Our "Reliving the Finish" series is a chance to look at some of the best KO's in the history of the sport, and we have one such KO today, in fact it's long been one of our absolute favourite KO's and is among the most visibly appealing KO's ever. Sadly it did come against a rather unknown fighter, but given that we enjoy KO's for what they are, rather than who they come against, we can still absolute love this one!
Takanori Hatakeyama (12-0, 10) vs Jae Woon Park (0-0)
We suspect any regular readers will be fully aware of our love with Takanori Hatakeyama. The Japanese Super Featherweight come Lightweight is a regular in our Closet Classic series, and his wars against the likes of Yong Soo Choi, Lakva Sim, Koji Arisawa, Hiroyuki Sakamoto and Rick Yoshimura are all worthy of a watch any day of the week. Here we're looking at his 13th professional bout, and it was a contest that came a long time before he won a world title. Despite that this is probably his most visually amazing KO.
Although Hatakeyama was racking up wins, often quick, he wasn't a man with much quality on his resume by this point. He had won the 1994 Rookie of the Year but was still being matched relatively softly whilst getting ready for a potential OPBF title fight.
Jae Woon Park on the other hand was an unknown Korean. According to Boxrec this was his debut, though we suspect he had had a few fights even if Boxrec haven't recorded them in their database. The evidence for that racks up with this being a scheduled 10 rounder and with the on screen graphic before the fight suggesting he was a ranked fighter and with Park not having another recorded fight until 2001.
Regardless of Park's history before this bout it's really this contest that he's known for.
The first round saw the Korean put up a fair effort. He didn't win the round but did prove that he wasn't there to just fall over the first time he was touched. Sadly for him though things changed massively in round 2, within the blink of an eye.
As soon as round 2 began Hatakeyama rushed as Park. Park saw a chance to strike and threw a right hand, which was partially blocked by Hatakeyama. Then it was Hatakeyama's time to let a shot go. When the Japanese fighter fired off he did so with a monstrous and lightning quick left hook. The shot landed clean and sent Park spinning, with his head swivelling on the spot, and his body following, turning 180 before crashing with his neck falling onto one of the ropes before he bounced back into the ring. It was gorgeous and looked like a KO from a movie. This is a truly spectacular finish and something worth watching back over and over.
The round starts and within the blink of an eye we have one of the greatest looking KO's ever.
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).