For the latest in our "Reliving the Finish" series we're looking at a relatively obscure 1990 bout for the Japanese Featherweight title. Whilst the bout isn't too well known in the west it is one of the biggest upsets ever on the Japanese domestic scene, and is true proof that a fighter's record really doesn't tell how good they can be or how dangerous they can be. In fact going in the man scoring the finish had just 1 KO in 9 professional bouts, but ended with on of the most surprising KO's of the year.
Toshikazu Sono (5-4, 1) vs Seiji Asakawa (16-1-1, 12)
Going into the bout the Japanese Featherweight champion was Seiji Asakawa, a man who looked like he was heading on to bigger and better things. He had recorded 5 title defenses, and looked like a man with serious power, a lot of potential and a very bright future. He was returning to Kobe, where he was from, to defend the title in what was supposed to be a tune up for a potential world title fight in 1991.
Toshikazu Sono on the other hand was a fighter going no where. He had lost his last bout, less than 2 months earlier, and was 1-3 in his last 4. He was getting his first title fight, but was expected to be easy for Asakawa to deal with.
After 3 fairly competitive rounds, that Asakawa was winning but was being forced to work in, it seemed the champion had managed to loosen up and was going to start going through the gears and would eventually break down Sono.
With more than 2 minutes gone in round 4 Asakawa found himself backed onto the ropes, and Sono threw a big looping right, then a monstrous left hook that landed hard on Asakawa's jaw. The left hand dropped the champion, hard. To his credit Asakawa got to his knees but had no idea where he was when the referee counted 10.
The knockout saw the title change hands, but wasn't the birth of a new star, as Sono retired following the win, retiring with a bizarre 6-4 (2) record. Asakawa on the other hand would later fight in 2 world title bouts, but would suffer stoppage losses in both of those bouts.
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).