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.
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).