Neither man looked like they managed to hurt the other, but the round flew by and it was genuinely exciting, competitive and a great way to kick off the fight. It seemed Sato landed the better shots, but it was close either way.
The second round took off where the first ended and saw Sekine begin to find the range for his big right hand whilst Sato looked to walk him down and force a fight up close. This resulted in another fantastic round that saw a lot of work up close on the inside from both men. It seemed to be the fight Sato wanted but, in fairness, Sekine held his own and when there was space it was often Sekine having the better success.
The in fighting continued through round 3 as the tempo, some how, intensified. The two men spent less and less time at range, and although their work was slowly becoming sloppy, it was still incredibly enthralling, and it seemed, late in the round, that Sato was staggered, before he regrouped and fired back himself, showing his toughness and desire as the fans began to get far, far more than any of them would have expected.
Sadly with neither man having gone beyond 4 rounds prior to this fight, and the pace and tempo of the contest, both men began to show their flagging stamina in the second half of the fight. Whilst this impact the quality both men threw with, and seemed to limit their output in the later stages, they both continued to give their all, and the phonebooth exchanges continued time and time again. With the tempo slowing it seemed like Sekine was slowly getting more and more success, using his more refined boxing skills, but every time he seemed to be getting the upper hand Sato would come forward and will himself back into the contest.
The final round was one of the best we saw in 2020. The two men stood their ground and let shots fly, they traded bombs, and they threw everything they had in their arsenal, fighting right to the bell in 3 minutes of crazy, none stop action. If the bout had taken place before the covid19 rules limited fan behaviour, this would have resulted in fans on
For those who love in fighting, high tempo bouts, lots of uppercuts and body shots this is a great watch. It's well worth the 25 or so minutes needed to watch it. It really is a sensational fun, and action packed bout!
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.