One of the bouts shown last weekend on Fuji TV was the Super Bantamweight clash between the unbeaten Kazuki Nakajima (9-0-1, 8) and the upset minded Kenta Nomura (7-4, 3). On paper this wasn't expected to be much of a test for Nakajima, and in the end he didn't need to work too hard for the win, stopping Nomura in the third round of a scheduled 8 rounder.
With the bout now aired and having been watched, and rewatched, we've got some take aways from the bout to share.
1-Nakajima is horribly stiff and upright
The first thing to note watching this bout, and other Kazuki Nakajima bouts, is that Nakajima is so stiff and upright. He looks really rigid, everything he does looks forced and his chin is in the air. We get that it's very much his style, but he looks so hittable, predictable and like someone with a bit of skill will be able to take him out. Nomura wasn't the guy to ask questions, but we did see Seiya Tsutsumi ask those questions earlier in the year and we assumed that Nakajima would have looked less stiff here than he there. Nope. Just as stiff. The focus for Ohashi should be on trying to get him to relax in the ring a little bit, it's obviously not easy, but it would improve his game so much. Despite being stiff he does have surprisingly quick handspeed.
2-Despite being stiff Nakajima has a nasty straight left hand
Again we're not stating anything new here but Kazuki Nakajima has a fantastic straight left hand. It's straight, it's quick, it's powerful and it's sharp. It's a bit on the predictable side of things, as a lot of Nakajima's work is at range and worked off his straight shots, but it's easily the best punch in his arsenal and does, in some ways, remind us of Shinsuke Yamanaka. It's not quite as brutal as Yamanaka's, but the way he makes every shot counts, and is efficient with is it Yamanaka-like.
3-Koji Matsumoto wears glasses in a weird way
This is an odd one, for sure, but it was weird that Koji Matsumoto put his glasses on the back on his head. It's more of an observation than anything else, but we are curious as to why the great trainer rests his glasses in such an odd position. Several of our team wear glasses and we put them on the top of our heads, but Koji, he puts them on the back of his head, under his ponytail when working in the corner, as he was for Nakajima. If anyone can explain this one we'd love to hear it!
4-Nomura isn't very good against southpaws
This was Nomura's second bout against a southpaw in 13 months and he has been stopped by both of them. He tried to box with Nakajima, and didn't look like he had any idea how to cope with the left stance. He was throwing out range finder jabs that had no effect, was caught regularly by left hands and looked genuinely lost and confused. Nakajima, although rather stiff looking, is quite tricky, but Nomura really showed no idea how to deal with even the most basic of Nakajima's work.
5-Michiaki Someya is a referee that is in the right place at the right time
We've mentioned Michiaki Someya in one of these before and we do so again here as he once again showed his ring positioning is brilliant, and he's where he needs to be, when he needs to be there. This wasn't a tough bout for him but we can't ignore that he was consistently doing what he had to, was in the perfect place for the stoppage and made things crystal clear. He's not a big name referee but he is certainly a very good one, and from his showings on this card he's one we'll be keeping a close on here following two solid performances on this show.
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).