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.
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).