On Saturday Shinsei Gym put on a live stream of their show from the Central Gym in Kobe. The stream only featured two bouts live, though they did later upload the entire show to the Boxing Real Youtube channel.
One of those streamed bouts was the WBO Atomweight title bout between Mika Iwakawa (10-5-1, 3) and Nanae Suzuki (10-4-1, 1). It was the first of a host of world title bouts over the weekend, and whilst not a massive bout it was certainly a notable one. It was also one that we felt deserved the Take Away treatment.
1-Boxing Real Streams are amazingly professional
First we need state the obvious. The streams that Boxing Real are giving us are on a different level to pretty much all the others from Japan. This isn't just a multi-camera set up, but includes replays, on screen graphics, commentary, and has the real feeling of being a TV quality production. If you see one of these streams you could very easily be confused into thinking you were watching a TV production and this is just fantastic. We love the fact that Suruga Boys, A-Sign and Boxing Raise do stream live events but Boxing Real have raised the bar, and it's now down to the others to match them in terms of production
Also it was great to hear Ryuya Yamanaka doing commentary!
2-A white canvas was horrible to look at
After complimenting the production quality of the stream we now need to complain about the production quality of the show. The ring canvas, which was mostly off-white, really didn't look great. It wasn't helped by the fact both fighters were in white and the general venue was very light. As a result it was actually quite an eye sore and seemed to almost camouflage into the floor of the venue. This might be less of an issue when there are more fans in the venue, or when doors and windows don't need to be open, which has lead to a lot of light in the venue, or even when fighters aren't wearing white, but for this bout it was quite distracting.
3-Mika Iwakawa is skilled...but doesn't do enough
The 37 year old champion showed some really nice touches during the bout, her movement at times was fantastic and her ability to pick a shot was a delight to see. Sadly though she never showed those things in more than a few glimpses. She was under pressure through out and sadly didn't cope well with that pressure, often resorting to holding, which was a shame. When she showed what she could do she was really impressive and hopefully we see more of that in the future.
4-Nanae Suzuki's energy is incredible
We've no idea how Nanae Suzuki managed to keep up the pace she does. From round 1 to round 10 she kept coming forward, kept bulling her way through Iwakawa, chasing the champion, attacking and marching forward. Her work rate seemed to get better the longer the bout went on, and that was despite Iwakawa regularly holding her and pushing her around. Whatever is powering Suzuki...we want it! She looked like the energiser bunny through out and it was hugely impressive. Sadly she lacked the skills to make the most of her energy but we can't fault her relentlessness and incredible stamina. She was always the one forcing the fight and trying to make this a war.
5-This was real hard to score
When judges turn in cards of 97-93 both ways you can often assume one judge got it very wrong. In reality however this bout seems like one of the rare ones where either woman could have won depending on what a judge prefers. The quality work was almost all from Iwakawa, who looked like the much, much more skilled fighter. But she was being out worked, out hustled, and out fought in pretty much every round. Obvious we're supposed to score on things like effective aggression and defense, and those both favoured Iwakawa, but some offensive is better than no offense, and we had rounds where Iwakawa's work rate totally dropped off. A real tough one to score.
The Offense Vs Defense match up make this a really interesting one without it really being a great one to watch. It was messy, it was rough, but was also very compelling.
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).