For this series one thing we don't want to do is stick to the well known KO's that are in high profile bouts. We'll put them in, of course, but we also want to shine a light on less well known KO's. That's certainly this week in "Reliving the Finish" as we bring you a KO scored by a Japanese Light Heavyweight-come Cruiserweight in the US. This is a truly brilliant KO and came in a very obscure bout that took place almost 30 years ago! Despite it's age it is still a brutal finish and a great way to leave an impression!
Yosuke Nishijima (3-0, 3) vs Derrick Edwards (2-4, 1)
We genuinely don't think many will recognise the name Yosuke Nishijima. That's despite the fact he spent most of his career in the US. His first 3 bouts were in Japan before he made his US debut, incidentally this bout, and would only fight in Japan 8 more times in his career. The rest of his career was spent fighting entirely in the US, where he fought 16 of his 27 career bouts.
The reason Nishijima spend so much time in the US was that there wasn't anything for him in the Orient. His 3 early Japanese opponents were all making their debuts, none of which every fought again and two of which were Americans. The only notable opponents, of any real note, that Nishijima ever fought back in Japan was Jerry "Wimpy" Halstead, who was having his 101st professional bout, and Pakistani legend Hussain Shah, who had been a successful amateur but failed to make a mark on the professional scene. Both of those bouts didn't come until 1996.
Way earlier than those bouts Nishijima had fought Derrick Edwards a US novice in Las Vegas, way back in 1993.
Entering the bout no one really knew much at all about Nishijima, his style or what he was about.
Whilst little was known about Nishijima not not much more was known about about Edwards. He had fought 6 times and had lost 4 of those bouts. He had been born in Jamiaca but had fought entirely in the US and was known to be a limited fighter. He had began his career in 1988, with a win, before suffering two KO losses in 1989 and hanging them up for 3 years before returning to the ring in 1992. Interestingly Edwards had ended a 4 fight losing streak just over a week before facing Nishijima.
Through the first round Edwards had looked the much better boxer. He looked to have all the edges in skill, but Nishijima had the edge in power and rocked Edwards in the first round whilst pressuring throughout, and landed a number of solid, clubbing blows through the round.
Round two had been somewhat similar to the first. Edwards looked to have the edge in skill, thought couldn't get Nishijima's respect, whilst Nishijima walked forward looking for bombs, almost dropping himself at one point. The warning signs were there. Nishijima was only throwing bombs. Sadly for Edwards his stamina was already being an issue, and he was slowing down, and getting caught clean by some thunderous left hooks from the Japanese fighter.
Early in round 3 Nishijima twice gave Edwards a chin check, but Edwards stayed up right. That was until around 2 and a half minutes into the bout when Nishijima landed a a gorgeous left hook dropping Edwards hard. Although Edwards had withstood some other heavy shots through the early portion of the bout none had landed quite as clean as this.
What helped here for Nishijima had been the fact he had caught Edwards as the American was looking to throw his own left hook, essentially catching Edwards turning into the shot.
Edwards was out on contact, though thankfully was aware of where he was relatively quickly.
After this bout Nishijima did go on to claim a few minor titles, and the OPBF Cruisrweight title, but failed to make a mark at the highest levels. He would end his career in 2003 with a 24-2-1 (15) record, before competing in MMA and Kick Boxing.
Edwards on the other hand was pretty much a career loser. He would win just 1 bout after this loss en route to recording a 3-13 (1) 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).