August 21st 2015-Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Masao Nakamura (19-3, 19) Vs Daiki Kaneko (21-4-3, 14)
Every so often a bout comes around that the hardcore fans know will be great even if many fans haven't heard of the two men involved in the contest. That was the case when former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Daiki Kaneko fought former OPBF Super Featherweight champion Masao Nakamura. Fight fans at the Korakuen Hall knew they were in for a treat, and what a treat they got.
(Video courtesy of Gentidori)
The main event to the recent "Dangan 108" show was a bout described as "The Battle" between the explosive and heavy handed Masao Nakamura and the light hitting but very skilled Masayuki Ito.
Going into the bout many figured Nakamura as the #4 Super Featherweight in Japan behind WBA champion Takashi Uchiyama, WBC champion Takashi Miura and top challenger Daiki Kaneko, not only did they feel he was #4 in Japan but he was also a clear world ranked fighter. Ito on the other hand had the clear intention of taking that high position domestically and the high world rankings that Nakamura had.
The bout, between puncher and boxer, was one of those that really was often a case of "what do you like?" And we'd understand people picking against the official result, which we won't spoil, but we also see many people siding with the official result due to how the fight was fought which really never saw either man completely in control of the action.
We hope you enjoy this one, we did even though it wasn't a FOTY contender.
(Video courtesy of 45412380)
When it comes to the most important year in the career of Masao Nakamura many would point to either 2010, when he won the OPBF title stopping Allan Tanada, or 2011 when he lost the OPBF title to Ronald Pontillas.
A third contender would be 2013, a year in which Nakamura fought 4 times making it the busiest year of his career so far. The fights, all wins by T/KO included Nakamura's first fight with a Filipino since he was stopped by Pontillas. Unfortunately for Raymond Sermona he was the Filipino and Nakamura was boxing to impress.
From the opening bell we saw a sharp Nakamura who used his under-rated boxing skills to slowly break down Sermona. Although the Filipino tried to fight back, firing off round house rights in an attempt to discourage Nakamura he lacked the power to get the Japanese fighters respect and instead of discourage Nakamura all Sermona did was leaving openings for Nakamura who really went to work in the 3rd round.
As with most fighters Sermona couldn't cope with the power of Nakamura and was eventually counted out after some vicious shots from the Japanese fighter who seemed, in many ways, to expel the ghosts of the Pontillas fight.
In 2010 the hard hitting Masao Nakamura was moved into his first 10 round bout as he took on Thailand's Dinpun Chuwatana. Going in to the bout Chuwatana had never been stopped, had proven to hit hard and had been a former Thai Super Bantamweight champion The hope, it seems, was to try and extend Nakamura a few rounds before he moved towards title fights.
Unfortunately for Chuwatana, and those expecting to see Nakamura given a test, this was over just as quickly as some other Nakamura bouts, and that was despite the heavy handed Japanese fighter actually boxing on his toes for much of the opening round.
Chuwatana managed to see out the first round but failed to see out the second round as Nakamura stepped up his offence and detonated with a number of hard shots including a devastating uppercut that almost ripped the Thai's head off his shoulders.
This was, amazingly, Nakamura's 10th KO in just 16 rounds! Unfortunately for him however we soon found out he couldn't take a show as well as he could land one and just 3 fights later he was stopped by Ronald Pontillas.
When a fighter is naturally heavy handed he can do untold damage to his opponents without needing to land the perfect shot. That appeared to be the case when Masao Nakamura defeated Indonesia's Budi Risky inside a round.
Nakamura, who entered the bout with a record of 13-1 (13), was viewed as one of the hardest punchers pound-for-pound in not Japanese or Asian boxing but in world boxing and that power showed as he seemed to do real damage to his opponent's face. Risky, who went down in agony, turned away from the referee holding his face after he got up.
Sadly we're unsure on the specific damage though have speculated that Risky ended up with a broken nose. From his reaction it's certainly a believe assumption.
When you think of hard hitting Japanese Super Featherweights the first name that springs to mind is Takashi Uchiyama, a man so destructive as a puncher that he is dubbed "KO Dynamite". Your second would probably then be WBC champion Takashi Miura, another vicious puncher who attacks with a nasty mentality.
There is also a third massive punching Japanese Super Featherweight, Masao Nakamura.
Nakamura, known as the "KO King" ran up 12 straight KO's before being upset by Ronald Pontillas in 2011. Since then however he has bounced back with 6 successive KO's including an opening round blow out of Thailand's experienced Fahsai Sakkreerin who lasted just 100 seconds with Nakamura. In fact Nakamura's ring walk and introduction lasted longer than the bout.
Despite lasting less than 2 minutes we did get to see plenty of action, including 3 knockdowns of Sakkreerin who simply couldn't stand up to the power of Nakamura.
This was the second stoppage loss in 3 fights for Sakkreerin who had been stopped 2 fights earlier in 2 rounds by Rances Barthelemy. At the time of writing Barthelmy is the IBF Super Featherweight champion and is being targeted by Michael Farenas.
For Nakamura this win has helped boost him towards a world title fight though before that he will need to get past Masayuki Ito in a very interesting contest to close out July 2014.
Many fighters in boxing fight with the mentality of "stop or be stopped". It's great fun to watch but it can back fire horribly on a fighter who makes a mistake whilst hunting a stoppage.
One such case of that mentality back firing was seen on May 7th 2011 when Masao Nakamura, then 12-0 (12) took on Ronald Pontillas in a defence of the OPBF Super Featherweight title.
Up to this point Nakamura had been Nakamura has been taking names, kicking ass and picking up cheques in double quick time. His 12 wins going in to this bout had taken him just 29 combined rounds. He was, in some corners, the Japanese Edwin Valero. When he hit stayed him.
That changed slight when took on Filipino fight Pontillas and was dropped within the first minute. Pontillas, smelling blood, went back on the offensive and quickly knocked out Nakamura in stunning upset that showed how good Pontillas can be when he's on song. Sadly for Pontillas his reign as OPBF champion came to an end in just his second defence and since then he has lived up to his nickname of "Unpredictable" with no real consistency to his results.
Since this loss Nakamura has rebuilt his career excellently with 6 successive stoppages and their is talk about him getting a world title fight with WBA champion Takashi Uchiyama sooner rather than later.
(Video courtesy of Jerome Naldoza)
Hard hitting Japanese Super Featherweights seem to be the order of the day right now with WBA champion Takashi Uchiyama, AKA "KO Dynamite", and WBC champion Takashi Miura being the most well known. Below those two is another major puncher, Masao Nakamura, AKA "The KO King".
Nakamura began his career in 2006 and scored 12 successive KO's before coming undone in 61 seconds against Ronald Pontillas. Since that loss he bounced back with a subsequent 6 KO's including an opening round stoppage over Thai veteran Fahsai Sakkreerin who dropped 3 times in just 100 seconds.
The bout, fought on 14th of October 2013, was expected to be a decent match up though Nakamura's power was simply too much for the Thai.
As we write this Nakamura is preparing for a fight with the unbeaten Masayuki Ito, it's thought that if he can beat Ito he'll be fighting Uchiyama later this year in a potentially explosive WBA world title fight. As for Sakkreerin we think the Thai is likely to be heading towards retirement though at 32 he may well continue to fight on the Thai domestic scene.
(Video courtesy of Minegish minami)
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