When we talk about this sport and it's great history of amazing fights there are certain bouts that every single fight fan should make time to watch. Whilst some of those are obvious big name fights from through out the sports legendary history others are less well known. Sadly bouts like Juan Meza vs Jaime Garza and Ray Mancini Va Arturo Frias are, in recent years at least, massively under-represented when we all talk about amazing bouts.
For this edition of Remarkable Rounds we're looking at another bout that doesn't get the attention it deserves, despite being regarded by many as the 2006 Fight of the Year, and having several rounds from it that could well have been the round of the year. It's from a bout that every, single, boxing fan, needs to see. If you haven't we advise that when you see the names below you google them, watch the fight, then come back and enjoy this remarkable round for a second time!
Mahyar Monshipour (28-2-2, 19) vs Somsak Sithchatchawal (45-1-1-1, 35)
Hosted at the Palais des Sport Marcel Cerdan, in France, the bout in question pit French based Iranian warrior Mahyar Monshipour against Thailand's highly experienced, yet unproven, Somsak Sithchatchawal, in a bout for Monshipour's WBA Super Bantamweight title.
Dubbed the "Little Tyson" Monshipour was well known for his aggression, power, and destructive in ring style. He had won the WBA Super Bantamweight title in 2003, when he stopped Salim Medjkoune, and had ran up 5 defenses, all by stoppage. In fact Monshipour was riding a 9 fight T/KO run into this bout, including wins over former champion Yoddamrong Sithyodthong, two over Medjkoune and one over Japan's Shigeru Nakazato. His exciting performance had seen him becoming a genuine boxing star in France, where he had fought since making his debut in 1996, and he was riding a 22 fight unbeaten run into this bout, going 20-0-2 (15) since his previous defeat back in 1998.
With 47 bouts to his name, or 48 if we include the no contest, it would have been fair to assume Somsak Sithchatchawal was some sort of a name by this point in his career. The reality however was that the 28 year old Thai had faced pretty much nobody of any note by this point. He had the typical "Thai record", padded to the extreme with a lot of bouts that could be regarded as "stay busy" contests. The only real bout of note on his record was a 1998 loss to Ratanachai Sor Vorapin, who had won the WBO Bantamweight title in 2004. He lacked any wins of real note, with the best being against fighters like Michael Domingo, and he had only fought outside of Thailand 3 times. He was, for all intent, someone who "looked" like a good challenger, but under inspection his record didn't stack up to much.
Of course records don't fight, and the fighters do that. Through 9 rounds they had fought their asses off, giving us one of the great Super Bantamweight bouts. Both had dug deep and traded bombs, with Monshipour pressing the action, forcing Sithchatchawal to fight off the back foot through much of the fight. Between them they had tasted leather, a lot, they had traded punches back and forth and they had given us something spectacular. Then we we got round 10.
Like the previous 9 there was little waiting around to get going. Within seconds of the round beginning Sithchatchawal got on the move before unloading a combination, seconds later Monshipour roared back at him with a huge head shot. It was clear both were feeling the pace, but were being driven on by something else. Neither man wanted to have gone through the hellish 9 rounds they'd had to come up short here. About a minute into the round Monshipour had backed the Thai on to the ropes and seemed to have his man gassed out on the ropes. Somehow Sithchatchawal did enough to survive then tried turning the tide before looking close to being spent again. They back and forth continued until the Thai somehow connected with a series of bombs, forcing Monshipour to stumble backwards.
The champion was hurt, he was on the retreat as Sithchatchawal chased him. Just as it looked like the champion was done the challenger's weary legs seemed to give up under him, with the Thai stumbling to his backside. He was instantly up, it was little more than a slip, but a slip at the most dramatic of times. A slip that could have bout Monshipour a few seconds of recovery time. It wasn't enough, however, for Monshipour, as Sithchatchawal continued to apply the heat and finally brought this one to a close.
If you've never seen the bout in full you really need to, but as a stand alone round, this is perfect. It had drama, it had heart, it had intensity and it had two men who were digging so deep into their reserves that neither ever looked the same afterwards. Both men continued their careers, though neither quite looked the same after this sensational bout.
For this week's Remarkable Round we're not looking at a round that had knockdowns, but we are looking at a round that had high level boxing and one of the best sequences from the entire of 2016. Better than just the action, which was brilliant, is the fact this round came in a world title fight, and it ended up being the final round in the career of a true modern day Asian icon of the sport.
The bout really summed up the skill set of one of the men, and the desire of the other, and ended up giving us something memorable. Despite that it was really this round that stood out as being genuinely exceptional and something that was truly highlight worthy. That was despite the fact that the round was a massively intense one, in fact first 2 minutes of it saw little happen, but the final minute or so, boy was that something special!
Hozumi Hasegawa (35-5, 15) vs Hugo Ruiz (36-3, 32)
The bout it's self was a WBC Super Bantamweight world title bout and saw hard hitting Mexican world champion Hugo Ruiz travel over to Japan to defend his title against the popular and often exciting Hozumi Hasegawa.
At the time of this bout Ruiz was seen as a destructive force, a big punching Mexican fighter who was huge at Super Bantamweight. Stading at 5'9" he was a big guy and at just 29 years old he was regarded as still being well within his prime. With 39 fights to his name was a veteran of the ring, but from those 29 bouts he had scored 32 T/KO's. His only losses were an early career one to Enrique Quevedo, a controversial decision to Koki Kameda and a stoppage to Julio Ceja, which had been avenged.
Hasegawa on the other hand was 35 and had looked an old man. He had been stopped in 3 of his last 10, and had been battered in to submission in his previous world title bout at Super Bantamweight, against Kiko Martinez, more than 2 years earlier. Although he had been a great, especially at Bantamweight, he was regarded as a man who was really being advised to retire and was thought of as being shot, especially given how badly he had struggled just 1 bout earlier against Carlos Ruiz. He was also a massive under-dog here, with bookies in the US making him a 3/1 dog.
The first 8 rounds had been highly engaging and relatively competitive. With the WBC's open scoring being in effect in Japan we knew the scores around 30 seconds into round 9, and these were 78-72 to Hasegawa, 76-74, also to Hasegawa, and 76-74 to Ruiz. For those wondering, Hasegawa had been deducted a point in the opening round for a clash of heads, before Ruiz was deducted a point, also for a clash of heads, in round 7, with both deductions coming under the WBC's accidental foul rule.
With the scores known, and with 4 rounds left, the bout was all to play for in the final stages, and both men knew it.
The start of the round, as mentioned previously, wasn't too exciting. Hasegawa was trying to use his speed to line up southpaw left hands, and make the most of Ruiz's slow feet. Ruiz on the other hand was cautious pressing, hoping to line up Hasegawa, who smart footwork to create some space when he needed it. It seemed that Ruiz's size and power were something that Hasegawa had to be wary of and midway through the round Ruiz managed to connect, forcing Hasegawa back and exciting Ruiz who came forward with some new energy. It hurt Hasegawa who bucked and looked to hold before backing on to the ropes.
It was with Hasegawa on the ropes that the round got it's highlight as Ruiz went for the kill and Hasegawa slipped, slid and countered wonderfully with his back against the ropes. It was an amazing back and forth exchange, and one that saw both men letting their hands go, almost none stop for 15, heart in mouth, seconds. This was just amazing to watch, incredibly intense action and it saw the tide change, with Ruiz hurt, backing off and having his face, which was bloodied at the start of the round, looking smashed to pieces. Hasegawa could smell blood and looked for the finish, though was respectful and didn't risk too much against the power of Ruiz.
Immediately as the round ended Ruiz's team waved in the towel, deciding their man was done. Ending the bout, and the round, with their man's health at the forefront of their mind.
Amazing Ruiz had won the round on two of the judges scorecards, despite ending the round with his corner waving the towel.
After bout Hasegawa sat on the title for a few months, before deciding this was the perfect time to end his career, retiring as a 3-weight world champion, having accomplished the target he had set himself years earlier. As for Hugo Ruiz his career continued and in 2019 he was stopped, inside a round, by Gervonta Davis, in what is likely to be his final career bout.
For today's Remarkable Round article we head back to 1986 for a round that was absolutely sensational and left fans with their jaws on the flaws as both men hit the canvas, and the moment of the round shifted back and forth several times. Despite only being a typical 3 minute round the drama and action was more than we typically see in a 12 round fight. This was a sensational round with thrilling back and forth and saw both men looking on the verge of a defeat. This was among the very, very best rounds we've ever seen.
Eiji Okita (13-1-1, 6) vs Shinji Kobayashi (7-2-1, 5)
In on corner was Eiji Okita, not a man we suspect many will be familiar with. At this point in time he was ranked #1 by the JBC and sported a very handsome 13-1-1 (6) record. Aged 23 at this point in his career he was seen a rising force in the in either the Super Featherweight division, or the Lightweight division. The two marks on his record were a loss from 1983, when he was stopped in just his 5th professional bout, and a draw against the then Japanese Lightweight champion Cheyenne Yamamoto. Following that draw, in 1985 he had scored 2 wins coming into this bout, and was knocking on the door of a second Japanese title fight.
In the opposite corner was southpaw slugger Shinji Kobayashi, a man who's Boxrec record is incomplete as we write this. Boxrec list Kobayashi as sporting a 1-1 (1) record but in reality he was 7-2-1 (5) and was ranked #8 by the JBC at 130lbs. He had debuted in 1984 and had lost 2 of his first 5 bouts, sporting a record of 2-2-1 at that point. Despite his faltering start he had began to build his career and had scored 3 successive wins coming into this bout with Okita. He had proven to have solid power, with 5 stoppages in his first 7 wins, and coming in to this bout both of his losses had been by decision.
The winner of this bout was almost certainly going to be getting a Japanese title fight in the near future, and both men knew what was on the line here. That showed through out the first round, but it was really round 2 that saw the bout go through the gears and give us something truly amazing.
The round began with Kobayashi on the offensive and he seemed to be full of confidence before eating a perfect straight right hand on the button. That shot, after around 19 seconds, sent Kobayashi down for the first knockdown of the round. After a roll towards his corner Kobayashi was up, and it seemed more like he was embarrassed than hurt, smiling to the fans from his corner.
Okita seemed to feel that he was the boss after the knockdown and tried to take his man out, landing several solid body shots, but Kobayashi took them well and Okita backed off, returning to his boxing and counter punching. With around 2 minutes of the round gone Kobayashi putting Okita on to the back foot, and sent him on to the ropes. Kobayashi seemed to feel he had his man hurt and rushed in as Kobayashi backed off, before being sent to the canvas in a heap. It was hard to see what Okita landed to score the second knockdown, but Kobayashi didn't complain about the knockdown and looked in more pain this time than earlier on.
With the 3 knockdown rule in effect Okita knew he was on the verge of a victory and went after Kobayashi with huge body shots. To his credit Kobayashi dug deep, fighting back despite his legs looking all over the place. It seemed like Kobayashi was about to go down again, but then, from nowhere, he landed a perfect straight left hand, sending Okita down hard. It was the third knockdown of the round and by far the hardest. Okita, somehow, got back to his feet, beating the count. Kobayashi went in for the finish, but the bell came and saved Okita, who looked wobbly as he went to his corner.
If you've never seen this round, and there's a really good chance you haven't, it is worth sitting down, and enjoying! It is spectacular!
A massive thank you to Seki-chan and his amazing Boxinglib.com for the details regarding Kobayashi's record.
For this weeks “remarkable Round”zoho we go all the way back to 1990 when fans at Korakuen Hall saw a new Japanese Super Bantamweight champion being crowned. The bout came about when Naoto Takahashi vacated the title to begin pursuing bigger and better things, though it seemed that both men carried Takahashi’s mentality into the ring, giving us a forgotten gem from 1990. This bout is not one that many have seen but was a cracker, with round 2, the round we’re sharing, being particularly good.
Manabu Saijo (10-1, 7) vs Susumu Toyosato (9-0, 7)
In one corner was the once beaten southpaw Manabu Saijo who had blitzed many of his early opponents in double quick fashion. From his 11 professional bouts up to this point he had scored 6 stoppages in the first 3 rounds, and seemed to be a whirlwind in the ring, with power in both hands. Despite his destructive power and aggression he wasn’t unbeatable and in 1989 Sung Hwan Moon had beaten him over 8 rounds, though that was at Featherweight and not Saijo’s more natural Super Bantamweight, where he was unbeaten. The 22 year old looked like he had a bright future on the domestic and regional scene and ticked a lot of boxes that fans want to see from a fighter as they come through the ranks. His competition hadn’t been great but he had been doing exactly what was supposed, for the most part, and going through them quickly and destructively.
The other corner housed the unbeaten Susumu Toyosato, a 23 year old who had also left carnage behind him up to this point. From his 9 professional bouts he had racked up 7 stoppages, with 5 coming in the first 4 rounds. Like Saijo his competition up to this point was somewhat limited, and mostly novices, but he had been slicing through them in an exciting, destructive, and thrilling fashion. He had the record of an unbeaten man, the confidence of someone who hadn’t just lost a few months earlier and was the slightly older man, though was certainly not an “old man” by any stretch of the imagination. Notably his longest bout coming into this fight had only gone 6 rounds, something that may well have been on his mind, and helped stir him into going for an early finish, rather than potentially fighting 10 long, draining, punishing rounds.
The fight had started well with an entertaining opening 3 minutes that saw both men set down their stalls as they each found their range and got a read on their opponents. Saiji, sporting the gold trunks, was pressuring from the southpaw stance whilst Toyosato was looking to box and move from the outside. By the end of the round it seemed like Saijo was getting the better of things, but he was certainly not dominating the round.
It is, however, round 2 that we’re focusing on for this “Remarkable Round”, and whilst the first round was good it wasn’t anything like what we saw in the second round.
With Saijo feeling like he had figured out Toyosato in the first round he seemed to look for a faster start here and began to press and pressure his man with more tenacity. About 25 seconds into the round Saijo rocked Toyosato on to the ropes and he then went to town, unloading on Toyosato who was hurt, wobbled and rocked. He reeled from one set of ropes to another. Despite trying to fight back he was hurt a second time as Saijo continued to pile on the pressure.
Somehow Toyosato survived the hellish storm and managed to create space. He backed onto the ropes again but this time he had a plan and caught Saijo as he stormed in. First it was an uppercut, then a huge right hand, sending Saijo down to the canvas. It was a solid knockdown and a huge potential shift in momentum.
Having dropped his man Toyosato began to press and come forward as Saijo looked to recover. Thankfully for Saijo it wasn’t long until he cleared his head, at least enough to fight back, and he went on to rock Toyosato, before being rocked himself as the two men let some heavy leather go.
With the round fading away it seemed the best Saijo could expect was simply to hold his own until the bell. Write the round off due to the knockdown and try to comeback in round 3. With just second left however he scored his own knockdown with a perfect right hook on the chin as the two men each threw massive head shots. Toyosato hit the canvas, though bounced up almost immediately with only seconds of the round left. Before the bout was able to resume the bell came to end the round.
For “Remarkable Rounds” our idea has always been to try and mix well known rounds with some less well known ones. This week we look at one of the more well known rounds in recent memory, and it was a round that left many fans becoming huge fans of both men, and amazingly came in the final round of a world title fight, following 11 other really good rounds.
We also have a personal affinity to the fight as it’s one we helped fans see as we worked alongside CBC in building attention to the bout, which ended up being an instant classic, and one of, if not the, best fights of 2018!
Sho Kimura (17-1-2, 10) Vs Kosei Tanaka (11-0, 7)
For this round we go back to September 2018 when Sho Kimura was defending the WBO Flyweight title against unbeaten sensation Kosei Tanaka. On paper the two men could hardly be more different.
In one corner was the underrated Sho Kimura, who had won the WBO Flyweight title in a massive upset in China in 2017. Prior to winning the world title Kimura was pretty much an unknown fighter, with even those in Japan not really being familiar with him. His title win came in a huge shock against Chinese star Zou Shiming, and almost immediately the Chinese fans took Kimura as one of their own. After winning the title he had made two defenses, stopping Toshiyuki Igarashi and Froilan Saludar, before taking on fast rising countryman Kosei Tanaka.
At this point in his career Tanaka was well regarded by hardcore fans, who had seen him winning world titles at Minimumweight and Light Flyweight in his first 8 bouts. Despite only having 11 bouts coming into this bout with Kimura he had already proven himself with wins against the likes of Ryuji Hara, Julian Yedras, Vic Saludar, Moises Fuentes and Angel Acosta. Although not a huge name across Japan he was a star in the Chubu region, and CBC were looking to help build him into a bigger star.
Kimura had turned professional with no fanfare or buzz. He had lost in his debut and had pretty much rebuilt himself afterwards, doing so without any sort of notable publicity. He had just gritted his teeth, improved, and slowly built a reputation as a tough guy with limitless energy. He had no major amateur background, he had no big backing and no TV behind him. Instead he had to grind for every bit of success. He was more of a fighter than a boxer.
Tanaka on the other hand was a former amateur standout. He had turned professional to notable publicity in Chubu, and his career was documented from when he was an amateur right up to this bout. He had been treated like a special fighter, with CBC in Nagoya backing him from the off. He was, for all intents, Chubu’s answer to Naoya Inoue, and like Inoue he was deemed a sensational young fighter, with the ability to be a true national star down the line. He was all about speed, skills, and his very solid amateur pedigree. He was a boxer, albeit one with a warrior’s mentality and heart.
The first 11 rounds of this bout were brilliant. Both men had shown what was in their locker, both men had asked massive questions of the other and both had brought the best out of the other man. They had given us 11 amazing rounds. Yet the best was yet to come.
From the opening seconds of the round the two men went up close with Kimura unloading a flurry, then Tanaka came back, Kimura wasn’t to be denied and continued pressing and seemed to be bossing the round until Tanaka came back at him, showing what he could do. Then the two men each tried to exchange big right hands before we were again into a war of wills up close. In this, lengthy, back and forth, Kimura seemed to take the early advantage and certainly out threw Tanaka but was backed up by the cleaner, harder shots of the younger man. Kimura then turned the tables his way, again, and began to grind down Tanaka with volume until Tanaka, once again, responded.
By the end of the round both men looked exhausted, swollen, glad it was over and with a new found respect for each other. Fans however were left amazing by what they had seen, and knew they had sat through something truly remarkable.
It was a round that was like a mini bout, with multiple momentum shifts through it, various changes in tempo and action and a genuinely amazing round. It failed to deliver a knockdown. Neither man was stumbled or badly rocked. Yet it was still a round that perfectly combined action, drama and skills. It was a perfect round, and an absolutely amazing way to end the fight. A truly brilliant ending to a sensational fight.
One of the best things about boxing is just how well hidden and even forgotten some things are. Today we have a great example of that in this edition of "Remarkable Rounds" which comes from the early 1980's. The bout is not one that we suspect many fans will have seen but every single fight fans owes it to themselves to watch, and then watch again. It’s less than a full 3 minutes, but it has more drama, action and twists than many 12 round bouts.
Isaya Ikhoni (4-1, 4) vs Hiroshi Osumi (4-4-1, 4)
Before we discuss the round we do need to introduce the two men involved in it. In one corner was Japanese based Kenyan Isaya Ikhoni, then fighting as Yonekura Ikhoni after taking the Yonekura name from the gym he was fighting out of. Prior to turning professional Ikhoni had been a successful amateur, with reportedly over 100 bouts and upon turning professional he looked really good. By just his third bout he was fighting in 10 rounds, and raced out to 4-0 (4) in just over 6 months as a professional. He was then beaten by Hikaru Tomonari and the loss seemed like a real setback for him. To rebuild his confidence he went in with the limited Hiroshi Osumi.
Sporting a 4-4-1 record Osumi wasn’t a particularly good boxer, but he was a solid fighter, with fight changing power. He was crude, but if, and when he landed he could really mess people up. Despite his 4 losses it’s worth noting that 3 of those had come to Cheyenna Yamamoto, a future Japanese national champion and his draw had come to Masaharu Owada, another future Japanese champion. He had only been stopped once in his 4 losses coming into this, and that was against Cheyenne Yamamoto, in 6 rounds in their third bout, and he went in against Ikhoni with the intention of upsetting the talented Kenyan.
From the very first seconds Osumi was pressing forward whilst Ikhoni was looking to box and move. Within 30 seconds we saw the first knockdown and it was a big one as a huge overhand right from Osumi dropped Ikhoni. Ikhoni got to his feet quickly but the Kenyan seemed to be in all sorts of trouble when Osumi waded in and the referee gave Ikhoni a standing count.
The bout could have been stopped after the knockdown, it could have been stopped when the referee decided to give Ikhoni a standing count. It could also have been stopped soon afterwards as Osumi started to ragdoll his man around the ring. Ikhoni there to be taken out and Osumi knew it as he pursued his man. Ikhoni held, spoiled, tried to clear his head, slipped and ducked and did all he could to try and see out the aggressive charge of Osumi. He was then hurt again and decided his best plan was to fight fire with fire. After a huge flurry from Ikhoni we had the third knockdown of the fight, with Osumi hitting the canvas. He tried to get to his feet, and he tried to continue, but he couldn’t and he ended up being counted out after just over 2 minutes of the round.
This was chaos. This was thrilling. This was a remarkable round and this is worth every second of your time to watch. A truly brilliant 1 round shootout.
In 2019 we were lucky enough to catch some wildly entertaining rounds, from all sorts of venues. Among the most interesting venues were the Korean boxing clubs, and despite not looking like they deserved a great fight we seemed to get at least one sensational at every club show. Today we take one of the best rounds, from one of the most entertaining Korean Club shows of 2019, and share in the latest Remarkable Rounds.
Seung Hee Lee (3-6, 1) vs Jin Soo Kim (6-6-1, 3)
We need to go into this one with total brutal honesty. Seung Hee Lee and Jin Soo Kim are not world class fighters in the making. They are, pretty much, never going to go beyond Korean domestic level. They are not good boxers. But when it comes to remarkable rounds the quality of the fighters doesn't matter. We're here for entertainment, excitement, action, and for leather to be thrown like confetti at a wedding! And those things were all delivered here.
The first 2 rounds of the bout has seen Lee, the naturally bigger, heavier and younger man, press the action and get to the smaller, more experienced Kim. Despite the success of Lee Kim was landing plenty of solid shots of his own, typically as counters as Lee rushed in. It was a fun, but messy, bout, through 2.
Then we got to round 3 and oh boy was it clear we were getting something special.
The venue had began to fill with fans, people crowding around the little ring to watch the action that was unfurling in the ring, and they joined just in time for something truly brilliant. From the opening seconds the action was intense with Lee backing Kim up, pushing him on to the ropes and letting shots go. Time and time again Kim's head would snap back, he couldn't create space with his movement, so instead he tried slipping and sliding on the ropes to counter. This gave up some wildly entertaining, crude yet breath taking action.
Kim was left bloodied, but he refused to be beaten and kept landing just enough counters to prevent the referee from getting involved. Lee refused to stop throwing.
Don't let the venue confuse you here. This is a great round of low level, low key, warriors just going at it. Yes it's low level, but man is it ever entertaining!
One of the best things about this sport is the unpredictable nature of it. Larry Merchant one called it the Theatre of the unexpected, and we feel like that is one of the most perfect descriptions of the sport. It's part of what makes today's Remarkable Round so amazing. It seemed be so unpredictable through out, swinging one way until the unthinkable happened. This was a round that needs reliving, it needs to be re-seen and it needs to be enjoyed once again.
Sornpichai Kratingdaenggym (16-0, 13) vs Leo Gamez (32-6-1, 24)
Back in March 1999 Venezuelan great Leo Game claimed the WBA Flyweight title, stopping Hugo Rafael Soto in 3 rounds to become a 3-weight world champion. At that point Gamez was 35, he had score just 1 win in 3 years and was assumed to have been beyond shot. He then noted his first defense in May, stopped Joshue Comacho, before travelling to Thailand to take on the unbeaten Sornpichai Kratingdaenggym.
Although unbeaten Sornpichai Kratingdaenggym was something of an unknown. He was 25 years old and, for the most part, been matched softly. His biggest wins were over Willy Salazar and Luigi Castiglione, both of which were defenses of the lightly regarded WBU title. He was entering into this bout as the home town fighter, but also the man stepping up to face a world class fighter, and the then reigning world champion.
The first 7 rounds were pretty much won, with ease, by the Thai local, but Gamez wasn't a man who was just going to hand his title over and in round 8 he managed to land some solid shots early in the round as his bull like strength paid dividends. Sornpichai responded with some of his own, but the pressure and experience of Gamez was starting to drag the inexperienced Thai into a phone booth war. Sornpichai was happy to battle and went to town with Gamez on the ropes. To his credit Gamez fought back well, picked his shots and then turned the tables managing to put Sornpichai in trouble.
With Sornpichai stumbling Gamez saw his chance, going for the kill, until he ate a huge left hand that dropped the champion flat on to his back.
Gamez, some how beat the count, but the referee was unwilling to let the veteran continue, sending the local fans into fits of joyous rapture.
This is a round that perfectly encompasses why we love boxing. It was dramatic, exciting, and like something taken from a Rocky movie. A special round, with a sensational finish, great back and forth and something that needs to be seen!
For this series, focusing on Remarkable Rounds, one of the key things we want to focus on is drama, action, intensity and what the 3 minutes means. As a result a lot of the bouts we're going to cover aren't from high profile bouts, but are great rounds that give us something amazing during one of the rounds. With that in mind we want to bring you one of the most thrilling, action packed, exciting rounds from 2019. This has all the marks of a must watch round, even if it did come in a low key 4 rounder.
Ryugo Ushijima (2-0, 1) vs Shota Ogasawara (3-1, 2)
The unbeaten Ryugo Ushijima was a 17 year old who had made his debut in July 2018 with a razor thin win over Kenta Nakano. He had then picked up an early blow out win in late 2018 and was looking to extend his perfect winning run in February 2019 when he took on Shota Ogasawara.
At the time of this fight Ogasawara was 23, he had debuted in 2016 and had won his first 2 bouts before losing a decision to Mirai Imagawa in 2017. Following his first loss he took almost 17 months out of the ring before resurfacing in late 2018, picking up a win. After that win he moved up from Bantamweight to Featherweight to face Ushijima.
Stood at 5'10" Ushijima was a a 17 year old kid, with a long and rangy frame, that still looked immature, and like he needed time to full mature. Despite still looking like a child he managed the weight well and he looked a tall, rangy fighter who knew how to use his physical assets well, with good movement and a decent jab.
In the first round we saw Ushijima use his speed and jab brilliantly to keep control of the bout and easily take the round. That was before we got to round 2, which is where we join the fight for this Remarkable Round.
Ushijima tried to replicate the success he had in the opening round, using his height and jab to keep Ogasawara and early on it worked. He even let some more spiteful stuff go whilst looking in complete control. That was until the middle of the round, when Ogasawara caught Ushijima clean with a left hook, dropping the teenager. With his man hurt Ogasawara went on the hunt, chasing Ushijima, and unloading on his man who was forced to hold and survive.
for pretty much a full 70 seconds Ogasawara tried to finish off Ushijima, who hold, spoiled, and looked to survive the impending storm. That was until we had 12 seconds left in the round and Ushijima landed a short right hand. The shot dropped Ogasawara who looked shocked, confused and lost whilst trying to beat the count. With just seconds of the round left the referee waved off the bout, likely wondering where that thunderbolt came from.
Whilst not the most exciting rounds in terms of intensity and out put, and it certainly does have some holding and spoiling, few can doubt the drama of this one. Ogasawara looked to be on the verge of a finish, before getting finished himself. It was dramatic, it was exciting and it was a fantastic finish. A really brilliant round!
Once again we need to apologise for not having a full round to share in this edition of "Remarkable Rounds", but it's with good reason. The reason being that this is an action packed round that we doubt many have seen! It was short, but it was great and we had some tremendous back and forth before the ending came! The round had bombs from both men, and clean shots taken until one of the fighters was simply done.
Shuichi Isogami (19-1-2, 13) vs Hitoshi Ishigaki (6-0, 5)
For this round we head back to the summer of 1979 for a bout at Korakuen Hall between two men we don't expect many fans to be aware of. Despite that they managed to provide something a little bit special.
Of the two men we suspect Shuichi Isogami is the more well known. Later in his career he managed to win the Japanese Bantamweight title, as well as fight for both the WBA and OPBF titles, losing to Jorge Lujan in a 1980 world title tilt. Coming in to this he was experienced on the Japanese domestic scene but lacked in terms of notable wins, with his best being against the likes of Go Mifune, Hurricane Teru, Yung Shik Kim and Yu Kasahara.
Hitoshi Ishigaki was a novice at this point in his career and was taking a big step up. This was supposed to be his big step towards a Japanese title fight, a win here was supposed to advance him to that position. He had looked like a wrecking ball since starting his career but had there was a lot of questions over him coming into this bout.
We won't go over what happened in the first 8 rounds, but instead, we'll plonk you at the start of round 9.
From the opening seconds of the round Isogami was pressing but Ishigaki wasn't going to be giving up like that and after around 30 seconds he turned the tide, at least temporarily, as the two men took it in turns to be the boss. Isogami would then appear to take over, but was caught by bombs as Ishigaki fought back off the ropes. And then a huge left hook, from Isogami seemed to leave Ishigaki out on his feet, where he took another couple of clean shots.
It was there that the referee stepped in. He ended the round early, but he had no choice. Ishigaki was done.
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).