Some of the best looking stoppages a fighter will ever score can come very early in their career, in otherwise low profile, and sometimes even relatively meaningless bouts. Today we roll back the clock to 2005 for a tremendous stoppage win by a man who would later go on to become a favourite of all hardcore fans. The bout wasn't supposed to be a competitive one, but the finish was still something a bit sensational.
Akira Yaegashi (0-0) vs Tomoyoshi Nakayama (8-8-1, 1)
In one corner was a then debuting 22 year old Akira Yaegashi, who had turned professional following a solid amateur career. He had signed with the Ohashi Gym and was expected to go on to notable success guided by former world champion Hideyuki Ohashi. As we all know Yaegashi's career did indeed go the way those in Japan expected, in fact Yaegashi probably had a better career than many anticipated, as he claimed world titles in 3 weight classes and became an international favourite of the dedicated fight fans.
In the opposite corner was Tomoyoshi Nakayama, who had amassed an 8-8-1 (1) record but had never been stopped and had given the likes of Takashi Kunishge a tough test. He was supposed to lose to Yaegashi, of course he was, but what few would have expected was for him to be blown away. After all he had never been stopped and Yaegashi, the debutant, was going to get some rounds under his belt and get some professional experience. Right?
What ended up happening was what few, except maybe those in Yaegashi's camp, had expected. Yaegashi going through Nakayama like a knife through warm butter. He didn't just make it look easy but also stylish.
With a little over a minute of the round gone Yaegashi landed a great right hand to the body and immediately followed up with a left hook up top. Originally it seemed like Nakayama was going to stay standing but a few moments later he dropped, in what was a perfect example of a slightly delayed reaction. Luckily for Nakayama he went down when he did as it seemed very clear that Yaegashi knew he had his man hurt.
Although Yaegashi went on to do great things, and become a legitimate fan favourite, he didn't score many better stoppages than this one. A perfect way to finish his debut.
Whilst not a clean KO the combination to close the show here was truly wonderful.
Following this bout Nakayama would suffer two more stoppages, but neither were blow outs as he lasted 6 rounds with Keita Omi, 7 months later, and then lost in 7 rounds to Flyweight Takuya Yamada, before hanging them up with a 10-12-1 (2) record.
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).