In the late 1990's and through much of 2000's Noriyuki Komatsu (24-6-6, 10) would be a staple on Flyweight scene. He would feature in 9 OPBF title bouts, 2 Japanese title bouts and a world title bout. Although he never won a world title he rarely in dull fights and many of them were close, hotly contested and exciting bouts.
Sadly Komatsu is probably best known internationally for being stopped in 5 rounds by Pongsaklek Wonjongkam. In reality it's unfair to remember a fighter for just a single bout, and that is especially true of someone like Komatsu, who achieved much more than just coming up short in a world title bout. He was exciting, successful and sadly passed away far, far too young. His two bouts with Trash Nakanuma were amazing, his bout with Daisuke Naito was thrilling and his bout with Rolly Lunas was incredibly dramatic.
Today we hope to shine a light on the former OPBF Flyweight champion as we bring you 5 Midweek facts about Noriyuki Komatsu.
1-At 15 bouts Komatsu had a very odd looking 10-0-5 (4) record. Yeah you read that right he had 5 draws in his first 15 professional bouts! Even more oddly they included 4 technical draws. He would only have 1 more draw, it's self a technical draw as well, in the 21 bouts that followed this odd start.
2-Komatsu used rock song "Tough Boy" by Japanese band Tom Cat as his ring entrance. The high energy track was also used, albeit with some minor edits, as the theme song for "Fist of the North Star 2". We've included the song at the end of this article for those wanting to give it a listen.
3-Komatsu's 2004 loss to Trash Nakanuma, in what was their second bout, was regarded as incredibly controversial and resulted in one one of the judges being suspended. The bout was regarded as a highly dubious result, with one judge putting in an inexplicable 10-8 round, which prevented a majority decision draw, which would have seen Komatsu retain his title.
4-In 2006 Komatsu, the then OPBF Flyweight champion, clashed with Daisuke Naito, the then Japanese champion, in a unification bout. The bout is the only time those two particularly titles were ever unified, and it's the only time in the JBC era that the Japanese Flyweight title has been fought for over 12 rounds.
5-Komatsu died in freak incident in April 2009. He appears to have drowned after falling from the top of a waterfall in Otsu City, Shiga whilst training. He was meant to fight Daiki Kameda the following month. He was aged just 29, just 8 days shy of his 30th birthday.
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).