The sport has a lot of different type's of KO's, but it's fair to say that one of the favourites for fans is where the recipient face plants the ring. For whatever reason they always look extra brutal, vicious and nasty. When a fighter goes down face first it rarely matters how they were sent down we can be pretty sure they aren't beating the counting. Today we get to share a rather obscure face first KO from 2003 that we don't think many in the West will have seen, but it's a brutal finish and deserves to be seen by all.
Masakazu Satake (18-2-4, 11) vs Richard Reina (10-0, 9)
By October 2003 Japanese fighter Masakazu Satake was edging towards a big bout. The Light Welterweight had recorded 9 defenses of the OPBF title, and had, just a fight earlier, scored an eye catching win over Filipino fighter Dindo Castanares, which we covered recently in this series. He seemed within touching distance of his US debut but still had a job to do and couldn't afford to see his momentum drop so close to a big fight.
Looking to derail Satake's rise was unbeaten Venezuelan puncher Richard Reina, who had taken out former Satake opponent Dindo Castanares in just 2 rounds 3 months before facing Satake. Although still a relative novicee Reina was regarded as a promising fighter, who had scored 9 straight stoppages, taken the Venezuelan title, and had blasted 6 opponents out in the opening round. Not only had Reina been racking up wins in Venezuela but he'd also scored wins in Colombia and Japan.
The first round of the fight was a relatively quiet one, though there was a point mid way through where Reina caught Satake and seemed to make the Japanese fighter fully aware that he was dangerous. Satake did however box well through the round, fought smartly and used his foot work to avoid too many exchanges with the hard hitting visitor.
In round 2 we again saw Reina on the front foot, throwing calculated bombs whilst Satake boxed and moved picked his spots and showed real respect of Reina's power. That was until late in the round when Satake managed to rock Reina, who seemed to look for a breather on the ropes. Satake sensed something and applied pressure before luring Reina to throw a right hand, and drop his guard. Almost instantly Satake came back with a right hand of his own, right on the chin.
Instantly the lights turned off and Reina crashed against the canvas falling face down in brilliant catching fashion.
Sadly for Satake he would go 1-2 after this fight before hanging up the gloves following a loss to Jung Bum Kim. Reina on the other hand would go 2-3 before retiring with a 12-4 (11) record, never looking the same after this brutal KO loss.
One of the most bizarre things about this sport is how a fighter reacts to having their senses scrambled. We all love the clean KO, where a fighter is flat out on the canvas, but sometimes things don't go that way. Another one we see is a fighter who, for all intents and purposes, is awake, but there senses are so screwed up that their legs and brain aren't quite in sync. They are are up right but have no idea where they are, where they want to be, or even who they are. Today we feature a finish that makes it seem like the recipient got drunk off a punch. They are stood up, but their legs really have no idea where they are, what they are doing, or what they are connected to.
Masakazu Satake (17-2-4, 10) vs Dindo Castanares (12-0-1, 9)
In 1999 Masakazu Satake claimed the OPBF Light Welterweight title, taking a close decision over Jong Kil Kim. He would defend the title numerous times whilst moving towards bigger bouts. During his reign he proved he could box or fight running up 8 defenses before April 2003. Included in those defenses were wins over notable fighters, like Rick Yoshimura and Hiroyuki Sakamoto. Despite being the champion though he hadn't been thought of as a KO artist, with just 10 early wins in his first 23 bouts. He would later go on to prove he did have genuine fight ending power, especially in 2003.
Part of what changed perception about Satake was his April 2003 bout against Filipino challenger Dindo Castanares.
Coming in Castanares was an unbeaten with a record that suggested he had solid pop in his shots. He hadn't scored any wins of note, and was stepping up, but seemed full of confidence and was certainly not there to just make up the numbers. He want the Oriental title. What ended up happening sadly began the downfall of his career and left him proving his toughness but having a rather remarkable KO loss to his name.
Through the first 7 rounds Satake boxed well and, for the most part, controlled the action against a man there to take his title away. Although Castanares was stepping up massively he wasn't embarrassing himself, and was giving a very credible effort, despite coming off second best against the champion. He seemed to be building his self belief and confidence, and although clearly behind he was giving the champion a genuine test.
And then we got to round 8, which was another round that saw the Filipino testing the champion, coming forward and being a nightmare for the more naturally talented champion. That nightmare came to an end with just over 70 seconds of the round left, as Satake landed a right hook high on the head of Castanares. The Filipino recovered to his feet quickly, but stumbled one way, then another, and another, as the referee continued the mandatory 8 count. Castanares continued to some how remain up right whilst stumbling all over the place. It was clear that whilst he was up he wasn't fit to continue. In fact looking at him, he likely would have failed a sobriety test. He looked drunk, as his body tried to get a hold of where he was.
This wasn't the most brutal of finishes, but was still a brilliant finish with a rather unique reaction from the man who was stopped. Sadly after this bout Castanares was never the same, going 4-6-1 before retiring from the sport. As for Satake he wouldn't really fight on much longer going 2-2 after this fight, though he did score a KO that we'll look at in the next "Reliving the Finish" in 2 weeks time!
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).