Through out time August 18th has become one of the most wonderful days in Asian boxing for both a number of notable fights and an impressive number of birthday's.
The first fight of note came back in 1966 when Hiroshi Kobayashi travelled to the USA to defeat Bobby Valdez. That bout was Kobayashi's US debut and just 16 months later he would claim the unified Super Featherweight crown with a stoppage over
Some 18 years after Kobayashi made his US debut we saw South Korean great Jung-Koo Chang make the 4th defence of his WBC Light Flyweight title with a stoppage against Katsuo Tokashiki. The victory was one of 15 defences for Chang who will forever be remembered as one of the greatest ever Light Flyweights in history.
Just 6 years after the Chang/Tokashiki bout we saw another notable bout with a South Korean involved, that time it was Ki Jun Lee who fought against the then WBC Super Bantamweight champion Paul Banke. Unfortunately for Lee he came up short losing a thriller by 12th round TKO, at the time the scorecards were split and everything was to fight for going into the final round. Sadly for Lee however he was looking exhausted and was dropped in round 11 and twice in round 12. This bout would be Lee's sole world title bout and he would fight just twice more before retiring from the sport in the early 1990's.
Yet another notable bout involving a South Korean took on this day in 2013 when the then OPBF Light Welterweight champion Min Wook Kim defended his belt with a thrilling victory over Valentine Hosokawa. The bout was to be Km's final OPBF title defence but a memorable bout, in fact for many it was the last stand out bout in Korea and a really memorable contest that showed off just how exciting and how popular Kim was.
In terms of birthdays the most notable day was August 18th 1975, a day in which we welcomed two notable fighters in to the world. One of those was the popular Nobuhiro Ishida and the other was female fighting legend Naoko Fujioka. Ishida is, as we all know, one of the few Japanese fighters who has appealed to fans around the world courtesy of several high profile bouts whilst Fujioka is arguably the best female fighter of her generation.
In 1984 we welcomed Thailand's Kwanthai Sithmorseng into the world whilst 5 years later Japan's exciting Lightweight prospect Masayoshi Nakatani was born. Sithmorseng, despite only being 30, looks to be heading towards the end of his career whilst Nakatani appears to be heading towards really big things if he can continue to run up notable victories like he has been doing recently.
(Image, of birthday boy Ishida, courtesy of boxrec.com)