Yang Ming the southpaw vs. Takeru, an orthodox fighter. Both fighters trade kicks early on, as well as both trying to go to the legs. Yang with a body kick as Takeru with punches inside. Yang is then given a warning for holding on. Both fighters exchange solid punches and kicks before Yang is warned again for holding. They resume and Yang looking for combinations, but Takeru connects with a knee to the body. He follows it up with a big knee and right hands. They exchange punches and Yang backs him off with a hard left hook. Counter hook by Yang and right hands and a low kick by Takeru. Lead right by Takeru followed by another lead right, then he connects with a knee and some hard punches before the bell sounds to end round one.
Both fighters with fast punches in the early going. Takeru hits a solid knee and then a glancing head kick. He follows it up with a 1-2, a knee, and then a nice right hand before they clinch. Takeru with lots of power combinations, this time hitting a flush right straight, knee, and a left hook. Takeru hits some body shots and then a jumping knee, followed by a straight right. Yang backs him off with a counter right but Takeru with some vicious body shots and a big left hook that nearly sends Yang down but he stays on his feet. Takeru capitalizes with a right hand and leaves Yang holding onto ropes. Yang is facing the corner and waits until the count of eight to turn around, but the referee waves it away and stops the fight.
Takeru in ring comment:
“I am Takeru, and I come from K1. Please just let me say one thing. Right now, soccer, rugby, baseball etc are very popular but martial arts is the best! K1 is awesome and I’d like you all to come and watch it”.
An Interview with Takeru
How do you feel now?
I feel amazing.
Tell us your thoughts on the fight itself.
My opponent has a real strong fighting spirit, and his striking and attacking is very powerful. Before I went out to fight, I was always thinking to engage him, but he came at me with attacks and we were able to trade off and my attacks connected. I had so much fun.
Were you able to show how great the lightweight’s are?
Yes, definitely. Us lighter guys have speed and I think by knocking my opponent out I showed that we won’t be upstaged by the heavier guys. However, I haven’t shown the full package yet, so I would like everyone to come and watch K1.
And what do you think about fighting at such a big event?
To see everybody in the ring at New Year’s Eve, the atmosphere is just how it used to be like in the old days and I felt really good to be a part of it. Saying that however, I also felt a little lacking because I want martial arts to be at the top of the food chain, and want it to be the most supported show around.
Was Hiroya’s victory an incentive for you at all?
Definitely. We eat and run together and for Hiroya to have won, makes me extremely happy, not just as a friend but also as a K1 team mate. I knew I had to follow on from his victory with one of my own. We are the same age and he is a rival too, so the pressure was good.
Who will your next K1 opponent in March be?
I don’t think I’ll be fighting. This fight really took a lot out of me and I am not really thinking about my next fight yet.
From the opening gong, you were able to score off elbows and front kicks but were you aiming for the body?
I prepared a lot of weapons but you don’t know which one will connect until you try them and the body strikes seemed to be working the best. I desperately didn’t want to be upstaged by the heavyweights and wanted to score a good KO. The crescent kick connected well and it was a good yield.
And could you tell us more about the second round knockout?
In the prefight interview I told you all that I would knock him out in the second round. I knew I had to keep my word and I flicked the switch and went up another level.
Masato is also fighting soon?
I can’t let that fight upstage me. I think people have to pay attention to the ratings, which I also don’t want to lose. Because after all, I am the current superstar of the sport.
Kick boxing is popular worldwide. Do you want to show the world who you are?
Every time I fight that is what I am thinking.
And are these gold trunks your favorite?
A star has to wear gold. So I changed everything to gold.