Back in October 8th at Korakuen Hall fight fans saw OPBF super Bantamweight champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (22-2-2, 15) make his 4th defense of the Oriental title, as he over-came Shingo Kawamura (16-6-4, 8). Going in the bout looked like a mismatch, in favour of the champion, and in reality it went pretty much as expected with Teshigawara breaking down Kawamura and stopping him with out too many issues.
With that bout now done and televised, with it being shown this past Sunday, we felt the bout was a great one to feature in our Take Aways series.
1-Teshigawara is an entertainer
One of the complaints we see aimed at Japanese fighters from the west is that the fighters don't have much personality. Whilst that's certainly not true it something that is an issue given the language barrier between Japanese fighters and a Western audience. It seems however that Hiroaki Teshigawara wants to make sure everyone knows he's fun, and his ring walk and introduction here was genius. Not only was he dancing and chilling in his ring walk and getting the crowd onside before he even got in the ring but he kept the entertainment coming with flips in the ring. This guy is oozing charisma, charm and personality. He's doing a lot to stand out, catch the eye and entertain. He gets the fact that he needs to make fans care and an introduction like he had certainly did that.
2-Kawamura looked beaten before a punch was thrown
After Teshigawara's confident, relaxed, party like entrance we then saw Shingo Kawamura and it instantly looked like he was a beaten man. He looked nervous, worried and like he had been mentally beaten. To his credit he did put up something of an effort, but it took a long time for him to get going, and we do wonder how much of that was due to being beaten before the first bell. He fought like a man who was scared and worried and that never really changed.
3-Teshigawara is a nightmare to fight
Those who have followed Teshigawara in recent years will be fully aware of this, but he's a really awkward fighter. He has a unique rhythm, he seems to be there to hit but somehow rarely gets tagged clean, he throws from unusual angles and at times he looks clumsy yet leaves few opportunities to counter. He's looks like a genuine horror to share the ring with and that's before we even talk about his surprising hand speed, alarming accuracy, and solid, hurtful power. Whether his style will have success at the top level is unclear, but at the Oriental level there doesn't appear to be many capable of holding their own with him.
4-Kawamura has had enough chances
In summer 2018 Shingo Kawamura was 16-3-1, and probably deserved a shot, which he got against Satoshi Shimizu. Sadly however he is now 0-3-3 in his last 6, has been stopped in all 3 of those losses, has taken a lot of punishment and really needs to be kept away from meaningful fights. At 30 he's certainly not at the end of his career, but his recent form has been dreadful and he doesn't deserve another any time soon. He's not a bad fighter, per se, but he's certainly not someone deserving of another title fight, or meaningful fight, any time soon. If we're being honest we suspect he, and the Mitsuki Gym, also realise this.
5-We've not seen the best from Teshigawara
The talented Teshigawara might be a nightmare to fight but we dare say we've not seen the best of him yet. In fact at times it seemed like he was fighting well within himself here and almost playing with Kawamura at times. It wasn't until round 6 that we really saw Teshigawara go through the gears, and when he did that he dropped Kawamura and forced a stoppage soon afterwards. We can't help but feel he needs to take on some stiffer competition for us to really know how good he is. He's not having to fight at 100%, and it's a shame as we would love to see what Teshigawara is like when he's being pushed a bit more.
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).