Last time out in this series we looked at a body shot KO, this week we are back to head shots, facing planting victims and a genuine hidden gem of a KO from Japan that deserves a lot more people seeing it than we thing have already witnessed it. In the grand scheme of things is a pretty obscure KO but a brutal one all the same, and surprisingly it came in a rematch of a bout between two men who had gone 10 rounds with each other just over a year earlier.
Satoru Suzuki (12-3, 7) vs Mitsuharu Yamamoto (12-7-4, 5) II
In April 2000 Satoru Suzuki took a 10 round decision win over Mitsuharu Yamamoto in what was, at the time, a credible step up in class for Suzuki.
Just 4 months after that win Suzuki won the Japanese Middleweight title, stopping Naotaka Hozumi in 8 rounds, and made his first defense in November 2000, blowing out Ikuo Yamanaka. He was taken the distance in his second defense, winning a close and competitive bout against Minoru Horiuchi, before rematch Yamamaoto in June 2001.
Whilst Suzuki had gone from strength to strength, winning the Japanese title and making a couple of defenses, Yamamoto had struggled. He had beaten former OPBF title challenger Sung Chun Lee, but also been stopped by former Suzuki foe Naotaka Hozumi, who stopped him in 7. He seemed to be coming to the end of his career, and despite not having a lot of fights he had taken a lot of punishment.
For Yamamoto this was likely to be his last chance. He had already come up short in bouts for Japanese and OPBF titles and was seemingly only getting a shot on the back of going 12 with Suzuki in their first bout. He certainly hadn't done anything since to earn a crack. For Suzuki this was a chance to stop one of the few men who had managed to last 10 rounds with him.
The first round was a rather good one, given that most opening rounds are a bit tame. It felt more like round 11 in their rivalry than round 1 of fight #2. It wasn't all action packed but there was some intense moments with both men letting heavy shots go. To his credit Yamamoto was the one coming forward, proving himself to be a real handful, despite his poor recent form. Sadly for Yamamoto however his effort didn't yield much in terms of results.
In round 2 we again saw the challenger giving things a go, and mid way through the rounds he had Suzuki near the ropes. He seemed to think he had a chance of getting to the champion, but was instead caught by a right hand, and soon afterwards a left, which left him wobbling. Suzuki sensed a finish was there and let loose with a salvo of head shots. Yamamoto managed to create some space before an uppercut caught him, and then a dynamite right hand. The right hand sent Yamamoto crashing to the canvas. He took a few seconds to before moving, only to look totally lost as he regained consciousness but had no idea where he was.
This is one of the many KO's that look amazing in real time and is well worth checking out the slow mo for as well, showing just how clean the finishing shot was.
Sadly for Yamamoto this would be his final professional bout. As for Suzuki he would go on to hold the Japanese Middleweight title until 2003, and then reclaim it in 2005. When he hung up the gloves Suzuki had amassed an stellar 23-6 (15) record and been one of the top Japanese Middleweights from 2000 to 2005.
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).