When we first considered doing this "Remarkable Rounds" series there was a number of rounds we had in our minds as one we wanted to use. One of those was the 7th round from the 2016 war between Kenji Ono and Jun Takigawa. It was a round that thrilled us at the time and is one we will still go back to on a pretty regular basis when we question our love of the sport. It is one of those rounds that makes you realise that boxing, at it's core, is the best combination sport and entertainment and that even the fighters we never hear about can give us those moments that are still special, years later.
Kenji Ono (9-1, 4) v Jun Takigawa (7-1-1, 4)
On paper this was a brilliantly matched bout and yet it ended up over delivering, big time.
In one corner was Teiken hopeful Kenji Ono, who had won the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2014 and had slowly been making his way up the rankings. Aged 27 at the time of this bout it was assumed that 2016 was going to be a big year for him, and that he was going to rapidly progress towards a title fight of some kind.
In the other corner was Jun Takigawa, who'se only loss had come to Reiya Konishi, a future multi-time world title challenger. He had proven to be a powerful and aggressive fighter though he was very much the "away" fighter here, travelling from Aichi to Tokyo for the fight, which took place at Korakuen Hall. With that away fighter mentality we dare say that Takigawa may have felt the needed to make sure that the judges couldn't possibly deny him.
The bout had been dramatic early on, with both men taking punishment. Takigawa had almost been down early on, he had then been cut and dropped in round 6, but his determination to battle on continue showed, as we got to round 7.
Just seconds into the round a tired Takigawa was dropped on to his backside from a straight left hand from Ono. He got back to his feet and then began to take the fight to Ono, as desperation crept in. This saw him rocking Ono who tried to create distance but struggled to keep Takigawa at range before being dropped himself. We still had more than half the round left and Takigawa was buoyed on by the knockdown that he scored as he went hunting for Ono.
Ono, to his credit, held and spoiled before regrouping and dropping Takigawa, who was almost sent out of the ring. This could have been the end but not for Takigawa who got back to his feet, took the mandatory 8 count and again took the fight to Ono, giving everything he had.
Sadly for Takigawa he would go on to be stopped the next round, in a bout that took a lot from both men, who never looked the same after this incredible war.
Please note - The sound for this video isn't great and you may wish to watch the round with reduced sound or even muted. Unfortunately we were unable to find a better copy of the bout to take the round from.
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).