Home Boxing News Closet Classic VI – Jose Alfaro Vs Yusuke Kobori

Closet Classic VI – Jose Alfaro Vs Yusuke Kobori

It’s been a while since I delved into the closet for a “Closet Classic” but due to…well real life issues, I’ve found myself with more time on my hands than I had anticipated this week and have managed to find the time needed to go back through my collection.

This time I go back to 2008 for a forgotten slugfest between the then WBA Lightweight champion Jose Alfaro (20-3-0-1, 18), a Nicaraguan slugger who had won the title in Germany where he beat Thailand’s Prawet Singwancha, and Japan’s Yusuke Kobori (22-2-1, 11), a former Japanese and OPBF champion at 130lbs.

Coming in to the fight the heavy handed Nicaraguan was the favourite. He was the naturally bigger man, with Kobori moving up in weight, he was a serious puncher and was on a 6 fight winning run, with 5 of those ending in KOI including a win over Demarcus “Chop Chop” Corley. The Japanese fighter had gone 13-0-1 (6) coming in to this one but had never fought anyone above Japanese level coming into the bout.

The fight started with both men looking to establish their jabs. Both were boxing just outside of the pocket and both were looking for opportunities to come in and land shots. Within the first minutes Alfaro made it clear that he believed in his power and looked to land bombs. With Alfaro looking for bombs Kobori joined in and both looked to land heavy leather. With just over 2 minutes gone one of Kobori’s bombs got through and he rocked Alfaro before launching a follow up attack. Alfaro saw off the storm and swiftly launched a follow up attack that seemed to show that could hurt the local fighter.

In round 2 Alfaro’s power had an almost immediate effect, with a left hook rocking the challengers legs after about 45 seconds. A left hook to the body soon followed and left Kobori wobbling over the ring before being knocked in to the ropes, which the referee rules as a knockdown. The power of Alfaro had taken it’s toll on the challenger who had more than 2 minutes to survive, and looked very foggy whilst being given a mandatory 8 count.

After the count Kobori looked to regain his sense and went back to fighting with Alfaro, though seemed to be aware of the Nicaraguan’s power. Despite having been hurt Kobori lacked the nous to avoid a fight and was lucky not to take too many clean shots from Alfaro, who was later backed into the ropes himself. By the end of the round both men had forgotten about defense and went to the bell slugging.

With defense out the window going into round 3 it seemed clear that the fight wasn’t going to last long, though it seemed that Alfaro was going to be the man coming out on top. That seemed to be even clearer when he started backing up Kobori through the first minute of the round. With Kobori backing up Alfaro seemed to be building on his confidence and was having growing success whilst Kobori was looking to land wild counters. Eventually one of those counters, a left hook, took it’s toll on the champion who stumbled as he was dropped to the canvas.

Alfaro easily beat the count, but couldn’t avoid the follow up attack from Kobori which forced Rafael Ramos to save the Nicaraguan.

Sadly for Kobori he would fight just once more, losing the title in his first defense to Paulus Moses. Following that loss he went on his travels, spending time in India and Canada among other countries, before returning to Japan recently where he now works as a trainer. As for Alfaro he’s still an active fighter and was last seen in the ring last October, fighting to a No Contest with Jose Zepeda.

Interestingly looking back over the records of the two men there is some very fighters who became notable on the records of both men. The win for Kobori was his biggest, but prior to it he had scored a win over the then “unknown” Takashi Miura. As for Alfaro he had suffered losses to Cesar Rene Cuenca and Miguel Acosta in 2006, both of whom would go on to claim world titles in the years that followed. He would, after the loss to Kobori, suffer losses to Antonio DeMarco, Erik Morales, Yoshihiro Kamegai, Humberto Soto and Eduard Troyanovsky.

Scott Graveson covers the Asian boxing scene for www.asianboxing.info