For today's "Reliving the Finish" we though we'd share quite an obscure KO from a Japanese domestic level bout from back in 2009. This is not a bout we expect many fans have seen, but the stoppage to it is worthy of being on a highlight reel. Notably it did feature a man we expect most fight fans to have heard of, and came when he was still a rising hopeful on the domestic scene. The recipient on the other hand wasn't really well known and never really did anything of note afterwards, despite continuing in ring with their career until 2013.
Hisashi Amagasa (12-3-2, 10) vs Koji Nagata (7-3-3)
At the end of 2014 Hisashi Amagasa's name became one of the most searched boxing names, with nobody outside of Japan really having any idea who he was when he was announced as the next challenger for Guillermo Rigondeaux. By the end of December 31st 2014 however his face was plastered everywhere on boxing websites. He looked a swollen, bloodied, beaten mess. He had twice dropped Rigondeaux but had paid the price and been left with some nasty facial injuries as a result.
Following that bout he would remain a figure of interest in the wider boxing world, getting a notable fight in the UK with Josh Warrrington in 2016 before fading back into international obscurity in his homeland.
For this KO we need to rewind way before all of that however and send ourselves back to May 2009. Amagasa, then aged 23, took on domestic foe Koji Nagata. At the time Amagasa was seen a long, rangy fighter with power. He had won 12 of his 17 bouts and stopped 10.
Nagata on the other hand was a 24 year old who had lost on debut before reeling off a 7 fight unbeaten run. Heading into the Amagasa fight things had started to cool down again for Nagata, who had gone from 5-1-2 to 7-3-3. He lacked power, but was a capable fighter. Not a future champion, but a capable fighter all the same.
Through 6 rounds Nagata had given the taller, longer Amagasa some real issues, he had held his own for the most part and even tested Amagasa's chin with some solid shots up top. Amagasa, to his credit, stayed in to the bout, and had belief in his power, but his skills, which were never great, were certainly not impressing. Nagata looked several levels above Amagasa in terms of skills, but lacked the power needed to make Amagasa really pay for his mistakes.
Sadly for Nagata his good work was all undone mid way in round 7 when Amagasa landed what was probably the punch of his career. The shot was a brutal left uppercut that landed clean. The shot landed through the guard, snapping back the head of Nagata who crashed on to the canvas. The shot just turned out the lights on Nagata who stayed down for quite some time. The towel came in from his corner mid way through the count.
To help Nagata a stretcher was brought into get him out of the ring safely, and thankfully there was no linger issues for him.
Despite Nagata having no long term issues he wouldn't return to the ring for 9 months, defeating Tomo Kawai on his ring return. Sadly for him however his career never really took off, and he retired in 2013 with a record of 9-7-4. As for Amagsa, he would win Japanese and OPBF titles, as well as have fights with Rigondeaux and Warrington, before retiring with a 33-7-2 (21) record and later becoming a trainer at one of the gyms that Takashi Uchiyama set up.
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).