Way back on December 10th fight fans at Korakuen Hall were able to see the touted Rentaro Kimura (3-0, 3) score his latest win as he over-came domestic foe Thunder Teruya (7-8-1, 4). A few days later the bout was then televised on Fuji TV giving us the chance to watch the youngster from the Suruga Boys Gym show what he could do. Now, around 3 weeks later, we're going to take a look back over the bout as we return to our "Five Take Away" series.
1-Fuji TV are going in big on Kimura
Whilst some fans might think it's a pretty usual thing to see Japanese TV channels tend not to go in big on someone quickly. Even the top prospects. There are, exceptions to this rule, but typically fighters in Japan aren't given the big TV build up, the star treatment and the pre-fight video packages. Kimura however was given that honour ahead of this bout, and it's clear that Fuji TV, in association with Misako Gym and the Suruga Boys gym, see Kimura as a star of the future. The well mannered, good looking, talented youngster ticks a lot of boxes, and we expect this special treatment to continue for Kimura going forward.
2-Teruya was there to win!
Sometimes we see fighters with lesser records just coming to the ring knowing they are their to take a beating and have no self belief of their own. Teruya however wasn't there to play second fiddle. He wanted to win and fought like a man who believed he could win. He was walking through some huge shots from Kimura, looking counter, draw mistakes and fire off his own shots. The first round wasn't a good one for him, but rounds 2 and 3 saw him having some genuine success and he even seemed to wobble Kimura at one point. This sort of a performance from Teruya is what we tend to see in Japan from "losers" and do a lot more for the prospects than some of the stitch up mismatches we see padding records in other corners of the world.
3-Kimura's body punching is brutal
Going forward we expect to see more and more people talking about this, but the body punching of Rentaro Kimura is absolutely brutal. He's not just a powerful body puncher, but he throws there with both hands, finds some really nice holes to hit and hits quick and cleanly. He finished this one with a body shot and we suspect he'll score a lot more stoppages with body shots going forward. They are an excellent part of his arsenal, and he throws their with natural fluidity. It really is a joy to see him unloading with them as he did, particularly well, in round 4.
4-Kimura's defense needs some work
We've given credit to Teruya for trying to win, but we do also need to make it clear that he had some of his success due to flaws that Kimura has. Kimura is an exceptional offensive fighter, and his variety is brilliant, as is his ability to mix up his power and speed on shots. Offensively he seems to have the tools to go a long way. Great fighters however have more than just offensive skills, and there are holes defensively that Kimura has that need sorting. He drops his hands too much for our liking and seems to still be wanting to entertain a little bit too much. That's fine at this level, as long as he gets away with it, but when he steps up a level he will need to sharpen up defensively and not get caught by some of the shots he got caught with here. We will, however, admit we are looking at flaws, and in reality it was, only, his third fight.
On this note, we also need to credit him as well. The two moments where he did look in some trouble he remained composed and held quickly, not something we see too often from Japanese fighters.
5-Nobuhiro Matsubara was solid
One thing we've wanted to do with this series was not just talk about the fighters but the others things about a fight. With that in mind it's only fair to talk about Nobuhiro Matsubara, the referee. He's not one who gets too much attention, but here he was really solid. He was clear in calling a slip in round 1, he split them quickly when they got tangled in in a clinch, he always had a good view of the the two men and was always close to them, without being an obstruction for viewers. He's rarely had title fights, of any kind during his career, but hopefully that changes soon as he really does seem a very calm pair of hands.
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).