Sonin Nihei Vs Naoki Mochizuki
Ahead of the Rookie of the Year finals we've been asked to provide some footage of the fighters involved in the bouts. Sadly for some fighters footage is scarce, if any exists. Sadly that left us really struggling to find footage of the unbeaten Sonin Nihei who battled fellow unbeaten Naoki Mochizuki in his East Japan Rookie of the Year semi final.
On paper the bout was almost perfectly with Nihei, a light hitter with a 4-0-1 (1) record going into the bout, taking on the heavy handed Mochizuki, who was 5-0 (4) going in.
What we found was that a talented but light hitting boxer could over-come a heavy handed one via skill and work rate, though we do suspect that Nihei's lack of power could hold him back in the future.
Ryuji Hara Vs Kosei Tanaka
Sometimes with boxing strange things happen and one of the strangest things this year that no television channel offered live coverage of the OPBF Minimumweight title bout between defending champion Ryuji Hara, who was top 5 ranked by all 4 major bodies, and Kosei Tanaka, who himself was world ranked. Thankfully however fans of our great sport managed to do what the TV companies should have done and recorded it, shared it and let us all enjoy the fight which was one of the few fights we genuinely had been looking forward to since we first reported it as being a done deal.
Whilst we could break the fight down in to an RBR or some other break down we actually think that's really unfair, especially given how good the fight is, how highly skilled both men are, how technically brilliant the fight is and everything else that is on show. Instead we just suggest you treat yourself and watch this in full. You will not regret it.
Also please note that this footage has NOT been sped up. The fighters are as ridiculously quick as they look here. Amazing speed from both. Really, really amazing.
(All footage courtesy of karaage MAN)
Ryuji Hara Vs Kenichi Horikawa
In October 2012 we saw the first title fight involving Japanese fighter Ryuji Hara. Going in to the bout Hara, a highly touted product of the Ohashi gym and a former national amateur champion, was viewed as a clear favourite for the Japanese title as he battled against veteran Kenichi Horikawa.
Whilst Hara was unbeaten and showing some signs of being a future world champion Horikawa was a man who had been a regular top tier domestic fight but had fallen short in every major bout he had had, including a previous Japanese title fight to Akira Yaegashi and an OPBF title fight against Michael Landero, which he was comfortably winning prior to a 9th round stoppage.
Although the bout was supposed to be a mismatch it actually turned out to be a very, very competitive contest with Horikawa using his experience to really test the unbeaten man in a very close and competitive fight. It was Hara's first step up in class and it showed his limitations more than any previous fight that he had been involved in. For Horikawa it showed he belonged in domestic title fights and he would later feature in very close losses to Noknoi Sitthiprasert, in a WBC International title fight, and Yu Kimura, in a Japanese title bout.
As for Hara he would later go on to claim the OPBF Minimumweight title with a win over Donny Mabao, a title he will defend shortly against Kosei Tanaka in what looks to be a potentially brilliant contest.
December 23rd 2011 may have been one of the last days to do Christmas shopping for many people but for boxing fans they get a really amazing present a few days earlier as Thailand's Kompayak Porpramook and Mexico's Adrian Hernandez threw down in what was a thriller and a late contender for the year's fight of the year award, in fact many fans referred to the fight as the FOTY for 2011.
For those who haven't seen this one you really should treat yourself to watching one of the best fights of recent years and proof that the little guys, in this case Light Flyweights, provide more action than the bigger men that appear to get much more attention despite delivering much less.
We don't ruin the result for those who haven't seen this though we do advise you make yourself 40 minutes of free time and enjoy this war.
Ryuji Hara Vs Wittaya Sithsaithong
Japan's Ryuji Hara may now be on the verge of a possible world title shot but the Japanese youngster has been around for years, in fact he's been a professional for almost 5 years. Hara made his debut in February 2010 when he battled Thai visitor Wittaya Sithsaithong.
For those curious about how Hara looked on his debut here is the full fight and we'll admit we weren't that impressed despite the ease with which he recorded his victory.
(Video courtesy of Aka0113)
Ryuji Hara Vs Shuhei Ito II
In December 2010 Ryuji Hara clashed with Shuhei Ito in the all Japan Rookie of the Year final. That bout saw Hara defeating Ito, who entered 9-0, to claim the crown of Rookie of the Year and boost his standing in the sport. At the point the 20 year old Hara looked like a world champion in the making.
Around 3.5 years later the men met for a second time as Hara defended the Japanese Minimumweight title against Ito. This time around things were very different in the ring and Hara couldn't stop his foes in a bout that left some wondering about whether or not Hara would ever achieve the world crown that some had ear marked for him after their first bout.
If you've not seen Hara then this bout is well worth a watch ahead of his contest with Kosei Tanaka in what looks certain to be a genuinely thrilling contest,.
(Video courtesy of Aka0113)
Xiong Zhao Zhong Vs Hekkie Budler
The Minimumweight division is quick becoming one of our favourite divisions in the sport. In the last year it has featured a little bit of everything with wars, such as the sensational bout between Francisco Rodriguez Jr and Katsunari Takayama, the lightning quick rise through the ranks of Kosei Tanaka and the shock upset of Xiong Zhao Zhong when he was blasted out by Oswaldo Novoa.
Despite the loss to Novoa we've seen Zhong remain as top Minimumweight and he proved he belong there as he took on South Africa's high skilled Hekkie Budler and proved that he was competitive against one of the best in the division. If you missed this one we suggest you give it a watch as it showed the toughness and tenacity of Zhong and the fighting spirit that we suspect will be at the heart of the Chinese boxing revolution.
(Video courtesy of boxingfan3334)
Yuki Beppu Vs Tatsuro Ono
The hard hitting and very exciting Yuki Beppu will be going for his 7th straight stoppage victory in November. Although we don't have footage of all of his fights we have managed to track down his 3rd fight, his bout with Tatsuro Ono.
The bout, which lasted less than 100 seconds saw Beppu showing his boxing ability at times though it was his killer instinct that was really impressive and when he hurt Ono he really didn't let him off the hook trying to break him quickly. We won't pretend Beppu will become a world champion but on footage like this he is going to become someone that we enjoy watching.
Yuki Beppu Vs Shinpei Tominaga
It's fair to say that most fight fans love power, aggression and and a mentality based around scoring stoppages. That, in some ways, describes Japanese Welterweight hopeful Yuki Beppu who has begun his career with 6 straight stoppages, the most recent of which came against Shinpei Tominaga in a "blink and you'll miss it" performance just a few short months ago.
When you hear the opening bell for this one we advise you don't look away.
Shingo Wake Vs Jhunriel Ramonal
Japan's Shingo Wake will never be described as a heavy handed fighter but the OPBF Super Bantamweight champion is a very sharp puncher and sometimes it's the sharp crisp shots that do more damage than the heavier and more thudding shots.
Last year we saw the effects of sharp punching as Wake repealed the challenge of Filipino Jhunriel Ramonal in double quick fashion as a result of the sharp shots that the Japanese fighter is getting a reputation for. It's just a shame in some ways that he had such an easy time rather than getting a real fight out of Ramonal who looked like he came to the ring with the intention of beheading the Japanese fighter.
Here we include some of the best, most interesting, most exciting or most eye catching videos from around the Asian boxing world.