One thing about boxing in Korea is the mentality and mind set that many of the fighters have. Without trying to be too dismissive, the quality of skills many fighters in Korea have is quite low, but their heart, desire and energy is through the roof. If hunger, energy and will power were enough to create stars Korean boxing would be one of the best boxing scenes out. Back in January 2020 we had a really intriguing bout in Jeonju being one of the most gutsy youngsters in the country, and a former amateur standout, who bucked the trend, and had skills, rather than just heart. Together they made for something worthy of your time.
Han Bin Suh (5-0-3, 4) vs Dong Myung Shin (2-0)
Heading into this one Han Bin Suh was one of the most exciting men in world boxing. The baby faced youngster was all action. Win or lose you knew Suh was going to throw a lot of leather, get involved in a war up close, and simply try to grind his man down through volume, pressure, tenacity, and fire. That combination of work rate, toughness and desire had seen him win the KBM Super Bantamweight title in April 2019 and make 3 defenses before the year was over.
All 3 of Suh's title bouts had been must watch contests, with the then 19 year old quickly getting a reputation as a boxing steam train. Once he got going, there was no slowing him down.
His third challenger was 31 year old Dong Myung Shin, a former amateur stand out who had debuted in 2018, taking a 6 round decision, had then fought again in early 2019 before have an 11 month break between fights. He had looked very skilled in those two bouts, but they had come at a low level, against opponents he was supposed to beat. Those two bouts showed that whilst he was skilled he lacked power, and couldn't hurt the men he was up against.
Shin was dropping in weight to take on Suh in a bout that looked set to be really intriguing. Maybe not special, but certainly intriguing with aggressive monster taking on skilled mover.
Then we got to the bout and we were treat to something fantastic.
From the off Suh took the center of the ring, and looked to take the initiative early. He was backing Shin up, and Shin had to rely on his excellent boxing skills to neutralise the pressure of the hungry champion. The challenger did that well with some excellent footwork, clean counters and even held his own when the two men exchanged on the inside. It was clear Shin was far, far more skilled than the champion, but this wasn't first time Suh was the less skilled fighter in the ring, and he knew it. He knew his strength wasn't his skill, but his tenacity and work rate, and he tried to drown Shin activity in round 2. Once again however the challenger created space and picked him off, landing the cleaner blows.
Through 2 rounds it was clear that Shin's balance, poise, composure, timing and skills were all fantastic at this level, and he was starting to land clean and heavy blows consistently. That success however was coming at the expense of working really hard. Mentally and physically Shin was being asked a lot of questions, more than he had been asked in his first 2 professional bouts.
More was to come from Suh who seemed to start round 3 with success, his best of the fight up to this point. It suddenly seemed like maybe Suh's pressure youthful energy was getting to the challenger, who was still landing the better shots, but was under pressure for the first half of the round. And then Shin turned it around, and went on the offensive, giving us one of the rounds of the year, as Shin forced Suh backwards and we got 90 seconds of intense, brilliant, action. This was suddenly becoming Suh's type of fight, and was becoming thoroughly engrossing. That same engrossing action continued in round 4, with both men landing some huge shots. It was again Shin that was landing the better shots, but he simply couldn't discourage Suh from trying to march him down, not matter what he landed.
In round 5 it started to look a little bit like the pace had began to get to Shin, who's footwork was starting to slow and he was holding his ground with Suh in a way he hadn't earlier in the bout. But then in the final minute Shin went into a new gear and unloaded huge shots on Suh, just as it seemed Suh was starting to get some momentum.
Although Suh refuses to back off from Shin, and even had some pretty notable success, he seemed to have the play taken away from him by Shin every time he managed to build some success. Despite that Suh wasn't going to give his title up, and round after round he tried to go to war with Shin, giving us some spectacular 2-way action. Sadly for Suh however he was fighting on will alone, and his skills couldn't come close to keeping him competitive with Shin.
By the end of round 7 Suh's nose was bloodied, his will was beginning to be cracked. His usual tactic of "fight, fight, fight" was being neutralised by Shin's amateur experience and know how, his weak defense was being picked apart and he was unable to deal with the subtle things Shin was doing. This was even more obvious in round 8, as Suh struggled to close the space for the first time, Shin using his feet to create space and counter the champion.
Entering round 9 both were bloodied. Suh's nose, Shin's left eye. Both had taken a lot of shots, but neither had ever looked close to being stopped, and neither would be, as their toughness saw them through the final 2 scintillating rounds of action.
For those who like high intensity action, a nice mix of skills, and inside wars this is a must watch. It is up there with the very best battles we saw in Asia in 2020. It was relatively one sided, but thoroughly captivating. Round 3 is one of the most sensational rounds we had in Asia this year. The fight itself was an absolute joy, and from round 1 to round 10 we were treat by the perfect mix of skills, wills, desire and talent. This is the Korean domestic scene as it's best, and this is what happens when we see the desire of a Korean boxer take on someone with skills to use that heart against them.
If you want a war we have a war here!
Back in January 2020 the world was a difference place. We weren't all sat wondering when life would be back to normal, and "Covid19" wasn't even a thing. We were all sat waiting for the year to kick off, there was boxing scheduled for months and, up to this point, the issue seemed very much a Chinese-only issue, affecting Wuhan. Even then the number of people be affected was tiny, and we all assumed we could get on with things, and that whatever was happening there wasn't going to be an issue.
During that window G+ televised a show from Korakuen Hall with a mouth watering main event that we're going to feature as this week's Treasure Trove fight. On paper this one promised a lot, and whilst it may have under-delivered, sligthly, it was still a worthy watch.
Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa (12-4-1, 11) vs Kazuto Takesako (11-0-1, 11)
In one corner was OPBF Middleweight champion Shinobu Charlie Hosokawa, a hard hitting fighter who had taken the title 3 months earlier, when he broke down Koki Tyson in an 8 round war. Aged 35 at this point in time Hosokawa was a gritty fighter, with a solid work rate, a real hunger, and nasty heavy handed. He wasn't a 1-punch KO artist, but his shots were like being mashed by a hammer, over, and over, and over. Not only was he heavy handed, but he was also real tough and had under-rated stamina, often grinding opponents down in the latter stages of fighters.
In the opposite corner was Japanese national champion Kazuto Takesako. He was an explosive, power puncher, who had question marks over his chin, but real dynamite in his hands. He combined that explosive power with decent boxing skills, and a developing boxing brain, as well as physical strength. He was slow, and could be handcuffed, but in a shoot out he had the 1-punch KO power needed to destroy opponents. He wasn't putting his title on the line here, but was desperate to become a double champion and unify the Japanese OPBF titles.
Given the styles of the two men we knew this one could be a barn burner. Both men were heavy handed, both hand a point to prove and both came in looking to impress. Especially given that Hosokawa was risking his title, whilst Takesako's belt was essentially safe, regardless of the result.
From the off Takesako took the center of the ring, trying to force his will on Hosokawa, who looked happy to have space and tried to keep Takesako at range, behind his jab. Takesako made a mistake or two early, but Hosokawa couldn't capitalise on the first one, despite landing some heavy leather later in the round. Soon afterwards Takesako responded, and the two men were both quickly looking to establish that they were the boss. The lead to a full Korakuen Hall roaring with appreciation. They could tell that the two men were looking to hurt each other. Hosokawa looking to set things up and box, Takesako looking to get up close and let big bursts of power shots fly. It was a great opening round.
In round 2 we saw the intensity pick up as Takesako started to turning up the pressure just a touch. This left him in the position to be countered, but also saw him dig in some solid body shots shots, with Hosokawa being forced to respond. This gave us some thrilling exchanges, and it seemed clear that both men believed they had the power to hurt the other. Hosokawa also seemed to realise that up close he needed to spoil and he was often clinching and holding when Takesako got too close. It was messy at times, but utterly enthralling.
The action continued in a similar theme through out. Takesako pressing forward, looking to unleash, and Hosokawa taking shots well, riding them, and then looking to tie up, get some space to work and then box. By the end of round 3 Takesako's face was making up, but it was clear the crowd were well behind him, filling the hall with a chant of his name.
With Hosokawa on the wrong end of some big shots in round 4 he tried to make things messier, holding, spoiling and doing what he could to slow Takesako's charge down. The holding however kept him inside Takesako's range and the challenger hammered him when they were tied up. He was making Hosokawa pay for holding.
Coming out for round 5 Hosokawa seemed to realise he needed to let his hands go, and he did, starting the round faster and letting his shots go up close. It backfired however as Takesako continued to land the better shots, the stiffer blows, the more thudding leather.
Round after round things got rougher. Hosokawa desperately trying to limit Takesako's bursts of heavy shots and neutralise the challenger. Takesako happy to fight in short, effective bursts. It wasn't becoming pretty as they went on, but it was still rough with Hosokawa needing to show his toughness and hope that Takesako's steam was going to run low in the second half of the fight.
Sadly for Hosokawa the engine of Takesako didn't slow down in a notable fashion. When he did slow down he quickly pulled a burst of activity out, buoyed on by an exuberant crowd who seemed firmly on his side. Even when Hosokawa had moments it didn't take long for a response from the challenger, who looked like a man possessed.
It took real toughness for Hosokawa to take some of the bombs he took and keep trying. He really did have to take some hurt flurries to head, and body through out the bout and never looked like a man on the verge of quitting. Even when he was a long way down he gritted his teeth in the hope of getting a chance to change things. A chance that never came, and after 12 rounds he was the clear loser, though surving the distance was a moral victory of sorts here for a man who took real punishment through out.
This isn't a Fight of the Year contender, don't get us wrong, it was too one sided for that and it got ugly in the later stages. But it was a brutal, tough man fight, in front of a super hot crowd, with both men taking some heavy leather. It was a wonderful mix of styles with both men showing grit, determination and true belief that they had what was needed. How both men remained on their feet is a mystery, but that doesn't take away from the fact that this was thrilling action, huge bombs thrown both ways, and both men showing real resolve.
For those wanting a rough fight, in front of a rapturous crowd this is worth 50 minutes of your time, and well worthy of your enjoyment.
When boxing resumed around the world various took different approaches to preventing boxing causing a wider spread of Covid19. One of the often seen approaches was not allowing fans in venues. This lead to some eerie venues but didn't prevent the in ring action from being great. As a result we ended up some amazing bouts that were in near empty arenas. Today, for our Treasure Trove bout, we share what was one of the best contests in Japan during their "no fan era".
Satoshi Shimizu (8-1, 8) vs Kyohei Tonomoto (9-2-1, 4)
In one corner was 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner Satoshi Shimizu, who had turned professional in 2016 and looked likely to go a long way, quickly. Within 13 months of his debut he had taken the OPBF Featherweight title and was becoming a must watch fighter. He was crude, he was exciting, he had dynamite hands and awkward, clumsy style. He was there to be hit, but he was also able to completely destroy opponents with a wide, looping shot.
After winning the OPBF title Shimizu made 4 defenses before dipping his toe at Super Featherweight in 2019, and he lost to Joe Noynay. This year he return to Featherweight in pursuit of his 5th title defense, taking on fellow Japanese fighter Kyohei Tonomoto.
Aged 25 Tonomoto wasn't much of a name fighter. His most notable results had been a loss to Reiya Abe in the 2014 All Japan Rookie of the Year and a win over Hikaru Matsuoka in 2019 for the Japanese Youth Featherweight title. Despite not achieving much as a professional he spoke confidently heading into this fight and seemed to feel his aggression and youth were going to be keys to defeating the 34 year old champion.
From the off Tonomoto backed up his words. He was aggressive and energetic, pressing forward and taking the fight to Shimizu, who looked shocked and defensively awkward under the pressure from Tonomoto, who used his head movement well to make Shimizu miss. And then half way through the round we saw the power of Shimizu as he scored his first knockdown. That seemed to spur Tonomoto on, as he got up and pinned Shimizu on the ropes, and unloaded on him. In his pursuit of the champion Tonomoto was dropped for the second time. Shimizu then went for the finish, we ended round one with the two men unloading bombs on each other.
Neither knockdown had hurt Tonomoto, but they had taken what would have been a 10-9 round in his favour to a 10-7 round to Shimizu.
Despite being down twice in the opening round Tonomoto showed no fear of his dangerous opponent. He went to him again, he took the fight to Shimizu once again, despite eating some huge shots from the champion. In the final minute of the round he seemed to shake Shimizu, who returned fire as the two men went to war once again. By the end of the round Tonomoto seemed to realise Shimizu hit too hard, and the following he tried to lure Shimizu in, countering the champion, who began to look unsure of himself. It made for an interesting shift in dynamic for the fight and saw Shimizu miss, a lot.
Following a really exciting start to the bout the pace slowed down in round 4 as Tonomoto continued to be more cautious than he had been in the early stages, though he still managed to catch Shimizu with some solid shots. Sadly for him however he couldn't hurt the champion, who's power was always a concern. That power also got Shimizu out of danger in round 5, when Tonomoto did begin to pile on the pressure again, early in the round. Sadly though the challenger began to look weary in round 6, he was still giving a genuine account of himself, but it seemed, at last, as if he was wondering whether he had the artillery needed to turn things around.
The following round Tonomoto went out like a man who had decided to go out swinging. He started fast, and seemed to hurt Shimizu in the first minute of the round. It seemed it was now or never for the challenger. Sadly however Shimizu gritted it out, and returned the punishment with interest, pinning Tonomoto on the ropes and landing heavy leather, forcing the referee to step in after 2 huge left hands.
The awkwardness of Shimizu along with the energy of Tonomoto really made this a fun fight, particularly in the first 2 rounds. It wasn't a fight of the Year contender, by any stretch, but it was a real fun war and well worth watching. The start was great, we had real fun back and forth through out, even in the quieter rounds. Despite the lack of fans the action spoke for it's self, and made this a truly enjoyable war.
We kicked the 2020 version of this series off with a dramatic and action packed bout from China, and we return to China for another thrilling action packed 4 rounder. In fact we actually return to the same show as the crazy bout between Zixiang Wang and Mukhammadiso Zokhidov for another entertaining, low level, Chinese bout.
Cheng Wang (3-2) vs Xin Liu (1-1, 1)
As is probably the case every time we include a Chinese rookie level bout in this series neither Cheng Wang or Xin Liu are likely to be fighter's you are too familiar with, and that's the great thing about this series. We get to share fights you probably haven't seen, including this little tear up from Rizhao.
Coming in to the bout Cheng Wang was a 20 year old Chinese fight who had 5 bouts under his belt, all of which had gone the distance. He had made his debut in 2017 and won his first 3 bouts in just over 2 months. By the end of 2017 he had amassed his 3-2 record before taking almost 3 years away from the ring, losing his final two bouts.
Xin Liu on the other hand was a teenager who had made his debut in October 2019, in a losing effort, then returned to the ring in early 2020, with a TKO win over a fellow novice. He had then been out of the ring for around 6 months whilst the sport was pretty much put on a global hiatus.
Despite both being boxing novices they both fought like there was some pent up frustration and anger and straight from the opening seconds they were unloading on each other. Wang Cheng, fighting out of the red corner, seemed to try setting the early pace and came forward but almost instantly Liu caught him clean and put his foot on the accelerator. From there on we saw the men take a short breather before they again traded, with Wang again applying the pressure and Liu trying to line something up for his volume.
After such a brilliant opening minute the action did slow down, though we had flash points, and back and forth exchanges through the round, as everything slowed down and both men managed to gain a sense of composure.
With the pace slowing down in round 2 we didn't expect them to pick it up at the start of round 2, but that's exactly what they did as we ended up with another brilliant start to a round. This time however the pace didn't really slow down in the same way. Some of the action was messy on the inside, but for the most part this was a brilliant 3 minutes of action with both men landing plenty of leather. The action, when it was clean, was intense and thrilling, and when the bout slowdown it seemed like the men were giving not just themselves but also us, the viewers, a chance to catch out breath before moving through the gears once again.
The action again started hot in round 3, with Wang pressing and pressuring on the front foot, trying to make his strength and physical maturity count. Liu on the hand looked to create space, use his hand speed and land the eye catch shots. This made for a great dynamic, as it had earlier in the bout, but this round, unlike the others, was mostly a clean round, with the men punching out of the clinches and working on the inside. This change helped limit the pauses in the action as we ended up with 3 brilliant minutes of violence.
Sadly we didn't quite see round 4 match the intensity and excitement of round 3, but it was another round that saw a lot of leather being traded, some amazing back and forth action, and Liu really testing Wang's chin. It also saw the referee trying to keep their hands out of the action and it mad for one or two strange moments as the two fighters tried to do enough to claim a victory in a very close bout.
Don't get us wrong this was messy at times, it was spoiled somewhat by holding and spoiling, but like a good roller coaster those moments just added to the anticipation of the bouts peaks, the wild and thrilling exchanges.
If you want fun little war to watch you could do a lot, lot worse than taking the 20 minutes or so to watch this little gem from the Antai Tennis Park in Rizhao!
To us one of the most interesting things in boxing is watching a prospect develop, mature and, eventually, win world titles. Their story, from novice professional to top of the mountain, is one of the best and is something we truly love. With that in mind the early tests for a fighter are really important to us. For today's Treasure Trove we're going to look at one such bout for a Thai prospect, as he went in with a former world champion. The bout provided not just a real test for a great prospect, but also had some great action, and was certainly not and easy win for a touted youngster.
This Treasure Trove wasn't so much a thrilling fight, though it's certainly not a bad one, but is instead a brilliant performance by a man who came of age in a major step up.
Thananchai Charunphak (7-1, 5) vs Kompayak Porpramook (60-8, 41)
Of the two fighters it's probably fair to say that 19 year old Thananchai Charunphak is the less well known. He was a former Thai youth amateur who turned professional in 2017. Although he won his debut he did suffer an early career set back, to fellow talented youngster Phongsaphon Panyakum. Less than a month after his loss Thananchai was back in the ring, picking up his second win, and by the end of 2018 he was 6-1, with a very notable win over Samartlek Kokietgym. He was beginning to look like one of the hottest prospects in Thailand, and on to watch. He was only a teenager, but a damn good one.
Kompayak Porpramook on the other hand was a true veteran. The 37 year old was a former WBC Light Flyweight champion who had had 68 professional bouts. Win or lose few had an easy time with Porpramook who was a physically scary fighter, always pressing forward and always able to take a lot of punishment without backing down from a fighter. Sadly for Kompayak his hard career had began catching up with him in recent years, and he had lost 3 of his previous 4. Despite those loss he was regarded not as a journeyman but as a gatekeeper, and few were able to stop him. In fact his last stoppage loss had come all the way back in 2012, when he was stopped in 6 rounds by Adrian Hernandez.
Coming in we had talented, but some what untested, youngster against dogged veteran, who was looking to prove he was more than just a stepping stone.
From the opening moments Kompayak was pressing forward, cautious pressuring behind his guard. Thananchai, to his credit, looked to keep things long and at range, using his speed and movement to try and neutralise the pressure of the veteran. Kompayak however was never a fighter who was easily dissuaded from coming forward and by the end of the opening round he was forcing Thananchai to work hard to stay off the ropes. Kompayak wasn't having massive amounts of success with his own output but was starting press more and more intently as the round came to an end.
In round 2 we began to see Kompayak letting his hands go, following his pressure with work rate as he slowly looked to turn the fight into his type of fight. Sadly for Kompayak this began to force Thananchai to move up a gear, and he began to let combinations go, and show a more spiteful side as he hammered Kompayak with some heavy blows. The plan from Kompayak likely expected this though, and he managed get through with a few of his own solid shots whilst putting the teenager under intense pressure.
Part way through round 3 the heavy, clean, hurtful shots of Thananchai had left Kompayak with nasty swelling around his left eye. It was clear the shots that Thananchai was landing were taking a toll, but they weren't dissuading Kompayak, who continued marching forward in round 4, desperate to drag Thananchai into his fight, and make it a high intensity war on the inside. In round 4 we finally saw glimpses of a war forming, as Thananchai was occasionally caught and was forced to respond, but they were only glimpses as the youngster continued to shine, showing off his movement and ring craft.
As the rounds went on Kompayak continued to march forward, round after round the veteran came forward, his right eye swelling in round as Thananchai used his face for target practice. It was clear that Kompayak was being beaten up, but Thananchai remained composed, stuck to his gameplan and picked his moments, looking less like a teenage prospect and more like an experienced professional picking away at a hungry and determined foe.
Sadly for Kompayak the consistent, heavy shots he was taking continued to take a toll on his face, which had become more and more of a mess. In round 9 it simply became too much, forcing the doctor to wave off the bout.
Whilst this was certainly not an exciting or action packed back and forth, it's rare that we see a teenager completely undress a former world champion like Thananchai did here. It was among the very best performances from a teenager in 2020. It was the sort of break out performance that helps a prospect gets noticed, and was one of the best performance by any Thai in the first half of the year. A really brilliant performance.
As part of the Treasure Trove series we have a few distinct things we want to showcase. They are fun fights, top prospects, brutal KO's and great action. Today we look at a bout featuring a top prospect, who was actually making his debut, and looked almost as good as he was hyped to be. Not only are we showing a top prospect but also a brutal KO in a fantastic 2-for-1 offering!
Rentaro Kimura (0-0) vs Yuya Azuma (5-3-1, 1)
Japan's Rentaro Kimura turned professional in 2020 with a fair bit of fanfare and expectation on his shoulders. Those in Japan were tipping him big time, and he himself seemed to have all the tools to be a star. He was a good looking kid, a former stand out amateur, and a man who knew his roots, signing professional with a small gym in Shizuoka rather than a big gym in Tokyo. Although he lacked an Olympic medal or success in the World Amateur Championships, he ticked a lot of boxes to be regarded as a prospect. He had a chance what he could do when he debuted in July in a bout later shown on Fuji TV.
In the opposite corner to Kimura was fellow Japanese fighter Yuya Azuma. On paper Azuma wasn't expected to be much of a test, though in reality his record could have been very different had he had some luck go his way. From his 9 bouts he had had a razor thin loss to the touted Tom Mizokoshi, losing a majority decision there, and a super close split decision loss to Kensuke Fujita. In another time line Azuma could easily have been 8-1 entering this bout. He had never been stopped, was a capable fighter and had enough about him to have fans expecting him to test Kimura.
To begin the bout, in an empty and eerie Korakuen Hall, we saw Kimura boxing boxing on the front foot, backing up Azuma who looked to find errors from Kimura and even tripped him in the opening minute. The trip seemed give Azuma some confidence as he began to get more aggressive, but Kimura began to land harder shots, following his jab with some very stiff left hands, both up top and to the body. With just 2 minutes gone Azuma's face was reddening as Kimura began to unload. By the end of the round it was less a case if "Would Kimura win?" and more "When would Kimura win?"
In round 2 we saw Azuma essentially come out knowing he was in with a special fighter, and he decided that he had to go for it. He put his foot on the gas and showed real hunger to try and turn things around. Kimura tried to put a stop that with a will timed, and truly brutal, low blow, though to his credit Azuma continued to be aggressive after getting a few moments to recover.
This aggressive mentality of Azuma, who had decided he wasn't going down without swinging, really elevated the action and made it more than just a slow and gradual beating. If Azuma had gone negative he'd have lasted longer, sure, but he'd have taken away his only possible route to to victory.
Sadly for Azuma about 70 seconds into round 2 Kimura went into killer mode and landed one of the best combinations we saw all year and totally destroyed Azuma who was laid out in spectacular fashion. This was a KO worthy of replaying over and over, and it was the type of KO that could have got the bout into the Treasure Trove by it's self. The fact it came from a super prospect in his debut made it even better.
If you like prospects this is one for you, if you like brutal finishes this is one for you and if you like both of those things you will love this little treasure from Korakuen Hall!
I'll be the first one to admit that the 2019 Treasure Trove series went on long than I ever expected, and given what happened for much of 2020 that's probably a good thing as there was a genuine worry that I'd run out of fights to cover in that series before we had enough fights from 2020 to talk about. I needn't have feared as, even with a reduced schedule, 2020 has given us some brilliant hidden gems. To kick this series off we're going to talk about one of the most insane fights we saw take place in China during the year. It's not high level stuff, but it is thoroughly entertaining, wild and crazy. Just the sort of fight this series was set up to show case!
Zixiang Wang (1-1, 1) vs Mukhammadiso Zokhidov (0-0)
Let me start by saying that neither man is well known. In fact there's a good chance this is probably one of the first time you've seen the names of Zixiang Wang and Mukhammadiso Zokhidov. Don't let that put you off as together they made for something truly spectacular.
According to Boxrec Chinese Zixiang Wang was 18 at the time of this fight, at least they did when this was being written, though the on screen graphics says he was 25. Whatever his age it doesn't really matter, what does matter is that he was an inexperienced Chinese fighters, fighting in his third professional bout. Prior to this bout he only had two bouts recorded to his name, both of which occurred in 2017, winning a 4th round TKO on debut before losing a split decision in his second bout. There was then a 2 year break in his career before this bout.
In the opposite corner to Wang was 23 year old Uzbek debutant Mukhammadiso Zokhidov. Very little was known about Zokhidov but like every Uzbek fighter it was assumed that he knew what he was doing. He came into the ring looking confident and seemed very self assured in his corner before the bout. It was likely in his mind that he was going to rip through the baby faced Chinese local in an easy Lightweight bout.
Note before we talk about the contest. The sound for this is out of synch with the video, so it may be worth watching it on mute and just enjoying the action, which speaks for it's self.
From the opening seconds we saw Zokhidov swinging for the fences before being sent to the canvas. It was ruled a slip but it was clear, after just 20 seconds, that both men were tense, letting shots go and wildly reckless. Soon afterwards Wang landed a several solid counter shots as he began to test the chin of the Uzbek. Zokhidov wasn't there to make up the numbers though and he continued throwing huge shots and lunging in whilst tossing bombs at the local.
In round 2 we began to see some crazy action as we got the first big drama of the bout. After some messy action early on we saw Zokhidov dropping Wang with a huge sweeping left. He then seemed to tap Wang a couple of times when he was down. After the count the referee took a point from the Uzbek for the little taps, which really were taps. When the action resumed Zokhidov went for the finish before being dropped himself in one of the craziest minutes we've seen in a Chinese ring.
With two knockdowns and a point deduction in the final minute or so of round 2 we were expect level heads to show in rounds 3. We expected wrong as the two men continued to sloppily try to bomb the other out. This resulted in the Uzbek throwing hayemakers in some crazy moments before heading to the canvas, again. The referee then interjected himself and took a point form Wang, after Zokhidov seemed to suggest he had been pulled down by the head. The deduction hardly counted as a tired Zokhidov was dropped again, this time legally. He looked exhausted as Wang hunted him down, looking for a finish. His exhaustion saw him holding, spoiling, and fighting in desperation through the rest of the round, before being dumped over, again.
Sadly after the bell to start round 4 Zokhidov remained in his corner, conceding defeat. His cockiness from before the fight had been punched out of him after 3 crazy, wild rounds.
One again we need to say this was low level action, and the sound on the video is out of synch, sadly,but the bout had drama, excitement, insane back and forth and more than it's share of craziness. So with that said please enjoy our first Treasure Trove 2020 article. This is a bizarre fight, it's a low level fight, but it's an incredibly fun to watch and we think you'll really enjoy the crazy brawl the breaks out 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.