The War Report: Time & Place (Week 35, 2017)
“This is an excitement I can’t explain. I worked too hard for this; I sacrificed a lot to get here and this is a real joy. Hopefully you guys are feeling like how I’m feeling now because I gave my best for all you guys that’s watching.”
Once Daniel Roman’s words were translated into Japanese, the crowd at the Shimazu Arena respectfully applauded the 27-year-old after forcing a ninth round stoppage of their hometown fighter on Sunday night. They had just seen Roman methodically beat down Shun Kobu – not only handing him his first defeat – but also taking away a WBA junior featherweight trinket that puts him in the forefront for a real world title.
“I want to thank Kubo for giving me this opportunity. He’s a great champion. It was just my night. Nothing to take away from Kubo – he’s a really great fighter and he gave me everything he had. It was just my night.”
Kubo, 12-1 (9), started off well, compared to the annihilation he took from “The Baby Faced Assassin” by the fight’s end. The rangy southpaw was the first to land a meaningful punch in the opening round but, starting in the third, Roman made the proper adjustments that created a near-perfect performance. Roman found his way to the inside by attacking Kubo’s wiry body with both hands and his constant head movement kept his foe missing often for the rest of the fight. Straight shots to the head eventually came around more often for Roman as the fight progressed and seemingly every punch set up the following one. The one glaring aspect of Roman’s offense was his ability to not waste any movement. He commanded the ring by the fight’s midway point and had Kubo in retreat, thanks to the tremendous accuracy of Roman’s power shots. Lead left hooks, uppercuts, ambidextrous body shots, power rights – Roman was throwing every punch in the book and forced Kubo to go for broke.
To start the seventh, Kubo decided to stand and trade with Roman and all it took were 35 seconds for him to find the canvas, thanks to a couple of right hands to the face. In the eighth, Kubo got a pop from the crowd, due to a nice left hand, but Roman never panicked from the shot to the chin and had his foe on the mat a second time by the end of the round. The right hand that put him there was the most ruthless punch of the fight and, had there been more time left in the round, the fight may have ended there. Instead, Kubo had to tough it out for another 80 seconds as Roman continued the drubbing up until referee Pinit Prayadsab couldn’t tolerate it any longer.
Roman, 23-2-1 (9), forced another mercy stoppage of Adam Lopez in January, making this victory his second near-perfect performance of the year. Fighting out of Los Angeles, California, and with no giant promotional backing (Roman is currently promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions), Roman went to Atlantic City, New Jersey, for that opportunity to headline a “ShoBox” card on Showtime. Once another presented itself, he traveled across the Pacific, showing that, no matter the time & place, this bona fide 122 pound contender is primed for the next opportunity to arise.