For today's upset we travel all the way to Puebla in Mexico for a truly surprising result between someone who doesn't spoke about much at all any more and a man who later went on to fight for a world title. The bout was a WBC "Youth" title bout at Super Featherweight, despite the fact the challenger was 30 year old, and saw a really unexpected outcome.
December 10th 2011
Centro de Expositores, Puebla, Puebla, Mexico
Kyohei Tamakoshi (27-7-6, 10) Vs Dante Jardon (19-1, 17)
If we mention the name Kyohei Tamakoshi we expect some pretty blank looks from boxing fans. Japanese fans are likely to recognise the name, but those outside of Japan are unlikely to know anything about him. Well other than the fans who saw this bout. He had made his professional in 1999 and had had mixed success on the Japanese domestic scene. He had a few notable domestic wins, such as a victory over Nobuto Ikehara, but had failed to secure wins in bouts for Japanese and OPBF titles, including a loss to Mikihito Seto for the "interim" Japanese Super Bantamweight title just 8 months earlier.
Aged 30 by the time he had this fight Tamakoshi was seen as little more than a battle tested veteran. He had 40 bouts to his name and had carved his career at Bantamweight and Super Bantamweight, where he had failed to win any of his title bouts. Although he was no world beater he had proven to be tough, and hadn't been stopped since his 4th professional bout, when he was blasted out by Hideki Yokuda. Despite having 40 bouts to his name he had never previous fought outside of Japan before travelling off to Mexico to take on Dante "Crazy" Jardon.
The then 23 year old Jardon was a rising Mexican star. He was the then WBC Youth Super Featherweight champion who had won 18 in a row, following a loss in his second professional bout. He had a staggering 85% KO rate and had beaten the likes of Rene Gonzalez, and Ricky Sismundo and was very much a man tipped for the top. He was aggressive, destructive, heavy handed, exciting and rampaging through regional competition. His previous 4 bouts had lasted a total of 13 rounds and only 2 of his opponents had lasted more than 5 rounds, with only Rene Gonzalez managing to last the distance with him.
On paper this was just the next step forward for Jardon and he had all the advantages a fighter could want. He was the younger man, the man in great form, the naturally bigger man, the bigger puncher and the man at home, in a really small ring suited to his style. He seemed to have the deck well and truly stacked in his favour.
From the off Jardon took center ring, he was aggressive, coming forward and pressuring Tamakoshi. The Japanese fighter looked focused but was on the back foot and struggling to get any respect from Jardon who looked the boss through the first round, as many had expected. He didn't manage to land too many power shots, but he looked dangerous and like he'd take Tamakoshi out if one of his big over hand right's landed clean.
Tamakoshi, to his credit, used his experience to neutralise much of the pressure from Jardon, but didn't land much of note himself, paying more focus on not getting hurt than attacking Jardon in the first round.
In the second round we saw a bit more ambition from Tamakoshi, but he was made to pay and Jardon landed some solid bombs on the visitor when Tamakoshi opened up. It seemed we were beginning to see the start of the end as Jardon was finding some very clean head shots on Tamakoshi. Although Tamakoshi had proven his toughness during his career it was still assumed that his toughness wouldn't carry up Super Featherweight, against a puncher like Jardon.
Things all changed with about 10 seconds of round 2 left. Things changed in a moment as Tamakoshi landed a long straight right hand out of the blue that dropped Jardon to the seat of his pants. There was only seconds of the round left when Jardon hit the canvas, and he managed to beat the count, getting a minute to recover. Had the shot landed only moments earlier there's a good chance Tamakoshi would have jumped on him and closed the show there and then.
Heading into round 3 the big question was whether Jardon had had enough time to clear his head and recover. He started the round aggressively and looked fine but about 35 seconds into the round Tamakoshi landed another huge over hand right which which shook Jardon, who dropped moments later. Again Jardon got up, but this time Tamakoshi had more than 2 minutes to close the show.
The visitor smelled blood and went hunting, landing another right and dropped Jardon for a third time. To his credit there was no quit in Jardon, who again got to his feet. He was however up on instinct, rather than awareness and was dropped again. This time the referee had seen enough and waved off the contest.
Although not remembered much now a days this was a massive upset for Tamakoshi, who few gave any sort of a chance to. Sadly he failed to really build on it, and when he returned to Japan he ended up picking up 3 rather low key wins whilst getting used to fighting at Super Featherweight. In the years that followed he would have 3 Japanese title bouts at 130lbs, and lose all 3.
Despite the set back Jardon bounced back, and just over 2 years later he challenged the then WBC world champion Takashi Miura, losing in 9 rounds to "Bomber Left". From there on his career never really recovered and although he remained in the title mix for a while he wouldn't get a second shot at the top.
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).