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!
The month of November has been a strange one in many ways, with some really awesome fights, some disappointments, and some real up and down moments through out boxing. The brilliant WBSS final was certainly one of the highlights of the year but bouts falling through was an issue at times.
Thankfully we do have something that is consistent with boxing, and that is that Boxing Raise will show some absolutely amazing fights. This month that was once again true, with some absolutely tremendous action being made available on the Japanese service, that once again made a great case as being the best value service for any boxing fan.
As with our previous "Best of Boxing Raise" article all the fights featured here can be accessed by subscribers by logging into Boxing Raise and adding the "movie/####" to "https://boxingraise.com/".
Youngsters go to war - Ryugo Ushijima (3-0-2, 2) vs Taison Mukaiyama (4-2, 3) [movie/7017/]
Earlier in 2019 we had our attention grabbed by Ryugo Ushijima, thanks to a thrilling contest with Shota Ogasawara. On Boxing Raise this month Ushijima faces off with Taison Mukaiyama and this was some that possibly exceeded the Ogasawara bout, with the two men really smashing lumps out of each other, in a bout that had an opening round knockdown, and a lot wild action. This wasn't as polished as some of the other bouts from through the month but was genuinely great fun to watch.
Bantamweight Shootout - Kazuki Nakajima (7-0, 6) vs Jin Minamide (4-0, 3) [movie/7019/]
The God's Left Bantamweight tournament is a genuinely brilliant idea, and although it hasn't managed to quite deliver as hoped it's still given us some great action. That was certainly seen in the semi-final bout between Kazuki Nakajima and Jin Minamide. This wasn't a drawn out war, we do have one of those coming up, but was a thrilling shoot out. It took a few moments for the fighters to light the touch paper, but as soon as that happened you knew the end was night, but weren't sure who would land a bomb first. Genuinely brilliant and hugely entertaining, little battle here!
Extreme Eliminatorion - Taiki Minamoto (16-5-1, 13) vs Takuya Watanabe (36-9-1, 21) [movie/7020/]
Whils the WBSS Bantamweight final was, easily, the best bout of the month we did see some other thrillers during the month. One of best of the rest was an 8 round war in a Japanese Super Featherweight title eliminator between Taiki Minamoto and Takuya Watanabe. This looked great on paper yet massively over-delivered and gave us one of the best fighters we've seen in Japan this year. It pit Watanabe's toughness and strong yet basic boxing against Minamoto's explosive boxing, and delivered what was an absolute barn burner, and a real must watch for any fan who had 40 minutes of time to enjoy themselves. This was amazing and got better and better as the fight went on and both men began to show the damage of war.
OH DAMN! - Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-4-2, 19) vs Jae Woo Lee (6-2, 5) [movie/7045/]
We've already mentioned a shoot out and a war, but when Tsuyoshi Tameda took on Jae Woo Lee in the Hajime No Ippo 30th anniversary tournament we ended up with something of a hybrid. This was was an up close war, fought as if both men wanted to have a shoot out. Both fighters unloaded bombs from the early going, setting their feet and firing off huge power shots, and trying to take each other out. If you like fights fought on the inside, with machimso being the driving force you'll love this. Absolutely amazing fight, and one that will have you engrossed from the first moment to the last.
Knockdowns traded in thriller! - Shingo Kusano (11-8-1, 4) vs Qiang Ma (5-1-2, 3) [movie/7047/]
On paper the Hajime No Ippo 30th anniversary tournament looked interesting with out being amazing. That thanking was instantly blown out of the water by he Tameda Vs Lee fight and just moments later we were given another fight as Shingo Kusano and Qiang Ma traded knockdowns in a brilliant war. This wasn't quite as intense as the Tameda Vs Lee bout but was another thriller, with bombs galore, both men being hurt and despite the lower intensity it was a more dramatic bout. Despite the records of the two fighters these two delivered something very special.
Whilst we certainly have less great action on Boxing Raise in November than in October, what we did get was some of the months very best fights from anywhere in world boxing. This month we were lucky to get such quality, even if the quantity was lacking!
(Image courtesy of Boxing Raise and Boxmob.jp)
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).