There was a lot of brilliant bouts over the last week or so, helped in part by G+ essentially showing two different shows over the space of 4 days. There was several good bouts on those shows, with the stand out, for us, being the Light Flyweight war between Toshiki Kawamitsu (5-0, 2) and Kenshi Noda (2-1, 2). The bout, won by Kawamitsu, was a genuine barn burner that over-delivered and gave us something to remember.
With that said we have got some take aways from the bout that are worth sharing.
1-This was incredible!
As is becoming common place in this series we start with an obvious one. This was awesome! Genuinely this was a great bout between two men who were pretty well matched in terms of ability and hunger, they both felt they were the better fighter, they had the tools to deal with the other and they wanted to prove they were the better fighter. We saw the two men show their boxing ability, their fighting ability, their heart, desire, and willingness to go to the trenches. This really was something very, very special and truly brilliant to watch. If you've not seen it we really would advise checking it out. Sensational bout.
2-Kawamitsu hits harder than his record suggested
Prior to the bout we had seen a bit of both men and, being honest, Toshiki Kawamitsu seemed very, very light punching. This wasn't just a case of him looking like a powderpuff puncher in the fights we had seen but his record as well. He had essentially gone the 4 round distance in his first 3 bouts and had struggled to get a stoppage win, in round 6, against Yuni Takada last November. He looked very, very light punching. Then he showed what he could do here, and in round 3 he had Noda in all sorts of problems. He's never going to be a 1-punch KO artist, but he certainly has some pop, which when added to his work rate and consistency makes him a very tough man to survive with.
3-The referee really tried to help Noda out
In round 3 Kenshi Noda went down a number of times, with several looking legitimate. It wasn't until it was becoming too obvious that the referee finally gave Noda a count late in the round, incidentally we actually though that one was a push. Not only was the referee not giving Noda a count, as he should, but he was also letting Noda hold and continue on when he looked spent. Sadly by letting Noda take excess punishment he may have done the youngster more harm than good. Thankfully the beating didn't go on for rounds, but did go on longer than it needed to.
4-Noda wasn't helped by poor competition
Prior to this bout Kenshi Noda had 3 minutes and 22 seconds of professional in ring time. He had blitzed two foreign opponents, neither of which were suitable for him, and he had really not had the ring time to develop and improve. They had both lost their previous bout, by stoppage, and were blown out by Noda. He had never had his stamina questioned, or his chin, or his mental attitude. He had destroyed his first 2 opponents with no issue and may well have come into this one expecting to do something similar. Sadly for him it seemed very much like he had gone from barrel scraping level of opposition to being in with a very, very good young domestic fighter. Unfortunately for Noda we don't think anyone expected Kawamitsu to be as good as he was.
5-Kawamitsu's tougher tests showed
We've just mentioned Noda's poor competition but it's worth noting that Kawamitsu's competition in the professional ranks had been the opposite. He had been in with hungry, young fellow domestic fighters. All 4 of his opponents prior to facing Noda had come in to the bout on the back of a win, they all wanted to move their career forward, and they all wanted to try and pick up a victory. They resulted in Kawamitsu getting rounds under his belt, knowing what his stamina was like, knowing how to get through some adversity, and his win over Yuni Takada really was a great test. He believed in himself, he knew what it was like to fight when things got tough, and it really showed here.
Bonus! - Noda shouldn't be written off
This was a serious learning experience for both men, and we would go as far as to say neither man should be written off here. If Noda can take positivies from this, and remain hungry to be a fighter then there is no reason, at all, for him to see this as the end. He still has a very bright future ahead of him if he wants to continue in the sport, and he was just unlukcy to come up against someone who was really, really good. Do not write the Teiken younster off here.
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).