There's not been many notable bouts in Asian Boxing falling on February 16th, there's no clear reason as to why there's so few fights on this day, but we have had a few notable ones in the last 30 years or so.
The highest profile one came in 2006 when Thai great Ponsaklek Wonjongkam recorded his 13th defense of the WBC Flyweight title, beating Gilbero Keb Baas over 12 rounds. By this point Wonjongkam had been a champion for close to 5 years and was well established as one of the great Flyweight champions of his era. Wonjongkam was 59-2 (30) entering this bout and was 28. Baas was 26-12-1 (15), also 28.
Notably Baas would go on to win the WBC Light Flyweight title in 2010 before retiring in 2012 with a record of 35-22-4 (22). Wonjongkam would run up a professional record of 91-5-2 (47), with his last fight coming in 2018 and would become a 2-time champion with a stellar record at the top level.
Other notable bouts for this date:
2004-Yota Sato's professional debut
1995-Kozo Ishii's professional debut
February 15th has given us a number of notable bouts through history, with fighters from across Asia being involved in them. One of the most notable came in 1991 when Muangchai Kittikasem and Sot Chitalada faced off for the first time, in a rather rare all-Thai world title bout.
Coming into this bout Chitalada was the WBC Flyweight champion. He had won the title for the second time in 1989, avenging his 1988 loss to Yong Kang Kim, and had made 4 defenses. He was boasting a record of 23-2-1 (14), with both of his losses being avenged. Kittikasem, the challenger, was 13-1 (9), he had previously held the IBF Light Flyweight title before moving up in weight to challenging.
This bout would see Chitalada being broken down in 6 rounds by Kittikasem, who dropped him in rounds 1 and 4 before forcing the stoppage.
The two men would have a rematch the following year, with Chitalada being broken down in 9 rounds that time around before announcing his retirement, walking away from the sport with a 26-4-1 (16) record. Kittikasem on the other hand would lose the title in 1993 then fight occasionally, with his last bout coming in 1999. He retired following a loss to Shigeru Nakazato, with a record of 25-4 (17).
Also on this date
1997-Sirimongkol Singwancha Vs Jesus Sarabia
1986-Elly Pical Vs Cesar Polanco
1985 - Hwan Kil Yuh Vs Lester Eillis
We'll be honest, our research has turned up very, very little of note having happened on February 14th, with no major bouts popping up on the date from our search. Sadly that has left us with only 4 events worthy of note.
In 2005 it was the day that Ryuichi Funai made his professional debut, and he is now on the verge of a world title fight.
Just a year earlier, Filipino fighter Bernabe Concepcion made his professional debut, before he went on to fight for a world title.
Exactly 18 years earlier Hong Kong's Raymond Poon KaiChing was born. Although a prospect the 22 year old is currently the brightest hope in Hong Kong following the professional retirement of Rex Tso.
Way back in 1957 there was another notable birthday, this time that of the Bad Boy from Dadiangas, Rolando Navarrete. Of the men mentioned here he is by far the most notable having won the WBC Super Featherweight title in 1981, bating Carnelius Boza Edwards, before losing the belt the following year to Rafael Limon.
If anyone can come up with any better suggests please leave them in the comments!
There has been various notable Asian Boxing events on February 13th over the years. Among those is 1983 bout for the WBA Welterweight title, when unbeaten fighters collided at the Tarrant Co Convention Center, in Fort Worth.
In one corner was unbeaten Korean Jun Suk Hwang, a 21 year old with a record of 21-0 (12) whilst in the other corner was former standout Donald Curry. Hwang had claimed the Korean and OPBF Welterweight titles in his 21 bouts, but had never previously fought outside of Korea prior to challenging Curry. Curry on the other hand was 15-0 (12), he had been one of the greatest amateurs of all time, reportedly running up over 400 wins. Curry was tipped to be a huge American star and this was set to be his first world title bout.
The "Lone Star Cobra" mostly dominated, but struggled at times with the Korean, who dropped Curry in round 7. Despite the issues that Hwang did occasionally give him Curry was the clear winner, using his sharp punching and fantastic skills to take a unanimous decision, with wide scores.
Whilst Curry's career was a success, it did fall a long way short of expectations. He would be a 2-weight champion and bold the WBA, WBC and IBF Welterweight titles but went 9-5 (7) in world title bouts retiring for good in 1997 with a 34-6 record. Hwang on the other hand would run up a 42-5 (29) record, but would fail to win a world title, losing to Gilbert Dele in a WBA Light Middleweight title fight in 1991, his only other world title shot.
Also on this date:
2010-Ciso Morales Vs Fernando Montiel - WBO Bantamweight title fight
Gerry Penalosa Vs Eric Morel - WBO "interim" Bantamweight title fight
1977- Dong Kyun Yum vs Jose Cervantes - WBC Super Bantamweight title fight
Today we have no Korean sensations mixing it up at the world level, other than the occasional female fighter like Hyun Mi Choi. Back on this day in 1989 though we saw one of the all time greats in action, as Myung Woo Yuh, the then WBA Light Flyweight champion, faced off with Japanese challenger Katsumi Komiyama at the Chungbok Gymnasium in Chongju.
The unbeaten Yuh was making his 11th defense of the title, that he had won in December 1985. By this point he was 29-0 (10), reaching his physical prime, at the age of 25, and really impressing in his reign. Komiyama on the other hand was a 23 year old, with a record of 12-2-5 (3). He hadn't scored a big win by this point, but had gone unbeaten in 3 bouts in the US and was coming in to this bout just 7 months removed from a good win over Thai champion Putt Ohyuthanakorn.
Sadly for the challenger he found himself up against one of the all time great Light Flyweights, and found there was a huge gulf between himself and Yuh. Komiyama had travelled to win, and had given things a good effort, forcing Yuh back at times in what was certainly a credible fight from the Japanese fighter. In the end however Yuh would break Komiyama's resistence, forcing the Japanese fighter to be saved in the 10th round.
Yuh's reign would continue until 1991, when he lost to Hiroki Ioka, but a win in a rematch against Ioka would see Yuh become a 2-time champion. He would make a single defense in his second reign before retiring with a record of 38-1 (14). Komiyama on the other hand would struggle to rebuild and retire with a record of 16-9-6 (4), failing in 4 attempts to win a Japanese national title.
Also on this date:
2016-Pungluang Sor Singyu Vs Jetro Pabustan - WBO Bantamweight title fight
1985-Hideyuki Ohashi's debut
1935-Pong Kingpetch's birthday
February 11th is a strange day in many ways as it has played a key part in 3 different WBC Minimumweight title bouts. What makes that a little bit weirder, it that the title has only ever been defended 8 times during the month of February, so from all the possible days in February one date has been used in 3 of the 8 bouts.
With that in mind we've decided to focus on the most recent of those, the 2011 clash that saw Japan's Kazuto Ioka announce himself on the world stage with a KO win against Oleydong Sithsamerchai.
The bout had looked like a ridiculous mismatch on paper. Ioka, a 21 year old Japanese fighter, was 6-0 (4) and had debuted less than 2 years earlier. Oleydong on the hand was 25 year's old, 35-0-1 (13) had defended the title 6 times already, and had been a pro for over 8 years. What those records didn't show however was that Ioka was a very accomplished amateur, a former Japanese standout and the nephew of former 2-weight world champion Hiroki Ioka. He wasn't just some novice, he was one of the brightest young talents in the sport.
Ioka would apply calculated pressure, impressive maturity and calculated boxing to drop Oleydong in round 2 before closing the show with a perfect body shot in round 5 to begin his journey to stardom, later taking titles at Light Flyweight and Flyweight and becoming a top contender. Oleydong would never manage to build his way back into the world title picture.
Other fights on this date:
2000-Wandee Singwangcha vs Jose Antonio Aguirre - WBC Minimumweight title fight, this was exactly 11 years before Ioka's win
1989-Napa Kiatwanchai vs John Arief - WBC Minmumweight title fight, this was exactly 11 years fore Wandee's bout with Aguirre.
It was on this day in 1992 that the in ring career of Hideyuki Ohashi came to an end, at the Metropolitan Gym in Tokyo. Ohashi, the then WBA Minimumweight champion, was going up against unbeaten Thai challenger Chana Porpaoin in what looked like a really interesting match up.
Ohashi, then boasting a record of 19-4 (12) was a local hero, a 2-time champion at 105lbs and someone who had shared the ring with true legends, in the form of Jung Koo Chang and Ricardo Lopez. At 27 he wasn't a washed fighter, but had been in a lot of hard fighters, and he was certainly not a prime fighter. Porpaoin on the other hand was a 26 year old with a record of 26-0 (12). All of Porpaoin's fights up to this point had been in Thailand and this was his chance to show what he could do to an international audience.
Sadly for Ohashi the Thai would prove to be the quicker, sharper man, winning an intriguing battle of counter punchers. The bout rarely "came alive" but it was always an interesting battle of wits, with both men showing the other a lot of respect. The better work did however come from the Thai, who often did things that little bit better and caught the eye.
As mentioned this would be Ohashi's final bout, though he stayed involved in boxing and currently runs a major gym in Japan, the Ohashi Gym. Porpaoin would defend the title 8 rimes before losing in 1995 to Rosendo Alvarez. He would recapture the belt in 2001, losing it in his first defense and continue to fight until 2006, eventually retiring with a record of 53-4-5 (19). By then he had put himself in the conversation as one of the top 10 or so Minimumweights of all time.
Also on this day
2017-Zhanat Zhakiyanov vs Rau'shee Warren - WBA Bantamweight "super" title fight
Azizbek Abdugofurov vs Sirimongkol Singwancha - The end of a 51 fight winning run from Sirimongkol
1982-Koki Ishii Vs Chul Ho Kim - WBC Super Flyweight title bout
1980-Chan-Hee Park vs Arnel Arrozal - WBC Flyweight title bout
It's not often you seen a teenager travel to another country to rip a world title from an unbeaten champion. That is exactly what we saw on this day in 2014 when Japan's little known Mako Yamada travelled to Chuncheon, South Korea, and ripped the WBO female Minimumweight title from Su Yun Hong.
At the time Yamada was just 19, she was 6-0 (2) and had never fought outside of Japan. In fact she had only fought 26 professional bouts. Hong, on the other hand, was 9-0 (5) she had defended the title twice and was regarded as one of the faces of Korean boxing, at the age of 27.
Surprisingly the teenager went over and out fought, out boxed and out fought the local, taking the split decision win, with only a Korean judge siding with Hong. This should have been a huge coming out win for Yamada, though unfortunately she hasn't actually fought as a professional fighter since. She has, to our knowledge, worked in kick boxing since this win, but doesn't appear to have any intention of boxing again. As for Hong she has actually continued fighter, and has since gone 6-1 (2) since.
Also on this day:
1996-Manny Pacquiao Vs Rustico Torrecampo - Pacquiao's first career loss
1973-Venice Borkhorsor Vs Erbito Salavarria
1969-Shozo Saigo Vs Pedro Gomez
There hasn't been loads of notable activity on February 8th in the history of Asian boxing, but there has been a few notable events. On eof the most notable happened on this day in 1970 when Shozo Saijo headlined a card at the Nippon Budokan and faced off with Chilean veteran Godfrey Stevens. Coming into the bout Saijo was 23-5-2 (6) and the WBA Featherweight champion, having defended the title twice since winning it on US soil in 1968. Stevens on the other hand was 68-4-3 (21), with an impressive 24 fight winning run, and was fighting in his first world title bout.
The bout wasn't particularly competitive, with Saijo taking a clear decision win over the 15 round distance to record his 3rd defense. He would go on to successfully defend the title twice more, beating Frankie Crawford in both of those defenses, before losing the belt in September 1971 to Antonio Gomez.
Shozo would retire after losing to Gomez, leaving behind him a record of 29-7-2 (8). Stevens would continue to fight through much of the 1970's, finishing his career after a 1977 loss to Alexis Arguello. His final career record would be 71-10-3 (21).
Also on this day:
2006-Go Odaira's debut
2004-Yodsanan 3-K Battery Vs Ryuhei Sugita
One of the first real stars of the Minimumweight division was Japan's Hideyuki Ohashi, who is now better known for his work as a promoter and manger than as an actual fighter. Back when he was a fighter, however he was regularly referred to as a genius and as super talent. On this day in 1990 he got his first shot at a Minimumweight title, having dropped to the weight following two losses to Jung Koo Chang in Light Flyweight world title bouts.
Ohashi's opponent for this bout was Korean Jum Hwan Choi, who had had a notable reign as the IBF Minimumweight champion before losing the belt in 1988. He would claim the WBC title in 1989 and travel to Japan to face Ohashi in his first defense, going to the legendary Korakuen Hall for the bout.
At the time of this bout the 26 year old Choi was 20-2 (8), the defending WBC champion whilst the 24 year old Ohashi was 12-3 (8), he had yet to win a world title but was very highly regarded due to his amateur career and his efforts against Chang. Finally things clicked for Ohashi and he would beat Choi into submission, stopping the Korean in the 9th round with some huge body shots.
Sadly this would be the end for Choi, who retired following his first stoppage loss, with a career tally of 20-3 (8). Sadly Ohashi's reign was a short one, losing the belt 8 months later to Ricardo Lopez. He would however go on to claim the WBA title in 1992, when he beat Hi Yong Choi. That reign was also a short one, losing the belt in 1993. He would retire with a record of 19-5 (12) and would later set up the Ohashi gym, which is now one of the most highly regarded gyms in Japan.
Also on this day:
2009-Ruslan Chagaev Vs Carl Davis Drumond
1988-Myung Woo Yuh Vs Willy Salazar