September 7th is another day that hasn't featured prominently on the world stage for Asian fighters but has featured more than enough in lower level bouts for us to have done a book of fights. Thankfully we have picked some of the most important for today's "On this Day".
Our first bout of note was in 1967 when the legendary Ki-Soo Kim, Korea's first world champion, defended the OPBF Middleweight title against Nakao Sasazaki. We don't usually consider OPBF title bouts significant for the purpose of these but this one stands out as it actually came between Light Middleweight world title defences for the Korean great who was an elite Light Middleweight and a very good Middleweight at the time. Had he been fighting now we have little doubt that Kim could have been a 2-weight world champion courtesy of the proliferation of world titles.
In 1984 South Korean Soon-Chun Kwon successfully defended his IBF Flyweight title against Joaquin Flores Caraballo via a 12th round stoppage. In the ring there was nothing too odd about the contest however Caraballo was supposed to be fellow Colombian Alberto Castro who would have come into the bout on the back of an unbeaten record and a win over the great Betulio Gonzalez. As a result of the "switch and swap" the promoter of the bout and Caraballo's manager both spent time in jail. As was Kwon this was his 3rd defence of the belt that he won the previous December, he would continue to hold the title until 1986 when he lost to compatriot, and nemesis, Jong-Kwan Chung in a third meeting between the two men, the previous two bouts had both resulted in 15 round draws.
Exactly 6 years after the Kwon/Caraballo bout we saw one of the great Flyweights defending the WBC title in Jamaica. That was Thailand's fantastic Sot Chitalada who took out Richard Clarke in 11 rounds to retain his title and record the 3rd defence his second reign. Chitalada's reign would come to an end just over 5 months later when he was stopped in 6 rounds by compatriot Muangchai Kittikasem who would stop Chitalada again the following year in what was to be Chitalada's final bout.
In terms of female fights this day in 2009 was a notable one as Fujin Raika went to the went to the USA to fight American veteran Layla McCarter in a bout for the WBA female Lightweight title. Unfortunately for Raika she was no match for her American counterpart who easily out pointed her over 10 rounds. Widely regarded as the founder "mother" of Japanese female boxing Raika is a genuine legend of the sport though one that is under-valued by many fans who seem to treat female boxing in such a harsh way despite their being more talent there than many want to accept.
(Image, of Ki-Soo Kim, courtesy of boxrec.com)