Arguably the most fun bout from this past weekend was the WBO Bantamweight title bout between defending champion John Riel Casimero (30-4, 21) and Duke Micah (24-1, 19). The bout was a short lived one, with Casimero stopping Micah in the third round, but was undeniably a joy to watch, with wild slugging by both and a very high tempo. It was less of a boxing content and more of a pure fight, but that didn't take away from the high level stuff we saw and how damn fun it was.
It was, notably, the opening bout to Showtime's PPV and it was also a sensational tear up, that once again proved that lower weight fighters and put on a show and can carry legitimate power in their hands.
It was also a bout that had plenty of things to take away from it, and with that in mind it's become the focus for today's Five Take Aways.
1-A 3 man commentary team doesn't work
Firstly we need to start with a complaint and that's that the 3 man commentary set up of Showtime isn't working. In fact if anything it's taking away from the action in the ring, and not letting the fights breathe. Individually we love Mauro Ranallo and Al Bernstein, and they do sort of compliment each other quite well. We love Ranallo's energy and excitability, and Bernstein helps keep things level and counteracts Ranallo's hyperactive energy. Together they work pretty well, mixing energy and insight. We however don't see a purpose for Abner Mares. We'd love to see boxing in the West go back to a 2-man commentary team. If they need a third man, for any reason, have them play the role of an unofficial scorekeeper and to add analysis between rounds. The action sometimes needs silence, and the fight needs to be left to talk for it's self, and that didn't happen here.
2-Casimero Wanted to leave an impression
Boy was this ever obvious! John Riel Casimero wanted to make a statement and he made it clear he wanted fans to remember him. He hadn't really been showcased to a US audience before, and he seemed fully aware that this was a chance for American fans to see him, and to become fans of his. Less than a minute into the bout he was letting bombs go and in all honesty it seemed like everything Casimero threw was thrown with bad intentions. Be it the hooks, uppercuts, straights or jabs, everything was throw with full weight behind it. At times it did make Casimero look wild and unpredictable, but that has always been part of Casimero's charm.
One thing that has often been a problem with Casimero is his inconsistency, and his willingness to sleep walk through rounds. Here however he looked more determined than ever before. It's a shame we've not seen more of this Casimero in the past!
3-Micah came to fight
With Casimero letting his hands go Duke Micah had to either concede defeat and back off, or meet fire with fire. He decided to fight fire with fire and this made for a thrilling action bout with both men landing bombs through out the fight. Micah had to take some massive shots, being dropped hard, but tried to tough it out and fight back making for a great fight. Sadly for Micah he was way out of his depth and his effort, whilst an honest one, saw his lack of experience at this level being shown. He was a very good amateur, but those amateur skills went out of the window as he stood and traded with Casimero far too often.
4-Micah never fully recovered from the knockdown
Part way through round 2 Micah was dropped. Although he got to his feet he never seemed to fully recover. He looked wobbly on his feet afterwards, and seemed buzzed throughout what remained of the round. He also looked like he was still feeling the knockdown early in round 3. It was good work from the doctor to take a look at him at the start of the round, but in reality they probably could have stopped it there and then. They gave him the benefit of the doubt, but didn't really need to, Micah was a beaten man coming out for round 3.
5-Casimero is a character
Winning is one thing, but making a statement is another. Casimero made a statement with his performance but then continued afterwards. The post-fight press ups were great and the very clear call out of Naoya Inoue was smart, as was the dancing, the general personality he showed and the masks. We know that most fight fans watch fights and that is how they get to know the fighters, but Casimero's post fight antics will also have endeared him to fans who will want to see more of him. This was a fighter who saw a chance to boost their promotional standing and made the most of that chance. Very smart by Casimero.
We've all heard of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, and we've decided to put our spin on things with "Six degrees of separation" looking to connect Asian fighters you may never have assumed were connected! Today we connect former 2-weight world Takanori Hatakeyama to Korean legend Ki Soo Kim!
Just as ground rules, we're not doing the more basic "A beat B who beat C who beat D" type of thing, but instead we want to link fighters in different ways. As a result we will limit A fought B connections, and try to get more varied connections together, as you'll see here! We also know there are often shorter routes to connect fighters, but that's not always the most interesting way to connect them.
1-Japanese warrior Takanori Hatakeyama was one of the Japanese stars of the 1990's and early 2000's. He's best known for winning both the WBA Super Featherweight and Lightweight titles. Sadly for Hatakeyama both of his reigns at world level were short, with his first reign lasting less than a year. His first reign saw him defending his title once, with a draw against Mexican fighter Saul Duran.
2-Although Saul Duran never won a world title during his 62 fight career, he did fight a relative who's who of who. Just going through a few names of Duran's opponents is staggering and gives us not only Hatakeyama but also Noree Jockygym, Stevie Johnson, Antonio Pitalua, Jose Luis Castillo, Hector Camacho, Demetrius Andrade and Andy Lee.
3-Irish fighter Andy Lee was tipped for big things when he turned professional. Whilst he didn't manage to be a long term champion he did win the WBO Middleweight title, and held it for a little over 2 years. Prior to turning professional he had been a stand out amateur competing at the highest level. At the 2003 AIBA World championships he was beaten by Gennady Golovkin, who ended up taking the gold medal.
4-As a professional Gennady Golovkin has had a very impressive career which included a long reign as the WBA Middleweight champion. Included in those wins was a 3rd round TKO win over Makoto Fuchigami in May 2012.
5-Prior to losing to Gennady Golokvin we had seen Japanese Middleweight Makoto Fuchigami unify the Japanese and OPBF Middleweight titles with a brilliant and thrilling win over Koji Sato, in a real closet classic. Another man who won both OPBF and Japanese Middleweight titles was Hachiro Tatsumi, a fighter who was active in the 1940's, 50's and 60's. In fact Tatsumi was the first OPBF, then kn own as OBF, Middleweight champion.
6-Although long forgotten by the boxing world Hachiro Tatsumi was a massively important fighter in the mid 1900's for the Japanese scene. He fought over 100 times during a long and fruitful career that saw him winning the OPBF Middleweight title 3 times, the Japanese Middleweight title 3 times and the Japanese Welterweight title twice. Another multi-time OPBF Middleweight champion was Ki Soo Kim, who held the title twice in the 1960's, and actually defended it whilst a Light Middleweight world champion!
Japanese Light Welterweight Norio Kimura (35-7-2,19) had one of the more interesting careers of Japanese fighters at 140lbs. Kimura's career ran from 1996, when he was 18, to 2009 and during that time he fought 44 bouts, including 20 title contests.
Although not a world beater Kimura did challenge for the WBA Light Welterweight title, when he faced off with Andriy Kotelnik in Ukraine, and faced domestic foes like of Rick Yoshimura, Tadashi Yuba, Motoki Sasaki, Shinya Nagase and Yosukezan Onodera. Whilst he came up short at world level he did dominate on the domestic scene and had an excellent reign as the national champion at 140lbs.
Of course we're not here for a profile on a fighter, but instead to continue our regular 5 Midweek Facts series, so this week, as you can probably guess, we're bringing you 5 Midweek facts about Norio Kimura!
1-Kimura went to school with, and is good friends with, kick boxer Taishin Kohiruimaki. Although boxing fans might not bee too family with Kohiruimaki he was a 3-time K1-Word MAX Japan Tournament champion and scored 40 wins from his 62 kick boxing bouts.
2-In various Japanese interviews Kimura revealed that he wasn't originally interested in boxing and that his first sporting love was actually Table Tennis, which he regularly played with his mother.
3-As an amateur boxing Kimura was very handed handed. He went 15-5 with 12 of his 15 amateur wins coming within the distance!
4-At the time of writing boxrec has a mistake in regards to the date of one of Kimura's bouts! That was the date of his 6 round clash with Takeshi Matsumoto. For some reason boxrec have this bout listed as being on December 20th 1999. It actually took place 2 years earlier, December 12th 1997. What makes this even more of a confusing mistake is the fact it was at the 1997 All Japan Rookie of the Year final!
5-With 13 defenses of the Japanese Light Welterweight title Kimura holds the record for the most defenses of the title. The next best was 12 defenses by Lion Furuyama, over 2 reigns, and 10 defenses in a single reign by Hiromu Kuwata.
This past weekend was not a great one for Kazakh fighters, with two Kazakh's losing their unbeaten records on Sunday in Kazakh. One of those was the fun to watch Arman Rysbek (7-1, 6) [Арман Рысбек], who retired in his corner after the 4th round Belorussian fighter Mikhail Dauhaliavets (3-0, 3). The bout was a fairly interesting one, despite the loss, and is one worth checking out for fans who missed it.
Despite being a relatively obscure fight we felt it deserved us to take a closer look and share some of our take aways from the bout.
1-The 30 year old Dauhaliavets is one of the hidden gems of European boxing
Followers of amateur boxing will likely be full aware of how good Mikhail Dauhaliavets is, but as a 3-0 (3) professional few will have seen him in the professional ranks. Given his performance here however he is one of the true hidden gems of the Super Middleweight division. He proved to have smart defense, clean accurate punching and he seemed to get better and better as the rounds went on. This was, surprisingly, his third pro bout of the year and the first time he had been taken out of the first round. Fingers crossed that this win helps him secure a meaningful bout before it's too late.
2-Seven Nation Army is over used as a ring walk out track
This is perhaps an unfair complaint but we can't help feeling like "Seven Nation Army" is over-used as a ring walk track. We think it's a great song but feel that it's too closely linked to Gennady Golovkin for it to be played as much as it is. We understand someone like Armen Rysbek using it as homage to GGG but it felt unneeded and we could certainly do without hearing it at every other show. Also we really hope it doesn't become the default song for Kazakh fighters going forward.
For what it's worth we feel the same about "Hells Bells" by AC/DC due to it's links it's Vitali Klitschko, and "Can't Stop" by Red Hot Chilli Peppers, due to Wladimir Klitschko.
3-Social distancing? Not in Kazan!
We've complained about a lack of social distancing in Japan in this series and we're staying consistent here. In fact no, we are going to raise our complaints here. In Japan we've seen masks worn by every fan in the venue, at the Pyramide in Kazan we barely saw anyone wearing masks, a lot that were were wearing them incorrectly, and their was next to no social distancing at all. Given what is going on in the world it would be much, much better to see fans at sport taking things seriously.
Also it was interesting that almost everyone was looking at their phones between fights.
4-Rysbek has a lot of work to do but he is fun to watch
Watching Armen Rysbek in the ring is a joy. He comes forward and makes fights fun and we don't think he'll be in many stinkers. However that joyfulness comes at a cost and he's very predictable, pretty open defensively and always in front of a fighter to be hit. If he's going to rebuild from this loss his team need to get him to tighten the defenses whilst leaving himself handcuffed less. They also need him to understand he can use the whole ring, back off, rest, create space and if he's not working he needs to get out of dodge. At the age of 29 however we do worry that he's pretty much a fighter who's bad habits are there to stay. If that is going to be the case, then we'd hope he continues getting matched against fighters who are willing to match his style and battle up close, as these types of fights are really fan friendly.
One thing's for sure, he is not going to have a long career, and his eye seemed to be giving him issues at the end of this bout. Fingers crossed that's nothing too serious as we'd love to see more of him!
5-The layout at the Pyramide in Kazan is pretty neat
We're not usually too bothered about how a venue fights but we did like this. The ring was the focus of the action, we couldn't really see any fans as the venue was blacked out during the fight but what we could see was the entrance way and it looked really interesting with a graphic of the two fighters as well as the "All Champions" logo, that of the promoter. This wasn't anything mind blowing, but it was a nice touch and added to the feeling that we were watching a quality production.
On Saturday Shinsei Gym put on a live stream of their show from the Central Gym in Kobe. The stream only featured two bouts live, though they did later upload the entire show to the Boxing Real Youtube channel.
One of those streamed bouts was the WBO Atomweight title bout between Mika Iwakawa (10-5-1, 3) and Nanae Suzuki (10-4-1, 1). It was the first of a host of world title bouts over the weekend, and whilst not a massive bout it was certainly a notable one. It was also one that we felt deserved the Take Away treatment.
1-Boxing Real Streams are amazingly professional
First we need state the obvious. The streams that Boxing Real are giving us are on a different level to pretty much all the others from Japan. This isn't just a multi-camera set up, but includes replays, on screen graphics, commentary, and has the real feeling of being a TV quality production. If you see one of these streams you could very easily be confused into thinking you were watching a TV production and this is just fantastic. We love the fact that Suruga Boys, A-Sign and Boxing Raise do stream live events but Boxing Real have raised the bar, and it's now down to the others to match them in terms of production
Also it was great to hear Ryuya Yamanaka doing commentary!
2-A white canvas was horrible to look at
After complimenting the production quality of the stream we now need to complain about the production quality of the show. The ring canvas, which was mostly off-white, really didn't look great. It wasn't helped by the fact both fighters were in white and the general venue was very light. As a result it was actually quite an eye sore and seemed to almost camouflage into the floor of the venue. This might be less of an issue when there are more fans in the venue, or when doors and windows don't need to be open, which has lead to a lot of light in the venue, or even when fighters aren't wearing white, but for this bout it was quite distracting.
3-Mika Iwakawa is skilled...but doesn't do enough
The 37 year old champion showed some really nice touches during the bout, her movement at times was fantastic and her ability to pick a shot was a delight to see. Sadly though she never showed those things in more than a few glimpses. She was under pressure through out and sadly didn't cope well with that pressure, often resorting to holding, which was a shame. When she showed what she could do she was really impressive and hopefully we see more of that in the future.
4-Nanae Suzuki's energy is incredible
We've no idea how Nanae Suzuki managed to keep up the pace she does. From round 1 to round 10 she kept coming forward, kept bulling her way through Iwakawa, chasing the champion, attacking and marching forward. Her work rate seemed to get better the longer the bout went on, and that was despite Iwakawa regularly holding her and pushing her around. Whatever is powering Suzuki...we want it! She looked like the energiser bunny through out and it was hugely impressive. Sadly she lacked the skills to make the most of her energy but we can't fault her relentlessness and incredible stamina. She was always the one forcing the fight and trying to make this a war.
5-This was real hard to score
When judges turn in cards of 97-93 both ways you can often assume one judge got it very wrong. In reality however this bout seems like one of the rare ones where either woman could have won depending on what a judge prefers. The quality work was almost all from Iwakawa, who looked like the much, much more skilled fighter. But she was being out worked, out hustled, and out fought in pretty much every round. Obvious we're supposed to score on things like effective aggression and defense, and those both favoured Iwakawa, but some offensive is better than no offense, and we had rounds where Iwakawa's work rate totally dropped off. A real tough one to score.
The Offense Vs Defense match up make this a really interesting one without it really being a great one to watch. It was messy, it was rough, but was also very compelling.
Whilst the Kameda name is synonymous with a trio of brothers from Osaka there are, of course, other Kameda’s in the sport. They include the likes of Kyonosuke Kameda, the cousin of the fighting trio, and Himeki Kameda, the sister of the fighting trio. Another notable, but unrelated Kameda, was Akio Kameda who was a notable figure in the 1970’s and 1980’s. His name is one who which will be familiar to many fans from that era for his two world title fights, but more about them later.
Despite having two world title fights, fighting in Japan, China, Korea, USA and the UK we don't think fans will know too much about the heavy handed southpaw from Sano, in Toshigi, so here are 10 facts you probably didn't know about...Akio Kameda!
1-Kameda won gold at the 1975 Asian Championships in Yokohama, that same he also reached the final of the Pre-Olympic Tournament in Montreal
2-As an amateur Kamed went a very impressive 71-7 (47)
3-Kameda made his pro debut in the US on a card featuring former Korean world champion Soo Hwan Hong.
4-In 1985 Kameda beat Kei Tsukada in Beijing, to claim the IBF Japan welterweight title. That’s a belt that is so obscure that few fans will even be aware it was a real thing, and from what we could find only 4 men ever held IBF Japan titles. This also makes him the only fighter to have held a JBC and an IBF Japan title!
5-Although he was originally a Kyoei fighter he did fight out of the Battlehawk Kazama Gym, run by Battlehawk Kazama, in some of his later career bouts, including his aforementioned win over Kei Tsukada.
6-Kameda was dubbed the "One genius in 200 years."
7-Kameda's bout with Terry Marsh in 1987 was the final bout for both men. Kameda never fought again after losing, in what his second world title bout following a contest with Aaron Pryor. Kameda had a record of 27-4 (21) when he hung them up whilst Marsh would retire at the end of 1987 due to medical issues, retiring with a 26-0-1 (10) record
8- When Kameda dropped Aaron Pryor in 1982 it was, reportedly, the third time Pryor had been down in his career. It was also, according to the commentary, the first time Pryor had faced a southpaw. Pryor would later state that Kameda had the best jab of anyone he faced.
9-In an excellent article by Nick Skok, it's been reported that Kameda has taught Karate and treats cancer patients with a moxibustion, which is thought to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. The full article by Nick can be read here.
10-From what we could find Kameda has an acting credit as "Boxer" in the 1982 movie "The Fighter" featuring Toshirô Mifune and Calvin Jung
For this edition of Remarkable Rounds we're looking at one of the most one sided rounds ever, but it was a round that set the stage for what would later become one of the most astonishing comebacks we've ever seen. This is a round from 1977, and came in front of a super hot crowd in Panama as a Korean warrior faced a rising teenage star for the newly created WBA Super Bantamweight.
Soo Hwan Hong (39-4-3, 13) vs Hector Carrasquilla (11-0, 11)
Korean fighter Soo Hwan Hong was a 27 year old who had made his debut way back in 1969, actually fighting to a draw in his debut. In the years that followed he managed to make a good name for himself, winning the South Korean, OPBF and WBA Bantamweight titles. His biggest career win, up to this point, had been a big win in South Africa against Arnold Taylor for the WBA Bantamweight title in 1974. Sadly his reign didn't last long, and he ran into the brilliant Alfonso Zamora in 1975 before losing a rematch to Zamora in 1976. The following year he moved up in weight won a world title eliminator in a 12 round bout with Futaro Tanaka in October the following month travelled to Panama for this bout.
Aged just 17 Hector Carrasquilla was seen as one of the rising stars of Panama. He had made his debut in 1976 and had rapidly risen through the ranks. His first 9 bouts all finished in the first 2 rounds and he looked like a sensational prospect. In his 10th bout he was taken 7 rounds by Andres Torres but continued his destructive run and then he booked his place in a title fight by stopping Jesus Esparragoza in 3 rounds in August 1977.
On paper this was meant to be the coronation of Carrasquilla. He was fighting in front of huge support at the Gimnasio Nuevo Panama, Panama City and in round 2 that coronation looked like it was about to happen.
The first part of the round started with Carrasquilla boxing really well behind his jab before Hong managed to get inside. Being inside may have neutralised Carrasquilla's jab but not his power and about 70 seconds into the round Hong was dropped. The crowd went crazy anticipating another early win for the local star. Hong got up, but was down for a second time only 20 seconds later. Again Hong got up, ready to continue and he took the fight immediately to Carrasquilla, looking to smother the local, before being dropped a third time.
Once again, Hong would get up, then he would be dumped down for a fourth time. With more than 30 seconds left to survive it seemed we were set for Panama to crown it's new king and the two traded bombs to the bell.
This was sensational stuff from Carrasquilla, with his power, and Hong, with his heart and determination. This is a round that needs to be seen and is part of a great fight that amazingly saw Hong bounce back to win giving us one of the best, and most surprising, comebacks ever.
One of the problems we have with this site is being so focused on what happens with traditional boxing countries, such as Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines, and often missing what goes involving fighters from Central and Western Asia. The reality is that until recently Central Asia was very much a region that dominated amateur boxing, something we don't really focus much on, and that Western Asia has really lacked notable boxers in number. Despite that there are some fighters from both that have stood out, and Central Asia is certainly set to become a massive player in the professional ranks.
Today we get the chance to look an upset caused by an Iranian fighter in the UK, in what is a bit of a rarity, but something that is worthy of attention.
July 7th 2001
Velodrome, Manchester, Lancashire, England
Mehrdud Takaloo (16-2, 12) vs Anthony Farnell (26-0, 17)
British born Iranian Mehrdud Takaloo is one of the very, very few Iranian fighters who has left a mark on the sport of professional boxing. Saying that however he did that by essentially becoming a force on the British scene from 1997 to 2011, becoming a major player on the British Light Middleweight scene. Early on however that never seemed likely and he lost 2 of his first 7 bouts. By 1999 he was 5-2 (3) but rebuilt well with 11 wins, albeit mostly against limited opponents, before taking on the hugely popular Anthony Farnell.
In the summer of 2001 Anthony Farnell, known as the "Warrior", was one of a number of fighters from the North West of England creating a lot of buzz. There was Farnell, and there was also Jamie Moore, Michael Gomez, Michael Jennings and a little ginger haired fellow called Ricky Hatton. It was expected that British boxing in, and around, Manchester was set to be huge over the following decade and that it would become one of the hubs of the British boxing scene thanks to all the talent that was coming through at the same time.
Although not all that talented managed to reach the top they generated a lot of buzz and huge fans in the Manchester Velodrome.
With a 26-0 record Anthony Farnell was seen as being on the verge of a big fight. First however he was going up against Takaloo for the lightly regarded, and vacant, WBU Light Middleweight title.
Coming into the fight Farnell, fighting at home in Manchester, was the betting favourite, priced at 2/5 to win. Takaloo was a live under-dog at 7/4 as they entered the bout, but still a clear under-dog.
From the off Takaloo came out firing to the body, Farnell tried to cover up but the first 30 seconds or so saw Takaloo really ripping to the mid-section and landing them clean. Farnell managed to have some success with his jab but every time he had a moment Takaloo seemed to take the play away from him in a good opening 90 seconds.
The good start got even better for Takaloo when he managed to land a gorgeous right uppercut on Farnell's chin, dropping the previously unbeaten man. To his credit Farnell got to his feet, but Takaloo had no intention of letting his opening go, and unloaded on Farnell with huge head shots.
At the bout's end the fans booed. whilst Ian Darke, doing commentary for Sky Sports stated "Nobody thought that could happen" and "The Kent based Iranian has scored the most astonishing victory."
Whilst not the biggest upset ever the result, and the nature of the win, was a genuine shock.
This past month has been one of the least notable in regards to Boxing Raise, who had no live shows at all in the month. Instead they gave us a lot of Rookie of the Year content, not a bad thing but not as good as a live card. Despite the lack of live action we've sifted though the content from September and have found some really great contests that are well worthy of a watch as the service continues to be a must have for those wanting to follow the Japanese domestic scene.
As with our previous "Best of Boxing Raise" article all the fights featured here can be accessed by subscribers by logging into Boxing Raise and adding the "movie/####" to "https://boxingraise.com/".
Just to make everyone aware these are all Rookie of the Year bouts, with the 6 cards put up by Boxing Raise this month all being Rookie of the Year shows.
Short and to the point! - Shugo Namura (2-0, 2) Vs Kei Fujita (1-0, 1) [movie/8410]
One of the best things about Rookie of the Year bouts is the flaws of the fighters involved and their general attitude to making things exciting. That's exactly what we saw in the short, intense, thrilling brawl between Shugo Namura and Kei Fujita. Not too much we can say here without spoiling the contest, but it was short, it violent, it was exciting, and it was bombs away! Lasting less than a round this is a great one if you only have a few minutes.
Super Thrilling Super Flyweight! - Yota Sato (1-0, 1) vs Hironori Shioya (2-0, 2) [movie/8414]
Another short, thrilling, all action bout saw Yota Sato and Hironori Shioya unloading on each other. As with most bouts this month on Boxing Raise this was very low level action, and rather sloppy, but thoroughly entertaining with Shioya looking to set an intense tempo from the off and take the fight to Shioya who had to respond. This wasn't pretty but was truly enthralling.
Blink and ya miss it! - Aito Abe (1-0, 1) Vs Kentaro Omori (2-2, 1) [movie/8418]
At just 17 seconds long you won't find many shorter bouts this month than the Aito Abe Vs Kentaro Omori one, but it's worth a watch. You blink and you miss it, and you miss a rather brutal knockout. Seriously folks give this one a watch. It's short, it ends in eye-catching fashion, what more could you want?
Ending with a BANG! - Sora Fukunaga (5-0, 2) Vs Shuya Kuwabuchi (2-1, 2) [movie/8518]
On the subject of short bouts another short one worthy of attention was the West Japan Rookie of the Year bout between Sora Fukunaga and Shuya Kuwabachi. This wasn't an all out war but was another short one with a fantastic and a show case of one of the most exciting Rookie of the Year competitors this year. This was a bit more of a technical battle than some of the bouts we're including this month, but still a very fun bout.
Punches fly in hidden gem! - Riku Kondo (1-1, 1) vs Aito Takabatake (2-1-1) [movie/8542]
Enjoy lots of leather being thrown? Inside back and forth? Competitive action from the off? Well this is the one for you! This was pure entertainment with both men being very happy to let shots fly, in some really good 2-way action., It did have sloppy moments, as we tend to expect from Rookie of the Year bouts, but was still utterly enthralling as both fighters gave everything they had. A real hidden gem on a show that was easy to over-look.
All action thriller! - Ryo Yoshida (1-0) Vs Ricky Hasegawa (2-1, 1) [movie/8594]
Ricky Hasegawa set off at an electric pace and had Ryo Yoshida in all sorts of problems through the first round, dropping him part way through. Yoshida saw out the storm as we ended up getting something very special as he came back and both men fought to exhaustion. This was two men wearing their hearts on their sleeves and providing something exhilarating. If you're a fan of fighters like Kenya Yamashita then this is seriously worth a watch. It was thrilling, intense, and raw.
Knockdowns traded in war! - Tsubasa Narai (3-0, 2) Vs Tomohiro Igarashi (2-0, 1) [movie/8600]
Drama and action are two of the things we look for in a fun fight and the Super Featherweight bout between Tsubasa Narai and Tomohiro Igarashi had both of those giving us something special from the early going to the eye catching finale. Before we got to the end both men were down, both had landed some bombs and the crowd had been given a spectacular treat. This was genuinely a great fight mixing skills, aggression, action and doing enough to get applause from the scattering of fans allowed into the Korakuen Hall.
This past weekend we saw Tugstsogt Nyambayar (12-1, 9) score his latest win, beating Cobia Breedy by a split decision in what was an entertaining, well fought and competitive contest. The plan was for that to be a WBC Featherweight title eliminator, but the performance it's self seemed to leave us with more questions than answers in regards to what Nyambayar can do, and will do. With that in mind we've decided to look at 5 potential bouts for the Mongolian, including two potential bouts for the WBC Featherweight title, and 3 other bouts that could be what he needs to show what he can really do.
1-Gary Russell Jr II
The obvious match up that's next for "King Tug" is a rematch with Gary Russell Jr, the current WBC Featherweight champion. The two men fought this past February, with Nyambayar losing a clear decision to the American, though the assumption is that he has learned from that loss. That bout was lost in the first 8 rounds, with Nyambayar doing little more than following Russell Jr early on, whilst the American cased his skills and speed. Nyambayar did get going late in the bout, and gave Russell something to think about, but it was far too little far too late. If we're being honest we don't see Nyambayar having the intensity to ever beat Russell Jr, but he'll surely want to run it back and try to avenge his sole defeat.
There has been talk about Gary Russell Jr vacating the WBC title, in search of bigger tests, and if that happens "King Tug" would be the mandatory challenger for the vacant title. Currently ranked #1 by the WBC is Jessie Magdaleno, who would likely make up the other side of a vacant title fight. Magdaleno is a former WBO Super Bantamweight champion, he has something of a name value, and has a style that we suspect will force Nyambayar to actually go for it and fight. Although not the best fighter out there Magdaleno hits hard, he hits fast and he's a legitimate world level contender. He should make for a great fight with Nyambayar and it will be a sink or swim type of contest for both men.
Another fan friendly potential option for the Mongolian would be a bout with the dangerous Julio Ceja. The Mexican might not be a natural Featherweight but he is world ranked by the WBC, is dangerous, comes to fight, and should force Nyambayar into a fight. We suspect we need an aggressive and dangerous fighter to get the most from the Mongolian and Ceja is that type of fighter, boasting heavy hands, a good work rate and questionable toughness. Ceja and Nyambayar make a good stylistic match up, should provide fireworks, and would see the Mongolian enter as the clear favourite and in a position to get a big win.
Although really, really, unlikely we would absolutely love to see Nyambayar to take on WBA champion Can Xu in what would be a sensational fight to watch. One of our big complaints with the Mongolian is that he doesn't let his hands go often enough, and it's something we feel is holding him back from reaching his potential. Matched against Can Xu, a man who never stops throwing, we suspect we'll see the best from the Mongolian. We also suspect we'll see Xu being in yet another thriller against a tough and hard hitting challenger and of course, the elephant in the room, the build up. This will be China Vs Mongolia, and the hype videos and build up have Genghis Khan and his conquest of China to use as a visual backdrop for any hype videos. This would be great to watch, a bout that sells it's self and fight that would have historic rivalry behind it. Come on boxing, this is too obvious not to happen!
5-Jesus M Rojas
Another bout that would be fun would be a bout between Nyambayar and former WBA champion Jesus M Rojas, which would be a fight that would give us action, be a fun one to watch and give both men a big bout, just as they need it. Of course both men would prefer a world title bout, and Nyambayar would clearly prefer a bout with Russell Jr or Magdaleno, but if those bouts can't come off a contest with Rojas would certainly not be a bad alternative. The Mongolian would be up against a Puerto Rican willing to let his hands go and make a fight of things, whilst Rojas would get a chance to take a huge step towards a second world title fight. Style wise this would be fun, both men would have their chins checked and both would be firing off heavy leather. Rojas is also the type of fighter who would draw the best from Nyambayar, who couldn't get away with being lazy in this match up.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).