At the end of my Flyweight Tournament report on the Championship bout, I mentioned that Yoko Gushiken and Martin Vargas didn’t meet in my tournament, but I had found that they met once in real life on June 1st, 1980, with Gushiken winning by a knockout in the 8th round. The scores for the first seven rounds were all for Gushiken at 70-62, 70-58, and 70-62, pointing toward a unanimous decision for Gushiken if he had not finished it with a knockout. There is a film of the entire match on the BoxRec wiki page for this bout, and I believe it may also be on You Tube. I watched the video and in tribute to the two fighters for an entertaining bout, I put them in the ring together for a rematch!
Yoko Gushiken vs Martin Vargas
After recovering from the championship bout in the Flyweight Tournament, Martin Vargas agreed to a match with Yoko Gushiken, who was eliminated in the first round of the tournament by Shoji Oguma. In the overall boxer ratings Gushiken is rated 6, just slightly better than Vargas at 5, so it looked like this could be a close match. Both fighters can be either Boxer or Slugger. Gushiken has a Control Factor of 9 against either a Boxer or a Slugger, so he can go Slugger and keep his Hitting Power at 7, while reducing Vargas’ CF from a 9 against a Boxer to 8 against a Slugger. With Gushiken choosing Slugger, Vargas will also choose Slugger to retain his HP of 7. The 9-8 CF is adjusted to 10-9. Defensive adjustments are made +4 to Vargas making his Punches Landed range 1-43, and +2 to Gushiken making his Punches Landed range also 1-43. With the preliminaries completed, the Referee gave his instructions to the fighters, they touched gloves and were ready to box!
Round 1 began with Gushiken taking the initiative having the same Aggressiveness rating as Vargas, but one higher overall boxer rating. Gushiken missed with his first punch, and Vargas countered with a hard combination followed by a jab. Gushiken regained control and connected with a combination but then missed two punches. The fighters clinched and moved around the ring, then Vargas connected with a scoring combination. After more clinching and movement, Gushiken scored with a combination that looked like it might have opened a cut, but no blood showed over Vargas’ eye. Vargas connected with a hook, and Gushiken missed a punch. The fighters moved around the ring as the round wound down, and just before the bell Gushiken connected with a hard hook. Vargas looked to be slightly ahead on punches scored, but it was a close, low-scoring round that the judges would decide.
Vargas took the initiative at the start of Round 2 and quickly landed a hard hook. Gushiken immediately came back with a combination that staggered Vargas, but he quickly recovered and landed a hard jab against Gushiken. Then Gushiken took control and landed a combination followed by a hard cross but missed a punch before Vargas took control and scored with a combination. Then Vargas caught Gushiken with a cross that knocked him into the ropes! Vargas went into a determined flurry of punches and quickly connected with a hard hook, and then as Gushiken tried to bob away, they unintentionally butted heads! The fighters continued, but Vargas took a severe cut that would need to be evaluated by the ringside doctor between rounds! Vargas feeling the effects of the butt tied up Gushiken with a clinch, and at the break just before the bell, Gushiken connected with a hook that opened a bad gash over Vargas’ right eye! The fighters returned to their corners and Vargas’ corner men went to work on his cuts. The ringside doctor stepped in and looked at the effects of the butt and the gash, and determined that Vargas could continue. Even though he could continue, Vargas would suffer from a Control Factor reduced by 2 down to 7, and a 10-7 CF advantage to Gushiken would make it very tough for Vargas to prevail over the long haul. Even with the cuts, Vargas again looked to be slightly ahead on punches scored, but it was another close, low-scoring round that the judges would decide.
Vargas again took the initiative at the start of Round 3, and traded several missed punches. Then just under a minute into the round, Gushiken took control and connected with a hard cross and a hook. The fighters traded missed punches again, then Gushiken scored on a hard hook followed by a cross. Vargas clinched to slow the action, but then on the break he committed a foul! The Referee stopped action with about one minute to go in the round to admonish Vargas for excessive rabbit punching and he took the round away from Vargas! Action resumed and Gushiken landed a scoring combination, the fighters traded missed punches, and Gushiken scored with a cross. Right at the bell, Vargas landed his first punch of the round scoring with a jab. Gushiken decisively outscored Vargas and with the foul it was pretty certain that Round 3 would be scored 10-8 for Gushiken.
Gushiken took the initiative in Round 4 moving around on Vargas who missed a punch. Gushiken countered with a scoring jab and followed with a hard combination. Vargas came back with a scoring hook, followed by Gushiken with another scoring jab. Gushiken missed a punch and Vargas countered with a hook and a combination followed by another combination. Gushiken finished out the round with a cross and a hard hook, with Vargas missing a punch right at the bell. Gushiken looked to be ahead on punches scored, but it was another close, low-scoring round and who knows how the judges will see it!
Gushiken came out strong in Round 5 connecting immediately with a hard hook, but then the fighters traded missed punches before Gushiken landed another hook. The fighters moved around the ring and Gushiken missed a punch but then connected with an uppercut. About halfway into the round, Vargas finally landed his first punch, connecting with a cross, but he missed the next punch, and Gushiken danced away. Gushiken bore in and landed a hook followed by a cross. Vargas came back with a hook, then Gushiken finished the round with a scoring combination. Vargas only landed two punches and Gushiken was certain to win this round by 10-9.
Even though Gushiken started Round 6 with the initiative, Vargas quickly took control and landed a combination. The two fighters traded missed punches and clinched to slow the action, but then Gushiken took control landing a hard combination, a hook, and another hook. Vargas then missed a punch and Gushiken countered with an uppercut. Vargas connected with a hard jab and Gushiken came back with a hook. The fighters moved away, Gushiken missed, then they clinched, and right at the bell Gushiken connected with a cross. The tiring Vargas again only landed two punches and Gushiken put up a boxing exhibition that was certain to win this round by 10-9. The continuing barrage of punches had run Vargas out of endurance with four rounds to go!
Round 7 started like the previous round with Gushiken taking the initiative, but Vargas quickly gained control and scored with a jab and a hook. Gushiken missed a punch about 30 seconds into the round and then there was a long stretch as the tiring fighters moved around the ring and clinched to slow the action. The fans were growing restless and started murmuring when finally Vargas landed a hook at about the halfway point. Both fighters missed punches, then Gushiken landed a hook. Gushiken swung and missed, but then he staggered Vargas with a vicious combination! Gushiken followed with a hard uppercut, Vargas moved away, but Gushiken caught him right at the bell with scoring hook. Vargas started well but faded and Gushiken came back toward the end of the round and looked to be ahead on punches scored, but it was another close, low-scoring round that the judges would decide.
Round 8 was do or die time for Vargas and he took control early scoring with a hook, but Gushiken followed with a scoring cross. Vargas then took control again scoring on a combination and a hook before Gushiken landed a jab and an uppercut. Then at the halfway point Vargas took control and in an amazing run for a cut fighter with reduced vision, he went on a scoring pace rarely seen in these flyweight matches. Vargas connected with a hard hook, a jab, missed a punch, moved, then landed a combination and another hook! Vargas stayed in control but missed two punches and then Gushiken gained control right at the bell and connected with a scoring cross. With diminishing hitting power the tiring Vargas didn’t land a decisive blow, but he staged a late-match comeback clearly outpointing Gushiken and was certain to win this round 10-9.
Vargas took the early initiative in Round 9, but quickly lost control to Gushiken who clinched to slow the action, Vargas regained control but missed a punch, then Gushiken took over the round, scoring on a hook, missing a punch, scoring on a combination, another combination, a hard cross, yet another combination, and a jab, then tiring, he clinched to regain strength. Vargas gained control after the break and connected with a hook followed by a hard hook. Gushiken came back with a hard hook, and Vargas finished the round connecting with a jab at the bell. Gushiken put up another boxing exhibition and he was certain to win this round by 10-9. The late round flurry by Vargas though had run Gushiken out of endurance with only one round to go!
Gushiken started Round 10 with the initiative, but missed a punch, and then clinched, but suddenly he landed a combination that staggered Vargas! Vargas gained control but missed, then Gushiken missed, and the weary fighters began trading punches, Vargas scoring on a jab, Gushiken on a cross, Vargas on another jab, then Gushiken with an uppercut, Vargas missed a punch, then Gushiken missed, then they clinched. The Referee broke them up, and they clinched again. Then 10 seconds before the final bell, Vargas landed a knockdown quality uppercut without enough sting to bring the knockdown! The fighters touched gloves and returned to their corners to await the final scoring and decision. Gushiken looked to be very slightly ahead on punches scored, but it was another close, low-scoring round that the judges would decide.
After several moments, the ring announcer had gathered up the cards from the judges and referee, who had been tabulating their scores for all those close rounds, and made the winning announcement. Judge 1 made it 98-91, Judge 2 made it 96-93, and the referee scored it 98-91, a unanimous decision in favor of the winner Yoko Gushiken!
So there we are, a fine in tribute to two fighters who fought an entertaining bout in real life, and gave me an interesting bout in my rematch! Vargas held a slight advantage on punches scored in the first two rounds, and even knocked Gushiken down toward the end of Round 2, but during his Killer Instinct run he drew the Injury card and it turned out to be an unintentional butt! Then Gushiken gained control as the round was winding down, and scored a hook at the bell that also had a Cut-1 result, and that turned out to be a Bad Gash! Vargas survived both TKO checks at the end of the round, but he was down 2 CF points for the remainder of the bout!
I thought it would be pretty dull with a CF=10 going against a CF=7 for eight more rounds, but it turned out to be very interesting. Especially Round 8 where Vargas was in do or die territory and went on a control check run of eight consecutive actions!! The first action came by way of Gushiken’s failed CF check automatically putting Vargas in control, and then Vargas reeled off seven successful CF checks in a row at CF less than or equal 7!!
Round 8 started with Vargas scoring a 2-point hook, followed by Gushiken scoring a 2-point cross, then Vargas scored on a 2-point combination, and keeping control, he scored a 2-point hook. Gushiken then scored a 2-point jab and a 2-point uppercut. Score so far, Vargas 6, Gushiken 6.
After Gushiken scored the 2-point uppercut, he missed the control check at 16 greater than 10, Vargas landed a 3-point hook with no cut, then Vargas control 1 less than 7 for a 2-point jab without opening a cut, control 4 less than 7 for a missed punch, control 6 less than 7 for ring movement (not playing the optional rule but tracking the card results), control 3 less than 7 for a 2-point combination, control 3 less than 7 again for a 2-point hook, control 7=7 for a missed punch, control 5 less than 7 for another missed punch, then finally control 12 greater than 7 with Gushiken now scoring a 2-point cross to end the round. That was pretty amazing, seven control cards in a row at 7 or less!! [Sorry for the "greater than" and "less than" words in this paragraph. I tried to economize on words by using greater than and less than symbols, but the text box editing program must see these as "control" symbols or something and drops out a lot of text in between ...]
As an aside, a brief comment on Title Bout II compared to the original Title Bout. In TBII it is of course still possible to get a run of seven cards in a row that would provide a CF less than or equal 7, but in TBII the run doesn’t start on a failed control check of the other fighter. In TBII if the CF=10 Fighter A fails his check, then it’s over to the other fighter who has to make a CF check of his own, not just automatically be in control by Fighter A’s failed check. A CF=7 fighter will have a much harder time of starting an eight card control run. In Title Bout I, a Fighter with CF=10 will give control to the other fighter about half the time on the CF range of 1-20. So even a fighter like Vargas with cuts bringing his CF to 7, will gain control by way of the other fighter on about half of the other fighter’s CF checks on average, then lose it on his own check about 65% of the time on average. TBII provides for a more granular approach to control and in case anyone is worrying that the cards will be soaked up with a lot of sparring without effect, don’t worry, the card deck is now 100 cards with 50 per round, so that there is still plenty of action with the added benefit of the more granular control check reflecting each fighter’s ability at the time the checks are made.
Enough of all that, back to some more statistics on this bout. I also thought the knockdown opportunities were pretty interesting. As the cards played out, there were a total of 18 cards that provided a Knockdown check, and 14 of these resulted in the KDR result exceeding the Hitting Power at the time of the card, so only the normal punch points were scored. Gushiken made 11 of these Knockdown checks, scoring normal points on eight of these and scoring three 4-point punches on the other three. Vargas made seven Knockdown checks, scoring normal points on six of these and scoring a 6-point knockdown on one card.
I haven’t looked back over the logs from the earlier Flyweight Tournament bouts to see how these compare, but it seems like the fighters in this bout were somewhat unlucky in their KD checks against Hitting Power. Both fighters were HP=7 for almost all of these KD checks, with Gushiken making two checks in Round 10 with HP=6, landing a 4-point punch on one of them. Vargas made only one check once his HP began diminishing after Round 6, and that was a failed check in Round 10 with an HP=3. With an HP=7 and a KD range of 1-20, that would be a 35% chance on average of going to the KD/KO chart for a 4-point, 5-point, or knockdown result. With only four visits to the KD/KO chart in this bout for about a 22% chance, our Flyweights were a little unlucky in decisive blows. Perhaps the cards somehow know when the Flyweights are in the ring!!
Again I had a whale of a time playing Title Bout and providing a report on the fight in tribute to two of the Flyweights who contributed their courage and skill to the history of the Sweet Science!
Now onward to completing my series of three bouts between one of my favorite heavyweights Floyd Patterson and his nemesis Ingemar Johansson!
Enjoy your bouts!
All the best,