Some of the best stoppages come from fighters we don't regard as punches. Today we get to look at one such example from 2006 that helped to prove that a man who wasn't stopping people, genuinely could punch. Not only that but he had really nasty power when he landed the perfect shot. The bout has a genuinely dramatic ending, and sadly it lead to the eventual end for one man, who was never the same, whilst it help boost the other to being one of the biggest names in Asian boxing for around a decade.
Hozumi Hasegawa (19-2, 6) vs Veeraphol Sahaprom (51-2-2, 35) II
In 2005 Japanese fighter Hozumi Hasegawa put him a fantastic and mature performance to over-come Thai great Veeraphol Sahaprom in their first bout. The contest saw Hasegawa become the WBC Bantamweight champion, claiming his first world title. The win for Hasegawa ended a 14 defense reign of the Thai, who had held the title for more than 6 years, and gave Sahaprom his first loss in over 9 years. It was a big upset at the time and a win that really put Hasegawa on the map.
Having lost his title and his long unbeaten run Sahaprom returned to Japan in 2006 to try and reclaim the belt and get revenge over Hasegawa.Following the loss he had gone back to Thailand, picked up 5 wins, stopping 4 of his 5 foes, and had rebuilt some of his aura. He was, however, now 37 and had had 55 pro boxing bouts to go alongside a very long Muay Thai career. He was still a top fighter, but very much a man who had seen better days.
As for the 25 year old Hasegawa this was set to be his second defense following a win over the very poor Gerardo Martinez in September 2005. It was a chance to prove his title win wasn't a fluke and prove that he really was world class.
Through the first 8 rounds the bout was an intriguing one with not much splitting the men up to that point. In fact if anything it seemed that whilst Hasegawa had had a good start Sahaprom was starting to build some momentum through the middle rounds and was starting to come on come on Hasegawa began to throw less, move less and fight the wrong fight against the more physical Sahaprom.
Then we got to round 9 and we got to the finish. It was a blink and you miss it finish. As the two men both threw about 10 seconds into the round Sahaprom dropped to the canvas from a right hand of Hasegawa, following a jab. He tried to beat the count, but his body didn't do what he wanted it to, instead his legs betrayed him, and he ended up on his back.
Watching the shot "as live" it looked somewhat innocuous, like it shouldn't have dropped a legend like Sahaprom. Then we saw the replay and it showed just how perfect the shot was.
The replay showed that the right landed perfectly as a counter Sahaprom's own right hand narrowly missed the target. Whilst it didn't look amazing "live" it had Sahaprom' s coming into the shot, it landed perfectly, and took out the Thai in excellent, fashion. This was brilliant.
With the win Hasegawa legitimised his reign and went on to record a further 8 defenses before later becoming a 3-weight world champion. As for Sahaprom this was pretty much the start of the end for him. Whilst he did score 15 wins before losing in a world title eliminator in 2008 to Vusi Malinga, in what was Sahaprom's last big fight as a professional boxer.
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).