by Cliff Rold
Prior to their rematch on Saturday night, this scribe referred to April 2011’s Hernan “Tyson” Marquez-Luis Concepcion thriller as the legitimate leader for Fight of the Year.
Those words were written in ignorance.
Flying below the radar was a fight from October 24th. Seeing is believing and, once seen, the leader for 2011 Fight of the Year will become clear. On the 24th, Japan’s Akira Yaegashi (15-2, 8 KO) won the WBA 105 lb. title from Thailand’s Pornsawan Porpramook (23-4-1, 16 KO) with a tenth round stoppage.
Intrigued by a Tweet from Maxboxing’s Steve Kim referring to the bout as a Fight of the Year candidate, this fight that was so overlooked as to be missed in the weekly ratings update jumped to the top of the YouTube queue.
The first two rounds are good, solid action. Round three is where the switch goes off and the road to a genuine fistic classic kicks in. With at least three round of the year candidates, it is the eighth round meriting leader status for round of the year.
Badly swelling around the eyes, Porpramook took a bad beating in the first minute or so, backed into the ropes more than once and looking like his lights were about to be put out. A counter right off the ropes staggered Yaegashi and changed the momentum of the round. Leaving every bit of himself out there to save his belt, Porpramook came forward with loaded bombs, Yaegashi fighting to keep his feet and his challenge alive. In the closing moments, Yaegashi was back into the action, both men seen winging arm shots through the fog of sheer exhaustion.
There were still two rounds to go. In the tenth, Yaegashi would finally land the closing blow he needed and the war was over.
The rest of the world needs to catch up what the fans at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan were blessed to witness. It’s not too much to say real fight fans owe it to these two little warriors to honor their effort with eyeballs.
The full fight can be found on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uv6PgYTM_I
Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]