When it comes to August 26th in the world of boxing there is only 1 starting point, 1906. That was the day that legendary Filipino Ceferino Garcia was born. Garcia, one of the true greats of Filipino boxing was a notable pre-war fighter and scored 119 wins from 163 contests. In his career he shared the ring not just with contemporary greats but all-time greats such as Henry Armstrong, Ken Overlin, Fred Apostoli, Barney Ross and Young Corbett III. His crowning achievement was a short reign as Middleweight champion though his legacy is that of one of the greatest Filipino fighters of all time.
Staying on the subject of birthday's some 51 years after Garcia was born we saw the birth of Yong Hyun Kim from South Korea. Kim's career is no where near as memorable as that of Garcia though did compete at the highest level, at least once. Kim's defining fight was a loss at the hands of Japanese great Yoko Gushiken in 1980 as Gushiken recorded his 10th world title defence.
Exactly 9 years after Kim's birthday Japanese fans would have been shocked as Super Featherweight world champion Hiroshi Kobayashi was narrowly out pointed by Ruben Navarro. Thankfully for Kobayashi it was a 10 round non-title fight fought above the 130lb limit and he would go on to hold one title or another for almost another 3 years before losing in 1971 to Alfredo Marcano.
In 1995 Japanese fan favourite Joichiro Tatsuyoshi bounced back from his high profile defeat to Yasuei Yakushiji to defeat Noe Santillana in a non-title bout.
Exactly a year after "Joe's" return to the ring Japanese fans got the chance to see Yuri Arbachakov in action defending his WBC Flyweight title. Yuri would be fighting Puma Toguchi and actually make the final defence of the his title that he unfortunately lost 15 months later to Chatchai Sasakul. Yuri was the first Russian to hold world a title in professional boxing and one of the greatest imported fighters to Japan in history. A true Flyweight phenomenon.
Talking about successful world title title defenses we also saw one from the controversial Masamori Tokuyama. Tokuyama, who represented North Korea in a number of fights, succesfully defended his WBC Super Flyweight title against Erik Lopez on this day in 2002, this was the 8th defence by Tokuyama who was named "Japan's boxer of the year" for the same year.
(Image, of Garcia, courtesy of boxrec.com)