November 2020 will not go down as one of the best months in the history of Boxing Raise, despite the service having a lot of shows on it during the month. It wasn't a bad month, by any stretch, but it was one where quantity very much out did quality. It was also one where several very promising bouts were derailed late on and we lost two of the more interesting bouts for the month on the week of the fights.
Despite the service lacking in terms of depth there was more than enough good fights to get your teeth into and for those who missed them we've got you covered in Best of Boxing Raise November 2020.
As with our previous "Best of Boxing Raise" article all the fights featured here can be accessed by subscribers by logging into Boxing Raise and adding the "movie/####" to "https://boxingraise.com/".
The Hidden Gem - Kenta Kamimura (0-0) vs Yuto Kagata (0-0) [/movie/8899/]
The hidden gem of the month came from the Midori promoted GREEN Dream 12 and boy what an unexpected gem this was. It featured debutants Kenta Kamimura and Yuto Kagata who managed to get through a rather dramatic, exciting and thrilling 4 rounder. The quality of the action wasn't great, but the drama was, with both men touching the canvas, knockdowns in 3 different rounds and a nasty cut this is worth a watch. This isn't going to win a place on the Fight of the Year shortlist, not even ours, but it is a fun little tear up!
The rising Contender - Masanori Rikiishi (8-1, 4) vs Soreike Taichi (7-3, 5) [/movie/8889/]
The excellent Masanori Rikiishi dropped shows what he could do when he took on Soreike Taichi, also on the Midori show. This not a competitive bout, and is more a showcase of a real natural talent, but it is still worth watching and could be the last we see of Rikiishi for a while as he really banged up his hand during the fight and will need time to let it heal and recover.
The West Rookie War - Taichi Sugimoto (4-0-1, 1) v Yudai Yoneda (3-1, 1) [/movie/8916/]
So we've had a up and down tear up and a show case in the first two bouts and now we get a war as Taichi Sugimoto and Yudai Yoneda beat 7 bells out of each other in a West Japan Rookie of the Year Final bout. This started slowly but as the rounds went on got more and more hotly contested with rounds 3 and 4 being absolute brilliant as the two men fought more on the inside and let their shots fly. Again a long way from a Fight of the Year contender, but a damn good fight with skills, and heart on show from both.
The Best of the Month - Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-2, 7) v Shuma Nakazato (10-1-2, 7) [/movie/9044/]
Easily the best bout this month on Boxing Raise was the highly anticipated clash between Yoshimitsu Kimura and Shuma Nakazato, which was expected to be great but out did all expectations. This was high level stuff through out, with great boxing early on, drama after the first knockdown, a war taking place in the second half of the fight and a gritty fight back in the dying stages. There is no other bout on Boxing Raise this month that was as good as this and it really deserves your time to fully enjoy. This was seen as a 50/50 bout going in and it ended up living up to those expectations in what was, genuinely, a fantastic fight which deserves a place on any top 10 list of fights for the entire of November, not just this Boxing Raise list.
Zombie takes on determined youngster - Ryoichi Tamura (13-5-1, 7) Vs Ryu Oba (5-4, 3) [movie/9041/]
People who have followed us over the years we know we love the high tempo aggressive fighters who come forward and throw insane amounts of leather. With that in mind we are massive fans of Ryoichi Tamura and his all out aggressive mentality. That was on show here against Ryu Oba who impressed himself by gutting out some intense pressure, fighting back and playing his part in a thoroughly amazing 5 rounder. If you like your boxing to be violent, high tempo, big punches and exchanges this is the one for you. The skill level might not have been the highest but the effort and energy were off the charts. Brilliant fight.
OPBF title bout - Rikki Naito (22-2, 7) vs Yusuke Konno (16-4, 9) [movie/9045/]
The biggest single bout on Boxing Raise during November was it's only title bout, and that was an OPBF Light Welterweight clash between Rikki Naito and Yusuke Konno. This bout didn't live up to our expectations, and we had expected a longer, tougher bout with the final rounds being a real test, but was still a solid contest with rounds 2 and 6 being absolute joys to watch. This was a nice dynamic between the speed, skills and movement of Naito and the power, strength and size of Konno, which worked well to give an entertaining bout. For those who like the cat and mouse fights this was great, and we really did get skills, style and guts from both men.
Novices collide in shoot out - Riku Yamashita (2-0-1, 1) vs Taiga Nagao (2-2-1, 1) [/movie/9059/]
Despite all the recent complaints about the Jake Paul Vs Nate Robinson bout, and how it was disrespectful and dangerous, we're not totally sure how but whatever, we absolutely love novice bouts. We opened this with one and now we have another to close this off. This time it was Riku Yamashita and Taiga Nagao who put on a show of inside fighting. From the opening round these two traded shots at will, with big shots coming on the inside. The bout then went from action to drama in round 2 with both men going down in a brilliantly thrilling round. If you need something short, snappy and exciting this is the perfect little war to entertain you for a few minutes. Fantastic stuff!
On we had a genuine treat as Yoshimitsu Kimura (12-2-1, 7) and Shuma Nakazato (10-1-3, 7) faced off in an excellent bout shown live on Boxing Raise. The bout had high expectations, with both 24 year old being highly regarded by those in Japan, and the delivered a compelling 8 round story, with momentum shifts both ways and really engaging action. We had pure boxing from both, we had both men dropped and hurt, and real determination, desire and hunger from both. The bout was a perfect example of what happens when you make 50-50 bouts, and unsurprisingly it was a close contest throughout and both men deserved to take something from it. In the end it was a draw that felt like a draw. This wasn't the judges getting it wrong, it was what the men deserved.
Having watched the bout live and then gone back and re-watched we've decided to share our take aways from the bout.
1-Nakazato seemed to be the better boxer
Although the bout was close there was very clear success for the two men in very different ways. When it came to pure boxing it seemed like Nakazato was the better man. His body shots, and composure seemed to be more notable than Kimura's and Kimura seemed to be afraid of what Nakazato has in his arsenal. This allowed Nakazato to ease himself into the bout more and he seemed to look more comfortable during the quieter moments. It wasn't a massive thing, but it was certainly something that made a difference early on, and saw him establish himself before Kimura.
2-Kimura seemed the better fighter
Whilst Nakazato was the better boxer, it seemed like Kimura was the better fighter, and this was particularly notable later in the bout, when he picked up the pace and began to grind Nakazato. It seemed by then he had to put his foot on the gas, big time, and try to change the momentum of the fight. This shouldn't have been a big surprise, given he had so much success against Hironori Mishiro when he turned that into a war, but it makes you think that maybe he left it too late. Admittedly after being dropped, hard, in the first half of the bout we can understand him being apprehensive of being caught again, but in a rematch we do wonder if we see him step it up earlier on.
3-This was high level entertainment
Although the bout was only over 8 rounders, and was between men who had never won titles, this was still really high level stuff, from both men. The boxing early on with cerebral from both, both men looking to draw mistakes, counter, and fight behind their jabs. They weren't negative, and they were rarely stood far apart, but it was still super high level boxing. As the bout went on the shackles came off and we then went into a fight, but again this was high level and smart stuff, with intelligent pressure, good shot selection and good countering from both men. When you add in the two knockdowns and the competitive nature of the bout we really did have a bit of everything and we couldn't have asked for much more entertainment than we got here. If fans haven't seen it yet we really do recommend a month of Boxing Raise to enjoy this one.
4-Both men have bright futures
Neither man is unbeaten, in fact both men have multiple set backs on their records, be it losses or draws, but don't let that paint the picture that these are talented fighters. Both men are just 24 years old and both men have shown what they can do, not just in this bout but in other bouts for both men as well. Both have very bright futures ahead of them and we wouldn't be surprised to see both men picking up titles in the next couple of years. Both will be looking for a rematch with Hironori Mishiro, the current OPBF champion, and both would likely fancy their chances with Kosuke Saka, the Japanese champion, and Joe Noynay, the WBO Asia Pacific champion. Don't look at their records and write these two off, they are genuinely talented fighters, with the ability to go a long way. Neither are likely to win world titles, but both will manage to have very solid careers and are young enough to take this draw and learn from it.
5-The officials all got it right!
It's rare for us to legitimately feel all the officials got it right but here they did. That included Michiaki Someya, who didn't wave the bout off when Kimura went down hard at the end of round 4, he didn't interject himself very often, and instead he allowed the bout to breath. He gave the men their space and they went to work. The three judges also got it right. All three had the score 75-75 and it's hard to argue with that. It's rare that we get to say all the officials got it right but they did. Fingers crossed this begins to happen more often .
Bonus Take Away - 50/50 match ups are needed more
We don't get many true 50/50 bouts in boxing this was as close to 50/50 as we can get. The records match up really well, the styles, experience and ages all matched up really well. The mentality of the two men matched up and amazingly the bout was seen as almost a perfect 50/50 on boxmob. The Japanese site had 52 people predict the result and 26 picked a Kimura win, 25 picked a Nakazato win and 1 person picked a draw. We could have expected those results. The promoter gave us a 50/50 match up and it proved utterly compelling. More of this please boxing, more this! Also we suspect if they fought again, the poll would similarly even. A fantastic match up and one that delivered.
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).