November 11th 1971-Ehime Rugby Stadium, Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan
Kuniaki Shibata (35-2-2, 22) vs Ernesto Marcel (31-3-1, 18)
In late 1971 Kuniaki Shibata, the then WBC Featherweight champion, faced off with talented Panamanian challenger Ernesto Marcel in Matsuyama.
July 5th 1975-Kasamatsu Park Gym, Mito, Ibaragi, Japan
Kuniaki Shibata (44-5-3, 25) Vs Alfredo Escalera (29-7-1, 18)
In 1975 Japan's Kuniaki Shibata [柴田 国明], the then WBC Super Featherweight champion, took on Alfredo Escalera.
March 12th 1973-Blaisdell Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Kuniaki Shibata (37-4-3, 23) vs Ben Villaflor (48-4-3, 25)
In 1973 Japan's Kuniaki Shibata [柴田 国明], a former WBC Super Featherweight champion, travelled to face Filipino Ben Villaflor in a bout for Villaflor's WBA Super Featherweight title. These two would later have a rematch which ended in memorable fashion.
December 11th 1970- Auditorio Municipal, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
Kuniaki Shibata (31-2-2, 20) Vs Vicente Saldivar (36-1, 26)
Japanese fighters haven't often won titles on the road however Kuniaki Shibata managed to do it twice. The first of those saw him upsetting the excellent Vicente Saldivar in a bout for the WBC Featherweight title in Mexico.
June 3rd 1971- Metropolitan Gym, Tokyo, Japan
Kuniaki Shibata (33-2-2, 21) Vs Raul Cruz (20-5-1, 12)
Japan's Kuniaki Shibata was rarely in a forgettable fight as he seemed to either score eye catching knockouts or be caught by something special, as he famously was against Ben Villaflor in their rematch. Another memorable fight, at least the final minute of it, saw Shibata defending the WBC Featherweight title against Raul Cruz. Don't be lulled by the slow start as the ending is brilliant.
When we think of the greatest KO's of all time it's hard to ignore the excellent 1-punch KO by Filipino Ben Villaflor against Japanese nemesis Kuniaki Shibata from October 1973.
The bout was the second meeting between the two men who had first met in March 1973 with Shibata successfully claiming the WBA Super Featherweight title with a narrow decision over Villaflor in Hawaii. The men met again just 7 months later and the result really couldn't be any different as Villaflor regained is title inside 2 minutes with a thunderbolt that left Shibata out cold.
It was, in many ways, the perfect way to recapture the title for Villaflor who would fight on until 1976 eventually losing his title to Samuel Serrano in Puerto Rico. As As for Shibata he would claim the WBC Super Featherweight title 4 months after this fight, beating Ricardo Arredondo. As the WBC champion Shibata would defend the belt thrice before losing to Alfredo Ecalera and slowing winding down his career which came to an end in 1977.
Here we include some of the best, most interesting, most exciting or most eye catching videos from around the Asian boxing world.