When we see a fighter with what we know is a solid chin being dropped it can awe us in a way that a typical KO doesn't. Today we look at a brutal KO from 2019 that left us in awe. We had seen a steel chin not just cracked, but burst and smashed with single spectacular shot. Not only was the shot a beauty but the way the recipient went down was even better, taking this from a great finish into a sensational one.
Downua Ruawaiking (14-0, 11) Vs Akihiro Kondo (37-7-1, 18)
In February 2019 we got an IBF World title eliminator at 140lbs between teak tough Japanese veteran Akihiro Kondo and unknown Thai Downua Ruawaiking. On paper this seemed likely to be a really interesting match up. It was a test for both the young unbeaten fighter and a chance to Kondo to get a second shot, following a hard fought loss to the hard hitting Sergey Lipinets. What few would have expected was one of the most stunning finishes of the year.
As previously mentioned Kondo had already had a shot at the top losing to Sergey Lipinets. Prior to losing to Lipinets we had seen Kondo prove himself to be teak tough, hard working and a very talented fighter even if he was somewhat flawed. During his previous 45 bouts Kondo had beaten the likes of Valentine Hosokawa, Yoshitaka Kato, Rimrex Jaca, Shogo Yamaguchi and Jeffrey Arienza whilst winning domestic and regional honour.
Despite losing to Lipinets in 2017 we had seen Kondo take big shots and walkthrough through them, showing not just an iron chin but also an incredible will to win and incredible physical strength, forcing back the hard hitting Kazakh-born Russian.
Ruawaiking on the other hand had never even fought outside of Thailand. He was a prospect, but a relatively unknown one, who's best wins were against lower level regional competition, like Sonny Katiandagho and Adam Diu Abdulhamid, who had run him super closer. He was young, strong, tough and big at the weight, but very much unproven. The view was that if he was going to win it would be by out boxing Kondo, using his legs and movement, and making the most of the fact that Kondo was so much older than he was.
Despite being seen as the under-dog Downua had impressed in the first 4 rounds, doing what we had seen as his only way to win. He was boxing, moving, sticking the jab in Kondo's face and keeping things long. When Kondo was up close the Thai landed some solid shots of his own, but in the first 4 rounds he never seemed to buzz the Japanese fighter.
In round 5 however things changed, and of boy did they ever change in a dramatic and eye catching fashion!
Just after the half way point of round 5, which is where we join the fight for the finish, we see Downua land a massive right uppercut. The shot sent Kondo down like a an Angel who had just been hit in the head with a cannonball. The cast iron chin of Kondo had been smashed. His heart and will power were still there as he tried to beat the count, some how not being out cold, but he had no idea where he was when he was upright.
This was brilliantly eye catching, and a brilliant way for Downua to put himself on the map.
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).