For our "On this Day" article we're again going to go with looking into one fight with a bit of detail, and include a video, as well as adding a a few extra interesting things from the same date.
We've picked a really obvious one for January 31st, and that's January 31st 2011 when Japanese fight fans got a double header Ariake Colosseum, in Tokyo. The show featured 2 All Japanese world title fights, but we're only going to look at the WBA Super Featherweight title bout here, as Takashi Uchiyama (who had a record of 16-0, 13), the then WBA world champion, took on fellow Japanese puncher Takashi Miura (then 20-1-2, 16).
This was to be Uchiyama's 3rd defense, and came a little over a year after he had won the belt, taking out Juan Carlos Salgado in the 12th round. He was just beginning what would become one of the most notable Japanese world title reigns. Miura was getting his first world title fight, though would later become a fixture on the WBC title scene, and be involved in some more sensational bouts.
2011-Ryol Li Lee Vs Akifumi Shimoda - We mentioned Miura Vs Uchiyama was part of a double header, the other part this WBA Super Bantamweight title bout.
1988-Hiroki Ioka Vs Kyung-Yung Lee
1988-Sot Chitlada Vs Hideaki Kamishiro
(These two also made for a double header!)
1970-Pedro Adigue Jr Vs Bruno Arcari
We're going to do things a little different for today's "On this Day" article, and rather than looking at a number of events in some detail we'll talk about just one, and include a video, with a few more events under the video.
On this day in 1990 fight fans at the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok saw national star Sot Chitalada (then 19-2-1, 13) defending the WBC Flyweight title against Filipino challenger Ric Siodora (then 14-2-1, 2).
Chitalada was making his first defense of his second reign, having reclaimed the title from Korean nemesis Yong Kang Kim in their second meeting. Siodora on the other hand was getting his first world title bout, and fighting outside of the Philippines for the first time. He was the clear under-dog, but hadn't travelled to roll over to the hard hitting champion.
Here is the full fight:
2001-Yo Sam Choi Vs Saman Sorjaturong
2000-Jong-Kwon Baek Vs Kyu-Chul Choi
2000-Freddie Norwood vs Takashi Koshimoto
1997-Medgoen Singsurat 3-K Battery makes his debut
1976-Rodolfo Martinez vs Venice Borkhorsor
2017-Jerwin Ancajas retains IBF title
On this day in 2017 Filipino fighter Jerwin Ancajas made his first defense of the IBF Super Flyweight title, stopping limited Mexican challenger Jose Alfredo Rodriguez in the 7th round.
Ancajas had won the title the previous September, defeating McJoe Arroyo in what was a pretty notable upset at the time. His first defense was the typical easy first defense as he took on a limited opponent who was selected to make him look good. Rodriguez was too small, too slow, and too clumsy to be any sort of a test for Ancajas, who broke him down. Given that Rodriguez had been stopped in 6 rounds by Kazuto Ioka in 2012, and had done nothing since to deserve a world title show, this really was seen as a poor defense.
Following his Rodriguez would go on to los his following 3 bouts, and he now has a record of 32-8 (19). Ancajas has notched up 5 more defenses since this bout, but has started to look like he's going stale as a champion, and needs bigger tests. With a record of 30-1-2 (20) Ancajas is a fantastic fighter but hasn't shown what he can do recently, and that's a shame.
2005-Pongsaklek Wonjongkam defeats Noriyuki Komatsu
When we talk about modern Thai greats there are few that rival Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, who had a tremendous, though often under-played, career. Between his debut in 1994 and his bizarre 2018 comeback, the less said about that the better, he would fight in over 20 world title bouts, and essentially have a 1-man monopoly on the WBC Flyweight title for a decade!
Wonjongkam's 11th defense of the title came on this day, in 2005, when he stopped Japanese challenger Noriyuki Komatsu in 5 rounds. Komatsu had been a long reigning OPBF champion, holding the OPBF title from September 2002, when he beat JungOh Son, to this fight with Wonjongkam, scoring 6 defenses. Wonjongkam on the other hand had won the WBC title in March 2001 and showed the difference between world class and Oriental class, as he dropped the challenger in round 2, and finished the bout in round 5.
Following this bout Komatsu would reclaim the Oriental title and fight through until 2009, when he was stopped inside a round by Ratanapol Sor Vorapin, then he'd retire, with a record of 24-4-4 (10). As for Wonjongkam he would go on to have a legendary career, running up a 91-5-2 (47) record, making a strange comeback in 2018 to have a second bout with Koki Kameda, in what was only sanctioned as an exhibition. His career would be something amazing, and it could be a long time until we see someone else have such a long career and established career in one of the lower weights.
1967-Vicente Saldivar vs Mitsunori Seki II
In August 1966 Japan's Mitsunori Seki challenged Featherweight great Vicente Saldivar. Although he lost Seki did run the Mexican close in a bout that was much more competitive than many would have anticipated, and actually saw Saldivar being dropped. On this day in 1967 they would have their rematch.
After putting in such a great effort in their first bout Seki would, unfortunately, lose in 7 rounds to Saldivar in their rematch. This wasn't the performance that Seki would want.
Saldivar, who really is an all time great at Featherweight, would hold the title until 1970, when he was upset by Kuniaki Shibata. He would fight only twice more after that before retiring in the early 1970's with a record of 37-3 (26). Seki on the other hand would fight for just over another year, winning 6 bouts before losing to Howard Winston in early 1968, and then retiring. He would have a record of 61-11-1 (35) when he hung them up.
2017-Takashi Miura Vs Miguel Roman
When certain fighters get into the ring you tend to expect something exciting, when two such fighters get in the ring together you know you're going to get some things. That was the case on this day in 2017 when former WBC Super Featherweight champion Takashi Miura took on Mexican tough guy Miguel Roman in a WBC world title eliminator.
The bout was an amazing war, that saw both men slug it out in a tough, gruelling, damaging contest that saw both take insane punishment. In the end however it was Miura's power that decided the contest, with Miura dropping Roman in rounds 10, 11 and 12, with Roman taking the 10 count in the final round. It was an incredible contest, and one that fans will not forget any time soon.
Sadly Miura would fight just once more, losing a wide decision to Miguel Berchelt in a world title fight. He would then retire with a record of 31-4-2 (24). Roman on the other hand bounced back with 4 stoppage wins, before being stopped himself by Berchelt in late 2018. Although not yet retired Roman has taken a lot of punishment in his hard career, and the 33 year, who boasts a record of 60-13 (47) is likely going to retire sooner rather than later.
1996-Veeraphol's first reign comes to an end
In September 1995 former Muay Thai champion Veeraphol Sahaprom won the WBA Bantamweight title, in just his 4th professional contest, as he took a split decision over Daorung Chuwatana. In his first defense Veeraphol took on Ghana's Nana Yaw Konadu, and sadly his reign was ended, in rather dramatic fashion.
The talented Thai got off to the perfect start, dropping Konadu with a sweeping left hook in the opening round. Despite the knockdown Konadu would recover his senses quickly, and stand up to some other heavy shots from Veeraphol during the rest of the opening round. Sadly for Veeraphol we saw Konadu come out for round 2 firing on all cylinders, using a busy jab to set up more offense. Mid way through the round a huge right from Konadu dropped Veeraphol who struggled to his feet, wobbled around the ring and left the referee in no position other than to stop the bout.
Konadu would interestingly lose the belt to Daorung Chuwatana in his first defense, before reclaiming it from Daorung Chuwatana.He would then lose it to Johnny Tapia in 1998. Konadu's career would come to an end in the early 00's with a record of 41-5-1 (32). Despite losing the WBA title in his 4th bout Veeraphol would go on to claim the WBC title in his 22nd bout, stopping Joichiro Tatsuyoshi in 1998. He would make an impressive 14 defenses of that title before losing it to Hozumi Hasegawa in 2005, then losing a rematch to Hasegawa the following year. He would continue to fight until 2010, running up an excellent record of 66-4-2 (46) before retiring from boxing.
1947-Shozo Saijo's birthday
"Cinderella Boy" Shozo Saijo was never tipped to be a star. He would begin his career 3-1-2 and later have a record of 9-3-2. He would however go on to become a notable name on the Japanese scene, turning is career around with a huge year in 1968, claiming the WBA Featherweight title, which he would take in an upset win over Raul Rojas. He would defend the belt until 1971, when he lost in 5 rounds to Antonio Gomez.
Born on this day in 1947 Saijo would go on to have a career that exceeded all expectations, turning his 3-1-2 start into a 29-7-2 (8) record with wins against the likes of Jose Luis Pimentel, twice, Raul Rojas, twice, Pedro Gomez, Godfrey Stevens and Frankie Crawford, twice. Sadly his career would end with 2 losses in his last 4, the aforementioned loss to Antonio Gomez, and a loss to fellow Japanese world champion Hiroshi Kobayashi.
2018-Jorge Linares Vs Mercito Gesta
In 2018 we had a double header featuring Asian fighters. One of those bouts saw Filipino fighter Mercito Gesta challenge the then WBA Lightweight champion Jorge Linares.
Gesta had totally embarrassed himself in his first world title fight, spending more time looking at the clock than throwing punches at Miguel Vazquez. This time around however he did come to fight, though struggled to get into range against the fabulously talented Linares. At least early on. As the bout went on Gesta would have some success, cutting Linares, but did come up as the clear loser.
Since this bout Linares has gone 1-2, losing by stoppage to both Vasiliy Lomachenko and Pablo Cesar Cano, whilst Gesta has fought just once, taking a narrow decision win over Robert Manzanarez.
Teerachai Kratingdaenggym Vs Lucas Martin Mattysse
The other part of the double header saw the then unbeaten Teerachai Kratingdaenggym take on Argentinian puncher Lucas Martin Matthysse for the WBA "regular" Welterweight title.
The unknown Teerachai managed to use his size and reach to outbox a tired and old looking Matthysse early on, but Teerachai was caught in round 8 and was dropped twice, with the second one knocking him out, as Matthysse was bailed out by his power.
Sadly for Matthysse his reign was a short lived one, losing the title in his first defense to Manny Pacquiao in July 2018. Teerachai on the other hand has picked up 2 low key wins to get his career back on track.
1996- Yong Soo Choi vs Yamato Mitani II
In the 1980's and 1990's there were some great rivalries between South Korean fighters and Japanese fighters. One such rivalry was between Korean fighter Yong Soo Choi and Japan's Yamato Mitani, who fought 3 times in just over 2 years. The first bout, which came in October 1994 saw Choi end the unbeaten record of Mitani.
Their second bout came in early 1996, after Choi had won the WBA Super Featherweight title. This would be Choi's first world title defense and Mitani's first contest for a world title, and it was insanely competitive, with almost nothing to split the men. In the end however Choi got the nod, with scores of 115-114 from all 3 judges. He would also get the nod in their second rematch, in October 1996.
Choi would reign until 1998, losing in his second bout with Takanori Hatakeyama. He would retire in 199, and again in 2003, before making a short lived final comeback in 2016. It's unclear if he will fight again, but at the moment he has a record of 31-4-1 (21). Mitani on the other hand would in 1998, with a record of 12-4 (9). He never won a world title but would be a 2-time OPBF champion and a Japanese champion during his short but eventful career.
2007-Wanheng Menayothin makes debut
It was on this day that the longest reigning active world champion was debuted, with Wanheng Menayothin making his debut on Thailand against Filipino Roel Gade, who was also making his debut, at the City Hall in Tak. The bout was a 6 rounder, that Wanheng won by decision.
Gade would only fight once more losing the following month to Suriyan Sor Rungvisai, retiring in 2007 with a record of 0-2.
At the time of writing Wanheng has amassed a 52-0 (18) record going unbeaten for 12 years now. He has held the WBC Minimumweight title since November 2014, and has made 10 defenses of the title, with his 11th set for March 1st against Japan's Tatsuya Fukuhara. His record is the longest unbeaten record in the sport, and last year he surpassed the 50-0 record of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
1988-Khaosai Galaxy vs Kongtoranee Payakaroon
It's rare we get all-Thai world title bouts, but in 1988 we got a relatively controversial one, as the legendary Khaosai Galaxy took on Kongtoranee Payakaroon. The bout was the 7th defense of the WBA Super Flyweight title by Khaosao whilst Kongtoranee would be getting his second world title fight, following a loss in 1986 to Gilberto Roman.
The bout saw Kongtoranee boxing on the outside, out moving the hard hitting Khaosai and evening dropping Galaxy. Sadly though Kongtoranee wouldn't get the decision, and retired from boxing afterwards with the fighter and his manager, Songchai Rattanasuban, feeling like they had been cheated. He would go back to fighting in Muay Thai until retiring from active competition.
When he ended his boxing career, following this bout, Kongtoranee was 12-2 (9). Khaosai on the other hand would fight through to 1991, recording 12 more defenses, before retiring with a record of 47-1 (41). Khaosai is still regarded as one of the best Super Flyweights ever and one of the divisions biggest punchers. Had the decision of this bout gone the other way, we can only wonder how differently both men would have been remembered.
1969-Ruben Olivares v Kazuyoshi Kanazawa I
Not many fighters get in the ring with a featured puncher, twice, but that's what Kazuyoshi Kanazawa did with destructive Mexican Ruben Olivares. The first of those meetings came on this day in 1969.
Kanazawa would end up being stopped in 2 rounds by Olivares here, being dropped several times by the Mexican legend. In their rematch, in 1971, Kanazawa would put up a legitimate fight, giving Olivares one of his toughest bouts before being stopped in the 14th round.
Kanazawa would fight just once after the second loss to Olivares, retiring in 1972 with a record of 30-10-1 (17). Olivares on the other hand would finish his career in 1988, after some ill fated comebacks, he would retire with a record of 89-13-3 (79) and is still regarded as one of the greatest punchers and greatest Mexican fighters ever.
2017-Wanheng Menayothin v Melvin Jerusalem
In 2017 we saw WBC Minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin defend the title against the then unbeaten Filipino Melvin Jerusalem. This was Wanheng's 6th defense of the title and saw him advance his record to 45-0 (17), as he edged closer and closer to 50-0.
Since the bout Wanheng has scored 4 more defenses and moved to 52-0 (18), with his next defense planned for March 1st 2019, against Tatsuya Fukuhara. Sadly Jerusalem has gone 3-1 and not yet manged to show the energy he showed against Wanheng. However at 24 years old Jerusalem has time on his side, and we can't help but feel he will get another shot, sooner rather than later.
2011-Ali Raymi debut
The man, the myth, the legend, Ali Raymi made his debut on this day in 2011 beginning what was a short, historic and controversial career.
Raymi, from Yemen, would fight 25 times, winning all 25 bouts inside the distance, and the first 22 inside the opening round, setting a world record. Whilst an excellent achievement on paper, Raymi's competition did seem inept to say the least. He would enter certain world rankings, be linked to big international fights and seem like a charismatic fighter though unfortunately passed away in May 2015 following a bomb strike in Yemen.
He had put Yemen on the boxing map, but since his death, at the age of 41, left more questions than answers about his career, his life, and even his death.
Thailand's Conlatarn Piriyapinyo, aka Suriya Tatakhun, would enter the world on this day in 1985. Born in Amnart Charoen, Thailand, the fighter would make his debut at the age of 18 and go on to have a notable career in the 00's and 10's.
As a boxer Chonlatarn would win his first 43 fights, before losing in a world title bout to Indonesian great Chris John in 2012. He would get his second world title shot in 2014, and losing a clear decision to Ukrainian sensation Vasyl Lomchenko. Despite those setbacks he continued to fight on and fought Miguel Berchelt in 2016 for the WBO interim Super Featherweight title, losing in 4 rounds. He has only fought once since that loss scoring a low key win in Thailand.
1993-Pichit Sithbanprachan vs Dan Nietes
In November 1992 Thailand's Pichit Sithbanprachan defeated Rodolfo Blanco for the IBF Flyweight title. His first bout after winning that title was surprisingly not a title defense. Instead it was a 10 round bout against the then 21-3 Dan Nietes, the uncle of Donnie Nietes. Nietes would surprisingly drop the Thai, though go on to lose the bout via a decision.
Following this win Sithbanprachan would defend the IBF title 5 times before retiring in 1994. He would make a few short comebacks before retiring for good in 2000, with a record of 24-0 (18). Nietes on the other hand would fight through to 1995, and never fight a bout at this level, retiring with a record of 27-10-1 (17)
1981-Chul Ho Kim defeats Rafael Orono to become the WBC king!
On this day in 1981 Korean fight Chul Ho Kim made his international debut, travelling to Venezuela. The little known Korean shocked the previously unbeaten Rafael Orono to take the WBC Super Flyweight title, beginning his very busy yet short reign.
Chul defeated Orono with a 9th round KO and would defend the title 5 times, with notable wins against Jiro Watanabe, Willie Jenson and Koki Ishii. His title win, and his 5 defenses, would all come in the space of 18 months, showing his incredible level of activity. Sadly however Chul's reign would end in a rematch to Orono in 1982, and the Korean would fight just once more afterwards, losing to Prayurasak Muangsurin in 1983, before retiring.
Shul would have a record of 19-3-2 (9) when he walked away from the sport, and go 5-1-1 in world title fights. Orono would reign until 1983, when he lost the belt to Payao Poontarat in 1983. He would continue on until 1988, tough end his career with 5 straight losses to leave his record 32-7-2 (!6).
1973-Masao Oba passes away
Sadly it was on this day in 1973 that the world would lose Japan's Masao Oba, following an automobile accident.
"The Eternal Champion" was just 23 and the reigning WBA Flyweight champion. He had won the title in 1970, stopping Berkrerk Chartvanchai, and had made 5 defenses of the title, beating the likes of Betulio Gonzalez, Susumu Hanagata and Chartchai Chionoi, beating Chartchai just over 3 weeks prior to his death.
He had planned to vacate the title to move up to Banatamweight, due to struggles making Flyweight, but passed away before he had the chance to do that. The Japanese champion had shown the skills to become one of the countries biggest boxing stars, but his untimely death left him as a true "what if?" and it felt like we only really got a glimpse as to how good he was. Despite his untimely death he did go 35-2-1 (16) during his career, and 6-0 (3) in world title fights.
1994-Pichit Sithbanprachan Vs Arthur Johnson
When we think about fighters who retired as unbeaten world champions there are a number of names that often get forgotten, such as Thailand's Pichit Sithbanprachan. He held the IBF Flyweight title from 1992 to 1994, making 5 defenses of the title. Among those defenses were several notable names, one of who was former American standout Arthur Johnson.
Coming into this bout Pichit was 19-0 (16), an aggressive and pressure fighting champion. Johnson was 8-0 (5), and a very skilled American looking to score the biggest win of his career. The bout turned out to be a competitive one, though one that Pichit did enough to win, with scores of 115-113, twice, and 118-110.
Pichit would defend the title once more, defeating Jose Luis Zepeda in May 1994 before retiring later that same year. He would however make some sporadic returns to the ring before hanging them up for good with a record of 24-0 (18). Johnson on the other hand would fight through to 2003, running up a record of 22-6 (14).
1968-Howard Winstone vs Mitsunori Seki
It's not often that we see Japanese fighters fighting in world title bouts in Europe, one rare example came in 1968 when Japan's Mitsunori Seki travelled to England to face great Welsh fighter Howard Winstone for the WBC Featherweight title. Both, Winstone and Seki, had given the legendary Vicente Saldivar great prior to Seki retiring in 1967, leading to these fighting for the vacant title.
Sadly for Seki he would be stopped in 9 rounds, when a cut forced the referee to stop the contest. It had been a pretty interesting contest, with Seki falling behind early on before trying to turn the fight around. Sadly for the man from Tokyo this would be his final bout, retiring afterwards with a record of 61-11-1 (35), having gone 0-5 in world title fights.
Winstone would also his career soon afterwards, losing to Jose Legra in his first defense, before retiring with a record of 61-6 (27). Like Seki he would fight in 5 world title bouts, with this win being the 1 in 1-4.
1964-Pone Kingpetch vs Hiroyuki Ebihara II
In September 1963 Japanese great Hiroyuki Ebiuhara ripped the Flyweight crown from Thai great Pone Kingpetch inside a round, avenging the loss of his close friend Fighting Harada. The following year, on this day, the two men would have a rematch in Thailand, and sadly for Ebihara he would lose a split decision to the Thai, who would become a 3-time champion.
Kingpetch's third reign was only a short lived one, losing the belt in Italy in his first defense against Salavatore Burruni 15 months later, and his career would fizzle out in 1966 with a career tally of 28-7 (9)and sadly he would pass away in 1982 aged 47. Although Kingpetch is best remembered as being Thailand's first champion it should be noted that he was a 3 time champion, having taken the titles from legendary trio of Pacaul Perez, Fighting Harada and Ebihara.
As for Ebihara this loss Ebihara would go on to essentially have another career, going 24-3 (10) before retiring in 1969 with a record of 62-5-1 (32). Following the loss to Kingpetch Ebihara would twice lose in world title bouts against Horacio Accavallo, both in close decisions in Argentina, before beating Jose Severino in 1969 to become the WBA champion. Sadly he would lose the belt in his first defense, losing a competitive bout with Bernabe Villacampo. Like Kingpetch he would also pass away at a young age, passing in 1991 at the age of 51.
2014-Amnat Ruenroeng Vs Rocky Fuentes
In late 2013 and early 2014 the stars some how aligned to give us a bout between unbeaten 34 year old Thai Amnat Ruenroeng and Filipino Rocky Fuentes, for the vacant IBF Flyweight. The bout had come to be following Fuentes having a bout in Puerto Rico fall through and Moruti Mthalane refusing to defend his belt in a mandatory in Thailand fow a very low purse.
The bout ended up seeing Ruenroeng take a decision win over Fuentes, in what was a clear but competitive win for the Thai. Ruenroeng would go on to hold the title until May 2016, when he would lose the belt to John Riel Casimero. By the time he lost the belt amnat had defended it 5 times, and notched big wins against Kazuto Ioka, McWilliams Arroyo, Zou Shiming and John Riel Casimero. He would also end up competing at the 2016 Olympics, and was last seen in a boxing ring last year, losing to Nawaphon Por Chokchai, a loss that saw his record fall to 18-3 (6).
Fuentes on the other hand would go 3-2 before seemingly hanging up the gloves in late 2017, with a record of 36-9-2 (20).
2011-Ana Maria Torres vs Naoko Yamaguchi
On this day in 2011 Japan's Naoko Yamaguchi fought in her first world title fight, losing a wide decision in Mexico to WBC female Super Flyweight champion Ana Maria Torres. Coming into the bout Yamaguchi was 15-2-3 (13) and was really lacking the experience needed to compete with Torres, who was 23-3-2 (14) and had a number of world title defenses prior to this bout.
Following the loss Yamaguchi would bounce back, and take the WBA female Super Flyweight from fellow Japanese Tenkai Tsunami in July 2012. She would defend that title twice before losing it in late 2013 to Naoko Fujioka, and then retire. At the time of her retirement Yamaguchi was 22-4-3 (18).
After this Torres would continue her career until Spring 2013, scoring 5 more defenses before retiring with a record of 28-3-3 (18).
1995-Manny Pacquiao debut
At the age of 40 Manny Pacquiao recently showed he still has it, defeating the once very highly regarded Adrien Broner to retain the WBA "regular" Welterweight title. Amazingly it was 24 years ago today that he made his professional debut Pacquiao's debut came when he was 16 and saw him taking a 4 round decision over Edmund Enting Ignacio in a bout that saw both men weighing in at 106lbs.
This bout, in Sablayan, was one of just 2 bouts on the show. Since then Pacquiao's rise through the sport has been incredible and he is now regarded as one of the true greats, something we doubt anyone thought he'd be when he defeat Ignacio.
During his legendary career Pacquiao has world titles at Flyweight to Light Middleweight, defeated a who's who of boxing and become a hero of the Philippines, a huge international fan favourite a future hall of famer. Interestingly Ignacio would end his career in 2001 with a record of 8-24-3 (1), and was stopped just once in his 35 fight career.