One of the ideas in this series was to show not only the most amazing KO's that people will have seen but also show off some really obscure and brutal ones. Today we think we've got one of the best obscure KO's that we've shared, and it really is a beauty from December 2001. Not only is this a brilliant KO but it came in an upset and came in a meaningful contest for an OPBF title, making it all the much better!
Yong In Jo (12-3, 7) vs Akihiro Kanai (15-0, 12)
In April 2001 South Korean fighter Yong In Jo lost the OPBF Super Bantamweight title to Osamu Sato with a 12 round decision defeat to "Hulk" at Korakuen Hall. Just 8 months later he returned to Japan in an attempt to reclaim the title, which Sato had vacated. He was hoping to become a 2-time OPBF champion to add to his two South Korean domestic title reigns, but was the under-dog here, travelling to face an unbeaten and heavy handed fighter.
Although not a well remembered name now a days Akihiro Kanai was regarded as a real prospect in 2001. He had won his first 15 bouts, with 12 stoppages, including a 5th round TKO over Akira Ebisuoka and a 10 round decision over Cruz Carbajal. The bout with Jo would be his first title bout, but it was one he was expected to win as he continued to progress towards bigger and better fights. The hope was that the then 23 year old Kanai was something special, and that he was getting Jo at just the right time, following his loss to Sato.
What we ended up getting was a viciously short, exciting and explosive contest that lasted just over 2 minutes and ended with a truly brilliant finish from the Korean, who was in Japan with a point to prove.
The opening few seconds were tense, but it didn't take long for both men to begin throwing leather. Around 30 seconds in Jo landed a solid right hand, that should have served as a warning for Kanai. Instead the Japanese fighter decided to stay at mid range, and look for his own power shots. Kanai managed to land a solid left hook on the Korean, who's head snapped as the two unloaded. Sadly for Kanao the shot didn't seem to hurt Jo as expected and soon afterwards Kanai's legs were buckled.
The intensity didn't slow down as the two men unloaded bombs in what was nothing short of a shoot out, with Kanai going down from a brutal left hook, the second that Jo landed in quick succession. Kanai got to his feet but had no plan B as Jo rushed in for the finish.
After missing a huge left hand Jo kept the shots go and landed with another brutal left hook. The shot landed as clean as it could, with Jo putting his weight into the shot and dropping Kansai, who crashed face down into the canvas.
The referee didn't hesitate, waving the bout off immediately to help get Kanai medical assistance. He was out cold and the referee could have counted to 100.
Kanai would receive medial attention in the ring, but left under his own steam, just looking a bit shaken.
Thankfully for Kanai he would bounce back from this loss, but he would come up short in a Japanese title fight in 2003 and fail to ever come close to living up the potential that many felt he had. He would hang them up in 2005, before fighting in a 1-off come in 2008, retiring for good with a record of 24-2 (18)
Despite this brutal win Jo's career was over less than a year after it. He would win a non title bout in 2002, over Jaime Barcelona, before losing in his first defense, in May 2002, to Shigeru Nakazato. That would be his final professional contest before leaving the sport with a 14-4 (8) record.
In recent year's we've seen the Ohashi Gym become one of the major hotbeds for Japanese talent, thanks to the likes of Akira Yaegashi and Naoya Inoue. The man behind the gym was himself a fantastic fighter, and a 2-time world champion back in the early 1990's. That was Hideyuki Ohashi who we get to shine a light on today with one of his most eye catching KO's from 1989.
Hideyuki Ohashi (11-3, 7) vs Boy Kid Emilia (5-3)
So as we mentioned Hideyuki Ohashi was a 2-time world champion in the 1990's. Prior to winning a world title he was touted very highly, and was expected to be a major star, despite having suffered 3 losses in his first 14 bouts. It's hard to believe now, in this day and ave, but a fighter with early losses wasn't always written off, and a fighter could take risks. That was particularly true of Ohashi who had twice lost to Jung Koo Chang by this point in his career.
Although he had 3 losses to his name Ohashi had now moved down in weight, leaving the Light Flyweight division to compete at Minimumweight, the division that he would have success at. In his 4th bout after losing to Chang, for the second time, Ohashi took on Boy Kid Emilia.
We don't really know much about Boy Kid Emilia other than what boxrec has about him. So according to them he debuted in 1986, lost 2 of his first 3 bouts before reeling 44 straight wins. He seemed to be getting his career back in track before a decision loss in summer 1989 to future world champion Manny Melchor.
Despite his boxrec record there is some dispute over how experienced Emilia was. Whilst Boxrec list him as being 5-3, and listed him as 3-3 back in 2016, the on screen graphic stated he was 12-4-1 (2). In reality he was probably more experienced than boxrec suggest, but we're really not sure how experienced.
Sadly for Emilia a match up with Ohashi didn't go well for him, in fact it appears to have ended his career, in truly brutal fashion. We say appears to, but as with many Filipino's from the 1980's we're not totally sure on that. Given how the bout ended though, it would be little surprise if this was the end of his career. It is a brutal knockout.
The first round saw Ohashi control the action from the center of the ring, fighting in his typical aggressive counter punching style. He was trying to draw mistakes from Emilia who, to his credit, had some success against the much talented Ohashi. Ohashi won the first round but there was nothing to suggest what we were going to see in round 2.
In round 2 Ohashi began to step up his pressure a bit more, tighten his guard, and catch Emilia with some solid shots. About 2 into the round Ohashi pinned Emilia on to the ropes and went to work, although Emilia managed to escape the pressure continued from Ohashi.
That pressure from Ohashi saw him land a huge body shot that could have sent a lesser fighter down. Emilia took it well but a huge right hand just moments later, right on the jaw, dropped the Filipino hard. There was no need to count. This was over. Emilia was out cold before he hit the canvas. The right hand had turned out all of the lights and Emilia's corner man, along with the referee and one of Ohashi's team went over to assist the Filipino.
This is a brutal KO, a sign that even the smallest men in the sport can bang.
As mentioned Emilia doesn't seem to have fought after this KO loss.
As for Ohashi he won the WBC Minimumweight title just 4 months later, claiming his first title. He would lost the belt in October 1990, to Ricardo Lopez, before claiming the WBA title in 1992. More recently he has become well known for the success of the Ohashi gym, and the way he has developed fighters like Inoue and Yaegashi.
One of the great things about amazing KO's is they can happen anywhere, any time and often come in very surprising fashion. Today we look at one such KO which came in the Minimumweight division in 2014 in Monaco. Not only did in come in weight class where we don't many clean KO's but it was a truly brutal finish and a massive surprise of a win for an unheralded Filipino.
Rey Loreto (17-13, 9) Vs Nkosinathi Joyi (24-2-0-1, 17) I
On February 1st 2014 attention turned to Monaco for a rather odd show at the Salle Des Etoiles in Monto Carlo. The main event of the show was Gennady Golovkin taking on Adama Osumanu, in a pretty typical stay busy bout for Golovkin from that time, but the bout that really interested us was a Light Flyweight clash. The bout was between former IBF Minimumweight champion Nkosinathi Joy and unheralded Filipino Rey Loreto.
Although Joyi was never a global star he had been one of the very best 105lbs fighters of his era. He had scored wins over the likes of Sammy Gutierrez, Lorenzo Trejo, Florante Condes, Raul Garcia and Katsunari Takayama. In 2012 he lost the IBF title to Mario Rodriguez and suffered a very close loss to Hekkie Budler the following year, before moving up in weight. In his second bout at Light Flyweight he was facing off with Loreto.
Outside of Asia Loreto was an unknown and with 13 losses from 30 career bouts he was easy to over-look. What that record didn't show was the level of competition and his recent form. It also didn't explain that he had turned things around big time since losing his first 4 bouts and once being 8-11 (4). Just 6 months prior to facing Joyi he has battered former world champion Pornsawan Porpramook into retirement and had proven to be a hard hitting, tough, southpaw. Always a dangerous type of opponent.
After the two men had had two surprisingly competitive rounds it was clear that Joyi was in a tougher test than expected. Saying that however no one would have anticipated what would have happened around 30 seconds into round 3.
Straight from the start of the round Loreto was on the offensive and shook Joyi with a big left hand. The South African was hurt but remained on his feet, at least for a few seconds. Until Loreto landed a similar punch only seconds later. That was it.
The second shot sent Joyi's head spinning whilst sending the former champion to the canvas for only his second stoppage loss. It was a cracking left hand that Loreto got everything behind and landed like a peach, instantly turning the lights out on the former world champion.
We thought that to end this series for the year we'd picked a KO that happened at the very of a year. With that in mind we had a look over the recent New Year's Eve shows and picked a KO that took place back in 2011. Although perhaps not the most iconic KO of all time, it's one that saw one man live up to his nickname, and sent another fighter into retirement. It did so in lightning quick and eye catching fashion.
Before we get on to the actual KO whilst this is the last "Reliving the Finish" for 2021 we do have a lot more of these planned for 2022 and we'll be back with the next one in a couple of weeks.
Takashi Uchiyama (17-0, 14) vs Jorge Solis (41-3-2-1, 30)
Dubbed "KO Dynamite" Takashi Uchiyama was one of those nasty fighters with incredible heavy hands. Technically he was a solid boxer-puncher, who liked to control range, lined up his thunderous right hand and take people out. Although never the quickest fighter or the most mobile he had a good boxing brain, brutal power and an under-rated chin. Sadly he would end his career with a pair of losses in 2016, though by then he was past his best at 36 and had been battling injuries for years.
Today we go back to his 4th defense of the WBA Super Featherweight title, which took place on December 31st 2011 at the Bunka Gym in Yokohama. Prior to this Uchiyama had defended the title against against the underwhelming pair of Angel Granados and Roy Mukhlis, as well as future world champion Takashi Miura. Despite those wins this bout was seen as a big step up, and the first time he would be defending the title against a known opponent.
His challenger on this occasion was Mexican veteran Jorge Solis. The 32 year old Solis was a 47 fight veteran who had been a well regarded fighter in his homeland and in the US. Although he lacked an elite level win he did hold notable victories over the likes of Cristobal Cruz, Orlando Soto, Miguel Roman, Monty Meza Clay, Likar Ramos and was a former WBA "interim" champion. He had also mixed in elite company, losing to Manny Pacquiao and Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Strangely the loss for Solis to Gamboa had seen him lose the WBA interim title, though he would go on to face Uchiyama just 9 months later, leaving us to just wonder how good a bout between Uchiyama and Gamboa could have been. The contrasting styles of that match up would certainly have made for a compelling contest.
For the first 10 rounds we saw a rather solid and controlled performance from Uchiyama, who was winning the bout based mostly on his smart movement and criminally under-rated jab. He seemed like he wanted to out box Solis and had a lot of respect for the Mexican. It was solid but certainly not thrilling or action packed as a fight.
Despite the controlled effort from Uchiyama he had pretty much done what he wanted and was in a very clear lead on the scorecards. He could have cruiser though in round 10 he showed a willingness to go for a finish after hurting Solis midway through the round. Solis survived, but had began to have the fight beaten out of him.
Then we get into round 11.
The round had a delayed start due to something in Solis' corner, but it did little to help the Mexican who was quickly backed up and caught by a gorgeous, swift and brutal left hook. The shot instantly dropped Solis who was flat on his back.
In real time the shot barely looked like it had connected. It had however connected perfectly, sending Solis crashing to the canvas in what would be the final moments of his professional career.
The Mexican would never fight again after this.
As for Uchiyama the Japanese champion defended the bout a further 7 times, being upgraded to "Super" champion in 2015, before losing two bouts to Jezreel Corrales and retiring to open his own gyms.
One of the things we've strangely not featured many of in this series, so far, have been brutal body shots. Thankfully that changes today as we get to share a truly horrific body shot KO scored by a man who was fighting in his second professional bout, but would later go on to become a true legend of the sport. This was nasty, and rewatching it can genuinely make you feel sorry for the recipient, who just know was pissing blood for a week afterwards.
Joichiro Tatsuyoshi (1-0, 1) Vs Chucherd Eausampan (7-2, 4)
When he turned professional in 1989 Joichiro Tatsuyoshi was already a big deal. He was only a teenager but the Osakan press had covered him for a while, he had been a destructive amateur and had even battered future world title challenger Azael Moran in sparring 1987, whilst still an amateur. Following his his sparring session with Moran, which instantly went down in Japanese folklore, the press had followed Tatsuyoshi. He wasn't just a press figure however and his enigmatic charisma and confidence had grabbed the attention of the Japanese fans as well.
When Tatsuyoshi debuted in September 1989 he had made light work of Korean Sang Myun Choi and he returned to the ring in February 1990 to take on Thai foe Chucherd Eausampan, with the bout coming on the under-card of Mike Tyson's bout with Buster Douglas.
On paper this was a massive step up in class for Tatsuyoshi, but one that he was expected to pass with no issues. That wouldn't actually be the case, but more about that a little bit later.
Although Eausampan isn't too well known he would distinguish himself as a genuinely notable journeyman on the Asian scene. Prior to travelling to Japan for this bout he had won the Thai Bantamweight title, before losing first defense against future world champion Daorung Chuwatana. As well as the loss to Daorung his only other set back had come in Indonesia to Wongso Indrajit, with both of those losses being 10 round decision losses.
On paper few expected Tatsuyoshi to lose, but they did expect him to need to go rounds, and have his stamina tested against a tough, but somewhat limited, Thai.
In the first round Tatsuyoshi was surprisingly dropped, being put down by a huge left hook from the Thai. Prior to the knockdown Tatsuyoshi was in control, but the knockdown instantly gave Eausampan a huge boost in confidence. Tatsuyoshi wasn't particularly hurt but was embarrassed.
Coming out for the second round Tatsuyoshi came out with a point to prove, whilst Eausampan looked to strike, thinking the Japanese youngster was a bit chinny. The aggression of the Thai left him taking risks, and left him open. Tatsuyoshi would find a home for his uppercuts to the mid-section and with just over 2 minutes of the second gone he would land the perfect body shot.
The finishing shot was a left uppercut to the body. It left Eausampan rolling on the canvas and Tatsuyoshi walked over his man, waving at him as he did so. It was as if Tatsuyoshi wanted him to get back up and take more punishment, they knew there was no chance of anyone getting back up after the shot.
After this bout Tatsuyoshi would go on to have a legendary career and become the face of Japanese boxing for much of the 1990's. Even now, well after his last fight, he's a figure of admiration and named as an inspiration as to why youngsters take up the sport. The effect of his career in the current Japanese boxing scene really cannot be over-stated and his still a huge influence in the sport.
Sadly for the Thai this began a massive downturn in his career and he would only pick up a single win after this loss. He would prove his toughness, hearing the final bell against the likes of Kiyoshi Hatanaka, Daorung Chuwatana, twice, but punishment did accumulate and he ended up being stopped a number of times later in his career.
In recent years the 4 world title bodies have all be open to massive amounts of criticism for they do things. The willingness of the WBA and WBC to create new titles, the IBF's strict following of their own rules and the WBO's links to Bob Arum and Frank Warren. Way back in the early days of the IBF, when they were struggling to get recognition they put together some awful bouts, that left a lot to the imagination. One of the clearest examples of how bad the IBF's early champions were came at Super Flyweight, where the first champion, and most of his early challenger, were very poor.
Despite the limited ability of some of the fighters in those early title bouts we did manage to get a number of big KO's and today we look at one of those in the latest "Reliving the Finish"
Ju Do Chun (15-1-3, 6) vs Diego De Villa (15-12-6, 3)
So, for those unaware, the first ever IBF Super Flyweight champion was Korean fighter Ju Do Chun, who had won the title in Japan in 1983 when he stopped Ken Kasaugai. After making a good defense against under-rated Thai Prayurasak Muangsurin, in what was a legitimately solid match up, Chun then took on Filipino foe Diego De Villa in the third ever bout for the title.
Chun had made his debut in 1981, scoring a win, but had then struggled to make an impact, and after 4 bouts he was 1-1-2. Following that he had gone 14-0-1 claimed the Korean title and then the IBF title. Given that there were other very Super Flyweights around at the time, such as Rafael Orono, Payao Poontarat and Jiro Watanabe, Chun wasn't really regarded that highly and his title win wasn't against a notable opponent.
Whilst Chun was a champion looking for respect his second challenger, Diego De Villa, was a real unknown challenger from the Philippines. He had won the Philippines national title, but that was about the best you could say or him. His record may not be fully complete but what we do know is he had double digit losses, and had been stopped a number of times before clashing with Chun for the IBF title. There really was nothing on his record to suggest he deserved a shot, or that he had any chance.
In fairness to De Villa no one seemed to tell him he had no chance of winning, or of becoming a world champion. Or if they had he didn't care. He came out fighting from the opening seconds, and pressed the action from the off. He seemed to think that his big chance was jumping on Chun and pressing the action. For around 2 minutes that aggression and come forward fighting worked well for De Viilla. But he then slowed and around 150 seconds in we got the finish.
Almost out of nowhere Chun landed a perfect right hand, landing flush on De Villa as he he came forward. The Filipino hit the canvas face first. He was down and out, lying almost motionless as the referee raised Chun's arm.
This is certainly an obscure KO, a rather under-seen one, but a brutal, vicious one that deserves to be seen over, and over. This was genuine out of the blue, it was a thunder bolt of a shot, a single punch KO and one of those ones where the recipient was completely gone.
After this De La Villa fought twice, losing both bouts.
Chun would go on to make 3 more defenses, all by stoppage against very poor challengers, before he was dethroned in 1985 by Ellyas Pical, in what was another brutal KO. After that loss Chun would never be the same, going 1-2 before ending his career with a 20-4-3 (11) record. He may have been the first IBF Super Flyweight champion but he is certainly not a well remembered one. Thankfully for him he did score this truly brutal KO!
One thing about great fights and great knockouts is that they don't need to feature the best fighters or the biggest names. In fact many of the great knockouts feature fighters who perhaps aren't well known at all. Today we get to talk about one such knockout from 2014, in fact it was one of the fights we mentioned back in 2014 as being among out KO's of the year, and it certainly wasn't a high profile KO but was still a gorgeous knockout.
Kongfah CP Freshmart (7-0, 3) Vs Saengthong Chor Pakdee (0-0)
In one corner was the then rising Kongfah CP Freshmart, also known as Jakkrawut Majoogoen. Kongfah was a genuinely promising young Thai, but was being matched relatively softly. He had won the WBC Youth Light Flyweight title very early in his career and made a defense of that belt, but was still very much taking on novices and local opponents to pad his record and allow him to develop his experience in the ring.
On the other hand Saengthong Chor Pakdee was a total unknown, and was seemingly making his debut. Very little information is available in regards to Saengthong, and this not only appears to be his debut, but also his only professional bout. And there's a good reason for that.
The first two rounds saw Kongfah taking control and like we see with many Thai prospects he looked several levels better than his foe, who was "giving it a go" but really looked over matched. Saenthong was playing his part in getting Kongfah some ring time and forced the hopeful to stay aware of shots coming back.
That was until round 3 when Kongfah put his foot on the gas and began fighting with more intensity. Midway through the round Kongfah landed a gorgeous left uppercut. The shot didn't look like a big one, but Saengthong instant dropped to his knees and then flat on his face.
It was as if the shot just turned the lights off on Saengthong and someone pressed the reset button.
Thankfully Saengthong did sit up under his own power but looked very confused when he came to.
Whilst Saengthong never fought against Kongfah is now 32-1 (16) with his only loss coming by stoppage Daigo Higa, and he is very much on the fringes of a world title fight.
Enjoy one of the most under-looked, and yet visually appealing KO's of recent years.
Today we get to share a spectacular and exciting KO from a Japanese title eliminator in 2017. The bout isn't too well known internationally but the ending is truly spectacular and saw one man book himself a title fight, and crush the hopes of his opponents, as well as crumpling his body and sending him down in truly brutal fashion.
Kazuto Takesako (6-0, 6) vs Shoma Fukumoto (11-1, 9)
After turning professional in 2015, following a decent amateur career, hard hitting Japanese Middleweight Kazuto Takesako was moved aggressively. He began in his career in 6 rounders before fighting in an 8th rounder in just his 4th professional bout. His team's plans seemed obvious. Make a statement and make it quickly, and from his first 6 bouts he fought a combined 12 rounds, only going beyond round 2 twice. His competition wasn't great, but each bout moved him a step closer to bigger things, and he was doing what he was supposed to do, destroying lower level competition quickly.
In the ring Takesako was an aggressive puncher-fighter. He was a bit crude, but so destructive. What he was hitting he was destroying, and he didn't seem to ever rely on the amateur skills or experience he had acquired over the years. Instead it was all about his power, his physical strength and his aggression.
Just over 2 years after his debut Takesako was matched in a Japanese title eliminator with fellow puncher Shoma Fukumoto. On paper this was a big step up for Takesako and a bout that was expected to see the unbeaten man given his first chin check and provide a lot of fire works.
Although less of a notable amateur Shoma Fukumoto had once been tipped as a hopeful on the Japanese domestic scene. He had made his debut in 2012 and was a long, tall, lean boxer-puncher with nasty power. Like Takesako he had turned professional in a 6 rounder, which was a blow out over the experienced Dondon Lapuz, but had been upset in his third professional bout, by the criminally under-rated Arnel Tinampay.
After suffering the loss to Tinampay we had seen Fukumoto go on a roll, scoring 9 wins, 7 by stoppage. Those 9 wins included a notable win over Yasuyuki Akiyama, who later went on to claim the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Middleweight titles. Despite the good run he too hadn't really beaten anyone too impressive, and the bout with Takesako was his toughest on paper.
With fireworks expected we got off to a war very quickly here, but when two men hold dynamite in their hands and they go to war you know it's not going to last long!
After about 70 seconds into the bout the two men began to unload up close in an exciting little back and forth. Sadly for Fukumoto he was caught solidly by a right hand over the top and crashed to the canvas. Falling sideways almost on to his head in a rather unusual manner. As the referee began his count it was clear Fukumoto wasn't going to get up. He wasn't flat out, but he didn't know where he was as he tried to get to his feet.
In real time the finish looks amazing, with Fukumoto crashing hard into the canvas. It looked even better on replay, with Fukumoto essentially breaking over at the hips.
This isn't a well known KO, but it is a great one, and one that lead to Takesako later winning the Japanese Middleweight title, blasting out Hikaru Nishida with a brutal body shot just 4 months later for his first professional title.
Whilst many fighters we feature in this fortnightly series will only be included once, as not many fighters score multiple great knockouts, a small handful will be featured mutliple times. For today's "Reliving the Finish" we think we'll probably be included the most obscure multi-time entrant, but to be fair this was even better than his previous entry, and was far more needed.
Takenori Ohashi (16-5-2, 10) vs Shun Wakabayashi (9-3, 2)
Regular readers of this series will likely remember us featuring Takenori Ohashi and his brutal win over Kosuke Saka for the Japanese Featherweight title. It was a finish that came when Saka mistook the 10 second clacker as the bell to end the round, turned his back and got laid out big time by Ohashi. The finish saw Ohashi claim his biggest win, by fair, as well as picking up the Japanese Featherweight title and ending an impressive run from Saka.
In the eyes of some that knockout for Ohashi proved the old adage of "protect yourself at all times", and it was Saka's huge mistake that Ohashi jumped on. Sadly for Ohashi his title reign was a short one, and he lost the title just 4 months later, when he was battered and beaten up by Taiki Minamoto in his first defense. He had then bounced back with a win over Ruito Saeki before being matched with Shun Wakabayashi.
Before we talk about Wakabayashi we just want to quickly explain who Ohashi was as a fighter. He was crude, slow, unpolished, defensively naive, but boy could he punch, and his record, showing just 10 stoppages in 23 bouts, is not indicative of his power. Instead it was a sign that he struggled to get to his opponents, who were often happy to pick him off and use their speed, or get away and survive. What he hit he hurt, and when he landed clean he tended to see off opponents.
The then 28 year old Wakabayashi had once been 4-3 (1) as a professional before rebuilding with 5 straight wins, including minor upsets over Taichi Ueno and Chinlei Lin, as well as a more notable upset win over Xian Qian Wei. He wasn't much of a name but was in good form and had been impressive, winning not just as home but also picking up two wins on Chinese soil.
Wakabayashi wasn't a puncher. Not by any stretch. He was however a very good boxer-mover, who was light on his feet, used the ring, and boxed well at range. He seemed to have the momentum behind him and the skills needed to take a win over the slower Ohashi. Technically he was likely seen as the under-dog, against a former Japanese champion no less, but plenty would have been picking him against the very slow Ohashi.
Those who picked Wakabayashi would have been very pleased by what they saw in the first 6 rounds as he out sped, out boxed and out manoeuvred Ohashi. The smart movement and simple, but effective, boxing of Wakabayashi seemed to be taking him to a clear decision win. He was making it look easy.
That was until round 7, when we got a sign of just how devastating Ohashi's power really is.
Ohashi managed to land a big right hand over the top, a shot that may have shaken Wakabayashi, though he took it well and didn't show any signs of being hurt. Just moments later however a shorter, stiffer counter right stiffened Wakabayashi's legs. The short right was immediately followed by a brutal left uppercut which instantly turned out the lights on Wakabayashi, who crashed to the canvas.
This was a brutal finish by Ohashi, who had to have been behind before pulling out one of the best KO's we saw in a Japanese ring in 2018.
Whilst maybe not quite as good as Ohashi's brutal free shot finish on Saka this was still something to behold. A brilliant combination and a truly gorgeous finish by a true Japanese domestic level puncher.
For this series one thing we don't want to do is stick to the well known KO's that are in high profile bouts. We'll put them in, of course, but we also want to shine a light on less well known KO's. That's certainly this week in "Reliving the Finish" as we bring you a KO scored by a Japanese Light Heavyweight-come Cruiserweight in the US. This is a truly brilliant KO and came in a very obscure bout that took place almost 30 years ago! Despite it's age it is still a brutal finish and a great way to leave an impression!
Yosuke Nishijima (3-0, 3) vs Derrick Edwards (2-4, 1)
We genuinely don't think many will recognise the name Yosuke Nishijima. That's despite the fact he spent most of his career in the US. His first 3 bouts were in Japan before he made his US debut, incidentally this bout, and would only fight in Japan 8 more times in his career. The rest of his career was spent fighting entirely in the US, where he fought 16 of his 27 career bouts.
The reason Nishijima spend so much time in the US was that there wasn't anything for him in the Orient. His 3 early Japanese opponents were all making their debuts, none of which every fought again and two of which were Americans. The only notable opponents, of any real note, that Nishijima ever fought back in Japan was Jerry "Wimpy" Halstead, who was having his 101st professional bout, and Pakistani legend Hussain Shah, who had been a successful amateur but failed to make a mark on the professional scene. Both of those bouts didn't come until 1996.
Way earlier than those bouts Nishijima had fought Derrick Edwards a US novice in Las Vegas, way back in 1993.
Entering the bout no one really knew much at all about Nishijima, his style or what he was about.
Whilst little was known about Nishijima not not much more was known about about Edwards. He had fought 6 times and had lost 4 of those bouts. He had been born in Jamiaca but had fought entirely in the US and was known to be a limited fighter. He had began his career in 1988, with a win, before suffering two KO losses in 1989 and hanging them up for 3 years before returning to the ring in 1992. Interestingly Edwards had ended a 4 fight losing streak just over a week before facing Nishijima.
Through the first round Edwards had looked the much better boxer. He looked to have all the edges in skill, but Nishijima had the edge in power and rocked Edwards in the first round whilst pressuring throughout, and landed a number of solid, clubbing blows through the round.
Round two had been somewhat similar to the first. Edwards looked to have the edge in skill, thought couldn't get Nishijima's respect, whilst Nishijima walked forward looking for bombs, almost dropping himself at one point. The warning signs were there. Nishijima was only throwing bombs. Sadly for Edwards his stamina was already being an issue, and he was slowing down, and getting caught clean by some thunderous left hooks from the Japanese fighter.
Early in round 3 Nishijima twice gave Edwards a chin check, but Edwards stayed up right. That was until around 2 and a half minutes into the bout when Nishijima landed a a gorgeous left hook dropping Edwards hard. Although Edwards had withstood some other heavy shots through the early portion of the bout none had landed quite as clean as this.
What helped here for Nishijima had been the fact he had caught Edwards as the American was looking to throw his own left hook, essentially catching Edwards turning into the shot.
Edwards was out on contact, though thankfully was aware of where he was relatively quickly.
After this bout Nishijima did go on to claim a few minor titles, and the OPBF Cruisrweight title, but failed to make a mark at the highest levels. He would end his career in 2003 with a 24-2-1 (15) record, before competing in MMA and Kick Boxing.
Edwards on the other hand was pretty much a career loser. He would win just 1 bout after this loss en route to recording a 3-13 (1) record.
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).