One of the great things about boxing today is the ease of access to international content, with streams and feeds, both legal and illegal, available from all around the globe. Whilst we, as fans, have become more critical about match making we have to see the access to global fights as being something to celebrate from this current era of boxing. Watching fights from around hasn't always been easy and today's Closet Classic looks at a bout that few would have seen live, but has since become a must watch bout for all fans of the sport. It's become one of the great examples of styles making fights and also helped us all learn the two of the tricky to spell names of recent years.
Somsak Sithchatchawal (45-1-1-1, 35) Vs Mahyar Monshipour (28-2-2, 19)
In 2006 streaming of boxing from around the globe was just starting to take off, at least for the hardcore and nerdy. It wasn't as easily accessible as it is now, and when Thailand's Somsak Sithchatchawal travelled to France to face French based Iranian warrior Mahyar Monshipour few outside of France would likely have seen it live. Despite that world of mouth saw the contest being widely regarded as the Fight of the Year, and having several Round of the Year contenders. It was a special, special bout.
Entering the contest Monshipour was the WBA Super Bantamweight champion. He had won the belt in 2003, stopping fellow Frenchman Salim Medjkoune in the 12th round and reeled off 5 defenses, all by stoppage. The champion was unbeaten since 1998 and had reeled off 20 straight wins, with 15 of those coming inside the distance. He had earned the "Little Tyson" moniker and stopped the likes of Yoddamrong Sithyodthong and Shigeru Nakazato during his title reign whilst becoming a star in France.
Somsak on the other hand was a total unknown outside of Thailand, with only 3 of his 48 bouts taking place outside of his homeland, with the most notable of those being a win in South Africa against Luyanda Mini back in 1998. Coming into the bout the single most notable result on Somsak's record was his loss, back in 1998 to Ratanachai Sor Vorapin, and there was little to suggest he was going to put up much of a fight against the destructive champion.
With Canal + Sport showing the bout in France and a packed Palais des Sport Marcel Cerdan in Levallois-Perret hosting the bout it seemed almost certain the local favourite was going to continue his fantastic run. Afterall he was the champion and the Thai chap was an unknown challenger. It seemed everyone expected this to be another straight forward assignment for Monshipour. They were in for a rude awakening however with the local hero being wobbled, and dropped in the first round. From there on we ended with a very, very special fight with an insane work rate from both men. It was champion pressing the fight, applying his intense pressure and the Thai being forced to fight with his back on the ropes. Despite being on the back foot Somsak was regularly landing clean counter shots and riding a lot of what was thrown his way.
Although the fighters were little guys, competing at 122lbs, the work rate was simply out of this world with none stop punching from the two guys. As early as round 3 it seemed that pace would catch up to one of the men, or the other, especially given that there was a lot of body shots being landed by both. The question wasn't so much a case of whether the bout would go 12 but who would wilt first from the war that was taking place.
We won't ruin anything else from this amazing fight, but it is well worthy of your time if you've never seen it before. If you have seen it, then you'll know it's worth a rewatch any time. Either way we're so lucky now that a match up like this is widely available and can be watched back with ease and that live streaming has taken off to the point where a bout like this can be watched so much easier than it could at the start of the millennium.
Back in the 1990's there was a number of very popular Japanese fighters all around at the same time. The most popular and well known of those was Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, who even today is still a star in Japan and his name carries so much weight that his son is feeling the rub of sharing the same surname. Today we look at a classic featuring another of the big Japanese names from the 1990's and like Tatsuyoshi the man in question reached the top of the sport, and in fact got so popular Sega released a video game with his name on. Here we see that Japanese fighter taking on a hard hitting and determined Korean challenger in what is one of the most over-looked bouts of the 1990's.
Katsuya Onizuka (24-0, 17) Vs Hyung Chul Lee (17-4, 13)
The Japanese fighter we were alluding to was Katsuya Onizuka, who went by the nickname "Spanky K". Onizuka's popularity in Japan in the early to mid 1990's was perhaps only over-shadowed by that of Tatsuyoshi, though his success in the ring did make up for that in many ways. Onizuka had turned professional in 1988, won the Japanese Super Flyweight title in 1990 and then claimed the WBA Super Flyweight title in 1992, defeating Thanomsak Sithbaobay, in the first of 2 meetings. As the champion he would defend the title 5 times before facing Lee in September 1994. Unfortunately for Onizuka his reign was a poor one, with 4 of defenses coming by decision and several of those being questionable, with home town judges certainly helping him keep the title. He was a good fighter, but his popularity exceeded his skill, and by the time he fought Lee he was regarded as a lucky champion.
Hyung Chul Lee on the other hand was a relatively unknown fighter outside of Korea. He has lost 3 of his first 4 bouts, then lost in Japan to David Griman in 1990. The loss to Griman ended a 6 fight winning run for the Korean who fell to 7-1 (5). Following the Griman defeat Lee then began to find his form winning 10 in a row, albeit against limited opposition. Those wins saw him win, and defend, the South Korean Super Flyweight title and score 8 stoppages. He was looking like a destructive force, but was very much fighting at a level well under world class. Like many Korean fighters of the time however his will to win, high work rate and incredible toughness was always going to make him a nightmare for someone like Onizuka, who lacked world class power.
The fight started with both men looking to get their jabs into play, with Onizuka using his size advantage well and keeping Lee at range in the early going with his jab at footwork. It was however going to take more than a few jabs to get Lee's respect and whenever he managed to slip the jab the Korean made sure to crack Onizuka with a shot or two, often to the body. The game plans were clear, for Onizuka it was to chip away, win the rounds and take the fight, for Lee it was to slow the legs of Onizuka, land the body shots and take the fight to Onizuka later on. By round 2 Lee's tactic seemed to be the one winning out, and he was successfully dragging Onizuka into a war. By the end of round 2 it was clear we were going to get something exciting, though the worry was likely that Lee would have to do more than just trying to win the rounds. After all, Onizuka had his reputation as a fighter who was getting lucky with the judges.
As the rounds went on the fight became more and more engaging, with Lee closing the distance easier round by round, and Onizuka taking more punishment. Onizuka was landing the prettier stuff, the clean stuff, but Lee was landing the harder shots, he was the one making the fight and the one who was looking more comfortable with the pace. And from there we leave you to enjoy the bout, especially the brutally fantastic 9th round.
Earlier this year we looked at some obscure facts of Japanese boxing, and now we feel is an ideal time to look at some more obscure facts. This time however we'll be focusing on Indonesia, and the Indonesian boxing scene. More specifically picking out 5 historic fighters from Indonesian boxing history.
Unlike the Japanese scene the Indonesian one isn't one that's on fire right now, but the country has played notable role in the sport, developing several world champions over the years, as well as providing a lot of regional journeymen, to pad the records of hopefuls across the region.
1-Thomas Americo creates history in 1981
The little known Thomas Americo is a rather tragic figure in Indonesian boxing, and the boxing history of Timor Leste. Born in 1958, in what was then Portuguese Timor, Thomas Americo would be the first Indonesian world title challenger in history when he challenged Saoul Mamby for the WBC Light Welterweight title in 1981.
Americo had made his professional debut in April 1980, beating Australian veteran Eddie Buttons, over 10 rounds. He followed up his debut win with a KO victory over the then OPBF Light Welterweight champion Sang Mo Koo, in a big upset. That upset went on to destroy plans to have Koo fight in a world title fight, and instead Americo got a shot, taking on Mamby. Sadly Americo lost a majority decision to Mamby and from then on his career never really got going again, with his record falling to 6-6-1 in June 1987. He would then retire before making a 1-off return in 1995, and winning before leaving the sport with a record of 7-6-1 (3)
When Americo challenged Mamby Timor Leste had been annexed by Indonesia, which was done in 1975, and was under Indonesian rule for much of the following 30 years. Sadly Americo would die before Timor Leste got it's independence at the turn of the Millenium.
2-The only Indonesian Triple champion Elly Pical
Whilst Americo was the first Indonesian to fight for a world title the first Indonesian to win a world title was Elly Pical, who actually achieved the feat 3 times! Not only that but is one of the few men to have won the same belt 3 times, being a 3-time IBF Super Flyweight champion.
Pical's first reign came in May 1985, when he landed his powerful left hook on Korean Ju Do Chun in the 8th round. That reign lasted less than a year, as he lost the title the following February to Cesar Polanco. A rematch with Polanco in July 1986 saw Pical stop the Dominican in 3 rounds to become a 2-time champion. Pical was stripped, after losing to WBAchampion Khaosai Galaxy in February 1987, but reclaimed the title in October 1987 to become a 3-time champion in the space of 29 months.
Whilst Pical's first reign was historically huge for Indonesia it's worth noting that his third reign was also historic. It ran for almost 2 years and saw him defend the title in the first ever world title bout in Singapore and become the first Indonesian world champion to travel to the US to defend a title, though he was unsuccessful in that US bout losing to Juan Polo Perez.
Sadly footage of much of Pical's career was destroyed in a fire, meaning that it's unlikely we will ever get a chance to many ofPical's bouts.
3-Early Oriental King Wongso Suseno!
Few fans outside of Indonesia, and few even inside the country, will be aware of Wongso Suseno but in 1975 he etched his name into the records books. Suseno made his debut in May 1975, as a 29 year old, and in just his second bout he defeated Chang Kil Lee of South Korea to claim the OPBF Light Welterweight. This saw Suseno become the first Indonesian fighter to win any sort of recognisable international title.
Suseno's reign was a relatively short one, lasting from his win over Lee in July 1975 to September 1977, and feature only 2 successful defenses. Interestingly Thomas Americo would claim this same OPBF title in 1980, when he stopped Sang Mo Koo.
Sadly after winning his first 4 bouts Suseno's career would fall apart and he would retire in 1982 with a 6-6 (1) record.
4-Age ain't nothin' but a number for the Predator!
We know fighters get old, with the lower weight classes typically ageing quicker than those in the heavier weights. With that in mind it's worth considering the impressive career of Muhammad Rachman (65-13-5, 35) who fought from 1993 to 2016, and almost all of his notable bouts came at Minimumweight.
Rachman's career is notable in many ways. For many hardcore fans the first time he popped on their radar would have been in 2004, when Rachman won the IBF Minimumweight title in his 68th professional bout, at the age of 32. That was pretty impressive by it's self, but he then added 3 defenses before losing the title at the age of 35 to Florante Condes. Rachman would come again at the ripe old age of 39, when he stopped Kwanthai Sithmorseng, in 2011, to become the oldest man to win a Minimumweight title. It was a short reign however and he lost the belt before his 40th birthday.
The longevity of Rachman was however still to give us one more surprise, and he was to have another world title shot in 2015, when he was 43. He would lose to Knockout CP Freshmart in a WBA title fight, but show that even in to his 40's he no push over.
5-Abdi Pohan's successive trio of losses
Few will recall Abdi Pohan, who fought in the late 1980's and through to the mid 1990's though he has what looks to be a rather unique string of fights during the early stages of his career. After winning his first 3 bouts Pohan has his first world title, battling Muangchai Kittikasem for the IBF Light Flyweight title. He lost by unanimous decision to Kittikased then got a shot the WBO Light Flyweight title, losing to Jose in 7 rounds De Jesus. Rather than being pushed the queue he then got a third world title fight, moving to 105lbs to challenger Fahlan Sakkrerrin Sr, losing by decision.
That run of results so Pohan go from 3-0 to 3-3, with all 3 losses coming in world title bouts,
Pohan's career never really bounced back, but he did go 1-1 Ratanachai Sor Vorapin before suffering losses towards the end of his career to future world champions Veeraphol Sahaprom and Yokthai Sithoar. He would end his career 9-8 (2), with a 0-3 record in world title fights and a 1-6 record against world champions.
(Image is of Suseno)
The sport of boxing has a number of fighters who are simply must watch action fighters. They are part of a small number of fighters who, win or lose, you must tune in to watch. They are the sort of fighters who put the fight fans first, winning second and their own long term health comes way down their list of priorities. They are the sort of fighters promoters love, fans adore but their own teams almost certainly hate. When we get two such fighters in the ring together we know we're in for something incredibly special.
Yoshihiro Kamegai (26-3-1, 23) vs Jesus Soto Karass (28-10-3, 18)
When we talk about TV friendly fighters there are few, in recent memory, that were as TV friendly as Japan's Yoshihiro Kamegai or Mexico's Jesus Soto Karass. Neither was world class, though both did face world class opposition, neither was the most talented, hardest hitting, slippery or skilled. What both did was provide action, excitement, thrills, spills, work rate and incredible toughness. In April 2016 the two men faced off, for the first of two bouts between the two warriors, and it was one of the best bouts of the year, even it was massively lacking in terms of exposure and attention.
As an amateur Kamegai went 57-12 (31) before turning professional in 2005. Many of his early career bouts were in Japan but in the later years of his career he was becoming a regular in an American ring, thanks to his combination of low cost and highly entertaining bouts. His limitations made him a must watch fighter, and although his results in the US were mixed, going 2-3-1 on US soil heading in to this bout, he was the sort of fighter fans tuned into see. He wasn't hard to find in the ring and was always coming forward.
The 34 year old Soto Karass was, in many ways, similar to Kamegai. He was cheap for promoters, willing to engage in wars and had a reputation for providing great fights, win or lose. Like Kamegai he like to let his hands go, have a fighter and trade shots from the off. He had seen better days before this fight, having taken punishment just 2 fights earlier against Keith Thurman, but had shown he was still relevant with wins against Selcuk Aydin and Andre Berto in his previous 4 bouts.
When the bout was put together hardcore fight fans had high expectations and by the end of the opening round it was clear those expectations were going to be met as the two traded in a phone booth war. One man would take the lead, back the other up, land bombs, then have the tables turned with the other firing back. It was brilliant, breath taking, all action fun from the first round.
Not only was an exciting bout between two all action men, but better yet, it was hotly contested with nothing much separating the two fighters. Every time one fighter seemed to have some sustained success the other would fire off, coming back and take the initiative back.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Meng Fanlong (15-0): IBF #1 / WBO #13
Meng won an IBF title eliminator in June, against Adam Deines (17-1). He will be next in line to face the winner of Beterbiev vs. Gvozdyk.
-Apinun Khongsong (16-0): IBF #1
The undefeated Thai fighter knocked out Japanese veteran Akihiro Kondo (31-9) to become the #1 contender for the IBF World title back in February. He then stopped Indonesian journeyman Yosmar kefi (9-12) on July 19th.
-Romero Duno (20-1): WBO #10
The Filipino prospect defeated world title contender Juan Antonio Rodriguez (30-8) in the States, a few months ago. He will be in action again on September 14th. (Opponent TBA).
-Xiangxiang Sun (16-0): IBF #12
Sun defended his IBF Asia championship against Monico Laurente (30-15) this past March.
-Joe Noynay (18-2): WBO #6
Noynay earned the biggest win of his career on July 12th as he dominated the 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Satoshi Shimizu (8-1) to defend his WBO Asia Pacific crown. He is expected to return to Japan, on December 7th, in a match against Kenichi Ogawa (24-1).
-Jhack Tepora (23-0): IBF #3 / WBA #12 / WBC #14
The former interim WBA World champion got a unanimous decision over Jose Luis Gallegos (16-7) on June 1st.
-Mark Magsayo (20-0): WBC #10
Magsayo outclassed the former 2 time World champion Panya Uthok (53-7) on August 31st and also gained the vacant WBC Asia title.
-Marlon Tapales (33-2): WBO #1 / IBF #3
The former WBO Bantamweight World champion has 3 stoppage wins since moving up a weight class.
-Juan Miguel Elorde (28-1): WBO #2
Elorde has been the WBO Asia Pacific champion since 2015 and has defended it successfully 4 times. He will now challenge Emanuel Navarrete (28-1) for the WBO World title, on September 14th.
-Albert Pagara (32-1): WBO #3
The WBO Intercontinental champion dropped Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-4) on August 17th.
-Ye Joon Kim (18-1): WBA #11
Joon defeated Ryo Kosaka (17-5) to win the vacant WBA Asia title.
Note: This makes Joon the 1st Korean to enter the world rankings in years.
-Jeo Santisima (18-2): WBO #7
Santisima knocked out Alvius Maufani (6-4) in a single round.
-Nawaphon Kaikanha (46-1): WBC #3
Kaikanha marked a second successful defense of his WBC Asia title against former World champion Sonny Boy Jaro (45-15) in May and also knocked out Ryan Lumacad (14-3) on July 20th. He fights for a third time on September 21st against Ryan Rey Ponteras (22-14).
-Michael Dasmarinas (29-2): IBF #1 / WBC #10
Dasmarinas defeated Kenny Demecillo (14-5) this past March, to become the #1 contender for the IBF World title.
-Reymart Gaballo (22-0): WBA #4 / IBF #10 / WBO #14
The former interim WBA champion destroyed Japanese journeyman Yuya Nakamura (9-3) this past February and then Yeison Vargas (17-2) on August 31st.
-Tasana Salapat (51-1): WBC #7 / WBA #9
Since failing to capture the interim WBC title in December, Salapat has picked up 3 more wins as well as the OPBF Silver championship.
-Sukpraserd Ponpitak (24-10): IBF #4
Ponpitak lost to Yukinori Oguni (21-2) in May, but has already bounced back with 2 stoppages over Anucha Noithong (0-6) as well as Hamson Lamandau (10-3) and has also become the IBF Pan Pacific champion.
-Vincent Astrolabio (14-3): WBO #12
Astrolabio defended his newly won WBO Oriental title against Kevin Aseniero (9-3) on August 24th.
-Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-5): WBC #1 / WBA #4
Srisaket already finds himself again at the top of the world rankings and has recently returned back to his camp, possibly getting ready for his next match.
-Sirichai Thaiyen (55-4): WBA #2
The former interim WBA Flyweight World champion has been 5-0 since losing to Dalakian.
-Donnie Nietes (42-1): IBF #4 / WBC #4
No news yet on the 4 division world champion’s return.
-Froilan Saludar (30-3): WBO #12
The former world title challenger will meet Tsubasa Murachi (4-0) for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific crown on September 21st.
-Aston Palicte (25-3): WBO #8 / WBC #8
Palicte lost to Kazuto Ioka (24-2) and failed once again to capture the WBO crown.
-Jakkrawut Majoogoen (28-1): WBA #14
Majoogoen has been on an impressive 14 fight winning streak since losing to Daigo Higa in 2015.
-KJ Cataraja (10-0): WBO #10
Cataraja beat Delfin de Asis (9-8) this July.
-Wulan Tuolehazi (12-3): WBA #3 / WBO #12
The WBC Silver champion fought Japanese standout Ryota Yamauchi (5-1) in March, to win the vacant WBA International title. He marked his first WBA defense against former OPBF champion Ardin Diale (35-14) on May 26th.
-Jayson Mama (14-0): IBF #9 / WBO #10
The undefeated Filipino prospect has had quite an impressive year thus far, with victories over Teeraphong Utaida (38-7) and former WBA Strawweight World champion Ekkawit Songnui (49-7). He then beat Dexter Alimento on September 5th.
-Giemel Magramo (23-1): WBO #2 / IBF #4 / WBC #5 / WBA #5
Magramo defeated Wenfeng Ge (11-1) for the WBO International title this past January. He will clash with Komgrich Nantapech (25-5) on September 7th for a shot at the IBF World title.
-Nare Yianleang (71-5): WBA #2 / WBC #7
Since losing to Kazuto Ioka in 2017, Yianleang has won 9 fights in a row.
-Jayr Raquinel (11-1): WBC #15
The Filipino returned after almost an entire year of inactivity, on August 23rd, and stopped former world title contender Takuya kogawa (30-6) and defended his OPBF title.
-Komgrich Nantapech (25-5): IBF #3
As mentioned above, the Thai boxer will be involved in an IBF eliminator against Giemel Magramo (23-1).
-Genisis Libranza (19-1): WBC #13
Libranza has been 8-0 since losing to the IBF World champion Moruti Mthalane (38-2).
-Sarawut Thawornkham (20-2): WBA #6
Sarawut failed to capture the WBA World title from Artem Dalakian (19-0).
-Edward Heno (14-0): WBO #1 / WBC #1 / WBA #4 / IBF #14
The longtime OPBF king will challenge the WBO World champion Elwin Soto (15-1) either on October 23rd or 24th.
-Christian Araneta (17-0): IBF #3 / WBO #8 / WBC #12
Araneta will go toe to toe with Daniel Valladares (20-1) in an IBF eliminator on September 7th.
-Andika Fredikson Ha'e (17-0): WBA #3
“D’Golden Boy” became the WBA Asia champion in April and defended it on August 31st.
-Randy Petalcorin (30-3): IBF #9 / WBA #11
The former interim WBA World champion beat Thai journeyman Worawatchai Boonjan (14-22) on June 9th.
-Mark Vicelles (11-0): WBO #11
Vicelles added 2 more victories to his record this year.
-Christian Bacolod (11-0): WBO #12
Christian stopped Garry Rojo (9-13) in July.
-Xiang Li (7-2): WBO #15
Li earned the WBC Asia Continental & WBO Youth titles this past May.
-Jonathan Taconing (28-4): WBC #10
Taconing failed to capture the WBC World title from Ken Shiro (16-0).
-Jing Xiang (17-4): WBO #5
Xiang successfully defended his WBC Silver Light Flyweight title against 2 division World champion Suriyan Satorn (60-7) back in January. The Chinese star then made his Strawweight debut on August 17th against Jomar Caindog (10-2) capturing the WBO International championship.
-Samuel Salva (17-0): IBF #1 / WBO #2
Salva and Pedro Taduran (13-2) will meet on September 7th for the vacant IBF World title.
-Lito Dante (16-10): WBC #7 / IBF #11
In a shocking turn of events, Dante managed to TKO top contender Tsubasa Koura (14-1) and become the OPBF champion.
-Rhenrob Andales (10-1): WBA #7
”ArAr” captured the vacant WBA Asia title earlier this year and defended it for the first time in April against Cris Ganoza (17-3). However, he unsuccessfully challenged the WBA World champion Thammanoon Niyomtrong (19-0) on August 2nd.
-Pedro Taduran (13-2): IBF #3 / WBC #4 / WBO #8
As mentioned above, Taduran will be involved in an IBF World championship match with Samuel Salva (17-0).
-Rene Mark Cuarto (17-2): IBF #6 / WBO #15
Cuarto fights the undefeated Jayson Vayson (8-0) on September 7th.
-Joey Canoy (15-3): WBO #9
Canoy stopped Ryan Makiputin (13-18) on July 11th.
-Mark Anthony Barriga (9-1): WBC #5 / IBF #9 / WBO #14
Barriga failed to capture the vacant IBF World Championship in December.
-Robert Paradero (18-0): WBO #3 / IBF #10 / WBA #13
Paradero beat Jonathan Almacen (5-3) this past April.
-Melvin Jerusalem (15-2): WBC #2 / IBF #7 / WBO #10
Jerusalem defeated Reymark Taday (9-10) on August 17th.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Alexander Povetkin (35-2): WBC #7 / WBA #8 / IBF #14
The former Olympic & World champion defeated Hughie Fury (23-3) to win the vacant WBA International title. He now wants Tyson next.
-Sergey Kuzmin (15-0): WBA #5 / IBF 7
The WBA Intercontinental champion Sergey Kuzmin will clash with Michael Hunter (17-1) on September 13th.
-Evgeny Romanov (14-0): WBO #10
Romanov has improved his perfect record with 3 more victories this year as well as becoming the 1st ever WBO Global Heavyweight champion.
-Ivan Dychko (9-0): WBA #13
The 2 time Olympic Bronze Medalist stopped Nate Heaven (9-3) as well as former world title challenger Ray Austin (29-10) thus far in 2019.
-Aleksei Egorov (9-0): WBA Gold champion
The 2013 European winner bested Ukranian veteran Roman Golovashchenko (20-4) within 3 rounds to be declared the new WBA Gold champion.
-Yury Kashinsky (18-0): IBF #3 / WBA #3 / WBO #4 / WBC #7
Kashinsky won the vacant IBF Intercontinental title, on June 16th.
-Evgeny Tishchenko (5-0): WBO #11 / IBF #14
The 2016 Olympic champion dropped to Cruiserweight and won the vacant WBO Intercontinental title after stopping Abraham Tabul (16-2) in one round.
-Ruslan Fayfer (24-1): IBF #5 / WBC #11
Ruslan defeated Serhiy Radchenko (7-4) on May 19th.
-Sergey Kovalev (34-3): WBO World champion
The Russian legend successfully defended his WBO title against Anthony Yarde (18-1) on August 24th. There are talks about him fighting Canelo next.
-Artur Beterbiev (14-0): IBF World champion
Beterbiev will unify with the WBC champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk (17-0) on October 18th.
-Dmitry Bivol (16-0): WBA World champion
Bivol made his 4th title defense in March against Joe Smith Jr. (24-3). He is expected to compete at Matchroom’s October 12th card.
-Maksim Vlasov (44-3): WBO #6 / IBF #11
Vlasov defended his WBO Global title against former foe & 2 time world title challenger Isaac Chilemba (25-7) on July 20th, thus avenging his 1st professional loss.
-Umar Salamov (24-1): WBO #4 / WBA #10
Salamov retained the WBO International title after knocking out Norbert Dabrowski (22-8) this past April.
-Igor Mikhalkin (23-2): WBC #4 / IBF #13 / WBA #15
Mikhalkin earned a unanimous decision victory over Timur Nikarkhoev (21-3) as well as the interim IBO title.
-Fedor Chudinov (21-2): WBA #3 WBC #5 / IBF #6 / WBO #11
The former WBA World champion has fought thrice in 2019, defeating the likes of Wuzhati Nuerlang (11-3), Rafael Bejaran (26-4) and Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (26-6). According to his manager, Fedor could be challenging for the big one soon.
-Aidos Yerbossynuly (12-0): WBA #4 / WBO #9
The Kazakh defeated Lukas Ndafoluma (16-2) in March, to become the WBA International champion. Aidos already holds the WBO Global & WBC Asia Continental titles as well, which he defended against Rocky Jerkic (17-2) in Australia, on August 14th.
-Aslambek Idigov (16-0): WBO #8
Idigov picked up a majority decision over Ronny Landaeta (16-2) in April, to become the WBO & IBF European champion.
-Vladimir Shishkin (9-0): WBA #13 / WBC #13
The undefeated Russian stopped the WBC Continental Americas champion DeAndre Ware (13-2) on August 23rd.
-Evgeny Shvedenko (12-0): IBF #11
Shvedenko beat former world title contender Nadjib Mohammedi (41-8) to win the Eurasian & IBO Intercontinental titles.
-Azizbek Abdugofurov (13-0): WBC #4
The WBC Silver champion made a successful comeback in the ring, on August 24th, against Gasan Gasanov (16-9).
-Gennady Golovkin (39-1): WBO #1 / WBC #1 / IBF #3
Triple G will battle for the vacant IBF title against Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-1) on October 5th.
-Kanat Islam (26-0): WBO #8
The 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist made his triumphant return after a 2 year hiatus and demolished Julio De Jesus (27-2) in 14 seconds to become the new WBO International champion. He is expected to fight again in October.
-Magomed Madiev (13-0): WBA #3
Madiev went to war with fellow Russian fighter Evgeny Terentiev (14-2) on July 22nd and defended his WBA Asia title for the 3rd time.
-Janibek Alimkhanuly (7-0): WBO #15
The 2013 AIBA World champion defeated Christian Olivas (16-5) to win the inaguaral WBO Global title & the vacant WBC Continental Americas title. He defended his belts against Stuart McLellan (27-4) on August 17th.
-Meiirim Nursultanov (12-0): IBF #10
Nursultanov has added 3 more victories, this year, to his already impressive record.
-Israil Madrimov (3-0): WBA #6
Accomplished amateur Uzbek boxer Madrimov knocked Frank Rojas (24-3) out in just 2 rounds, to defend the WBA Intercontinental title this past March. He made his successful Madison Square Garden debut this past June, against Norberto Gonzalez (24-13). He is expected to compete on October 5th.
-Magomed Kurbanov (17-0): WBA #8
Kurbanov was meant to fight Michel Soro (34-2) on July 20th, for the vacant WBA (Regular) World championship in France, but he couldn’t make it in the country due to a visa issue.
-Bakhram Murtazaliev (16-0): WBO #4 / IBF #6
Murtazaliev defended his WBC United States championship against Elvin Ayala (29-13) this past February. He then scored a first round finish of Bruno Leonardo Romay (21-7) in April. The Russian will now go toe to toe with Jeison Rosario (19-1) in an IBF title eliminator on September 21st.
-Aram Amirkhanyan (12-0): WBO #7
The unified WBO International & WBA Continental champion hasn’t fought since December of last year.
-Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (16-0): IBF #1 / WBC #6 / WBO #11
Kudratillo bested Keita Obara (21-4) this past March, to become the #1 contender for the IBF title. He is rumored to be fighting former WBA World champion Luis Collazo (39-7) on October 18th.
-Sergey Lipinets (16-1): IBF #3 / WBO #4 / WBC #5
Lipinets stopped 2 division World champion Lamont Peterson (35-5) in March.
He added another finish to his record on July 20th after he dropped Jayar Inson (18-3) to win the vacant WBO Intercontinental title. There are talks about him going up against the current WBC Silver & former World champion Danny Garcia (35-2) before the end of the year.
-David Avanesyan (24-3): WBC #10 / WBO #14
The former interim WBA World title holder defeated Kerman Lejarraga (28-1) in March and became the EBU European champion. These 2 will have their rematch on September 28th.
-Alexander Besputin (13-0): WBA #1
Besputin defended his USBA title for the second time against Alfredo Blanco (20-8) in April. Odds are we are going to see him and Butaev fight each other for the now vacant WBA (Regular) championship.
-Nursultan Zhangabayev (8-0): WBA #7 / IBF #13
Zhangabayev won the vacant WBA Intercontinental title after beating Ivan Matute (30-3) in March. He defended his belt against the IBF Pan Pacific champion Steve Gago (11-1) on August 14th.
-Radzhab Butaev (12-0): WBA #2
Butaev knocked out Lanardo Tyner (35-16) in March and then defeated Sliverio Ortiz (37-26) 2 months later. As said above, the 2 undefeated Russians might go at it for the WBA (Regular) title.
-Batyr Akhmedov (7-0): WBA #3
Akhmedov has expanded his undefeated streak in 2019, with victories over Viktor Plotnikov (33-6) as well as Francisco Gabriel Pina (14-16). He will now meet with Mario Barrios (24-0) for the WBA (Regular) title on September 28th.
-Zhankosh Turarov (24-0) WBO #9
Turarov made short work of Mauro Maximiliano Godoy (31-5) in July, thus becoming the new WBO Intercontinental champion. He has joined the MTK Golden Contract Super Lightweight tournament along with the IBF European champion Akeen Ennis Brown (13-0) and former IBO champion Mohamed Mimoune (21-3).
-Shohjahon Ergashev (17-0): WBA #4 / IBF #6 / WBO #11
The unstoppable Uzbek has beaten Mykal Fox (20-1) and Abdiel Ramirez (24-5) in 2019.
-Shakhram Giyasov (9-0): WBA #5 / IBF #15
The 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist knocked out the former interim WBA World champion Darleys Perez (34-5), on August 24th, in less than a minute.
-Roman Andreev (23-0): WBO #3 / IBF #10
Top Russian contender defeated Jesus Cuadro (18-5) in May.
-Zaur Abdullaev (11-0): WBC #4 / WBO #15
The WBC Silver champion stopped Humberto Martinez (33-9) earlier this year. Abdullaev will now collide with Devin Haney (22-0), on September 13th, in a WBC title eliminator.
-Pavel Malikov (15-1): IBF #13
Malikov will face former world title challenger Isa Chaniev on October 12th.
-Isa Chaniev (13-2): IBF #14
Chaniev, as mentioned above, is going to meet the Eurasian champion Malikov in Riga.
-Shavkat Rakhimov (14-0): WBC #3 / IBF #5
Rakhimov marked his 3rd IBO title defense, against Rofhiwa Maemu (18-9) in March.
He will be involved in an IBF eliminator with Azinga Fuzile (14-0) on September 29th.
-Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu (14-0): WBA #5
Sulaimanbek stopped Pipat Chaiporn (47-13) in Russia, to defend his WBA Asia championship. He marked his 4th one against Milner Marcano (20-8) on August 24th.
-Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (15-0): WBC #12 / IBF #14 / WBO #15
The undefeated WBC International champion has scored 2 victories this year against Jhon Gemino (20-12) and former interim WBA World champion Emanuel Lopez (30-11). He will defend his title again on November 3rd. (Opponent TBA)
-Denis Shafikov (40-4): IBF #10
Shafikov fought Gaybatulla Gadzhialiev (6-2), this past February, to a draw.
-Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-0): WBC #1 / IBF #5
The 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist defeated Claudio Marrero (24-3) in January, to earn the vacant IBO belt. King Tug is next in line for a shot at the WBC World championship.
-Murodjon Akhmadaliev (6-0): WBA #2
The 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist was scheduled to challenge the unified WBA & IBF World champion Daniel Roman (27-2) but since Roman was injured, it’s unclear as to what happens next.
-Nikolai Potapov (20-2): WBO #8 / IBF #11
Potapov lost to Joshua Greer Jr. (21-1) on July 13th.
When we talk about the greatest ever fights on British soil 2 of them actually feature a Korean, and they took place in the space of just a 6 of months back in the early 00's. The fights, which both took place in the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, were both stupidly violent, exciting and action packed bouts that saw both men putting it all on the line with a high intensity all action war. Here we look at the first of those two bouts, which pitted two real tough guys against each other in a bout for the vacant WBC Featherweight title.
In Jin Chi (27-2, 16) vs Michael Brodie (35-1, 23) I
Korean Warrior Chi was a relative unknown outside of Asia until 2001, when travelled to LA and battled Erik Morales for the WBC Featherweight title. It was only the second time Chi had left Korea and was his first loss in almost a decade, following a decision defeat on debut in 1991. Against Morales Chi proved himself as an insanely tough fighter who was unable to outbox Morales, but gave the Mexican great questions at times with his aggression and toughness. Through his 29 fight career up to this point he had won the Korea and OPBF Bantamweight titles, beating Jess Maca twice and holding other notable wins over the likes of Dino Olivetti and Samuel Duran.
Brodie on the other hand was a once beaten English fighter who was part of a rising boxing scene in the North West of England, with the likes of Ricky Hatton, Anthony Farnell and Michael Gomez, themselves dubbed the 3-amigos by some all coming through in the wake of Brodie's rise. To this point Brodie's only loss was had been a majority decision to Willie Jorrin in a bout for the WBC Super Bantamweight title, a loss that pretty much ended his days at 1222lbs and forced him up to Featherweight. Like Chi he was a tough guy, but he was technically a better boxer with smoother movement and had taken the British, Commonwealth and European titles at Super Bantamweight prior to facing Jorrin. Although a better pure boxer he was happy to engage in a war and that made for an interesting style clash with Chi.
After just a few seconds the fighters clashed heads. It was a hard clash, though saw no major injury to either, with Chi just needing a few seconds to recover. From then out the became a war, inside war of machismo, fire and desire, Chi got the better of it in round 2, dropping Brodie, who recovered and came back hard on Chi, really taking the fight to the Korean in round 3 and pinning him against the ropes, then Chi came back.
From then we got unadulterated violence with Brodie trying to break every rib in Chi's body with a sustained body attack whilst Chi soaked it up and responded with head shots, swelling the face of Brodie. It was a hard, hard man's fight, and one of those that takes a lasting toll on both men. The volume of hard, clean connects was through the rough and the bout swung one way then the other, with Brodie having a great run in the middle rounds, though had given a lot of effort with his body attack which hadn't been able to break down the Korean.
The bout was also well remembered for various controversial issues with the scoring, a fight almost breaking out between officials and promoters, and for the controversial nature resulting in their thrilling rematch 6 months later.
This is just an incredible fight and well worth watching if you're after some mindless violence!
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Kyotaro Fujimoto (20-1): WBA #11
The former K-1 star and the reigning WBO Asia Pacific champion will rematch Suthat Kalalek (13-10) on October 21st.
-Ryota Murata (15-2): WBA (Regular) World champion
The 2012 Olympic champion got his revenge on Rob Brant (25-2) in Osaka, reclaiming his WBA title.
-Takeshi Inoue (14-1): WBO #11 / IBF #15
Inoue made short work of Thai veteran Komsan Polsan (38-11) on August 3rd, to become the WBO Asia Pacific champion for the second time.
-Keita Obara (21-4): IBF #8
After losing to Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (16-0) earlier this year, Obara beat Indonesian journeyman Yosmar Kefi (9-12) in June.
-Yusuke Konno (15-4): WBA #14
Konno stopped Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (15-3) in China to become the new WBA Asia champion.
-Andy Hiraoka (14-0): IBF #14
The Japanese youngster earned the biggest win of his career, this past July, against former world title challenger Akihiro Kondo (31-9).
-Masayoshi Nakatani (18-1): IBF #7 / WBC #12
Nakatani came up short against Teofimo Lopez (14-0), ending his undefeated streak.
-Kenichi Ogawa (24-1): IBF #3 / WBO #11
The uncrowned IBF king returned to the ring earlier this year and has already amassed 2 victories. Ogawa will challenge Joe Noynay (18-2) for the WBO Asia Pacific championship, on December 7th, at the legendary Korakuen Hall.
-Masaru Sueyoshi (19-1): WBO #4
Sueyoshi will meet Kosuke Saka (18-5), on November 2nd, for the 5th defense of his Japanese title.
-Kazuhiro Nishitani (20-4): IBF #12
Nishitani has been 5-0 since 2016, knocking out every single one of his opponents.
-Musashi Mori (9-0): WBO #9
Mori defended his WBO Asia Pacific title against the former champion Richard Pumicpic (21-10) this past April. He will take on Suntorn Panhom (5-4) on September 15th.
-Hiroshige Osawa (35-5): WBA #1 / IBF #14
The former world title challenger is scheduled to fight Indonesian champion Jason Butar Butar (30-26) on October 1st.
-Reiya Abe (19-2): IBF #6 / WBC #11
Abe will square off with Ryo Sagawa (7-1) for the vacant Japanese title, on September 13th.
-Ryosuke Iwasa (26-3): IBF #1
Iwasa won an IBF eliminator against Cesar Juarez (24-7) in February. Since Daniel Roman (27-2) is out with an injury, an interim IBF title fight could be made with Iwasa and Marlon Tapales (33-2).
-Hiroaki Teshigawara (20-2): IBF #8
Teshigawara defended his OPBF championship against former world title challenger Shohei Omori (20-3) on August 8th.
-Shingo Wake (26-5): WBC #2 / IBF #4
Wake has been on a 6 fight winning streak since losing to Jonathan Guzman (23-1) in 2016.
-Yukinori Oguni (21-2): WBA #3
The former IBF World champion defeated Sukpraserd Ponpitak (24-10) in May.
-Yusaku Kuga (18-3): WBC #11
Kuga became once again the Japanese champion after earning a unanimous decision over Ryoichi Tamura (12-4) a few months back. He will mark his inaugural title defense on September 21st against Yosuke Fujihara (18-6).
-Tomoki Kameda (36-3): WBC #8
The former interim WBC champion came up short in his unification bout with Rey Vargas (34-0).
-Naoya Inoue (18-0): IBF World champion
Inoue is set to clash with the WBA Super & WBC Diamond champion Nonito Donaire (40-5) in the WBSS Bantamweight final, on November 7th.
-Takuma Inoue (13-0): WBC Interim World champion
Takuma will unify with Nordine Oubaali (16-0) on November 7th.
-Keita Kurihara (14-5): IBF #9 / WBC #12
Kurihara defended his OPBF crown in May, after knocking out former world title challenger Warlito Parrenas (26-10).
-Yuki Strong Kobayashi (15-8): IBF #12 / WBO #15
Kobayashi won the WBO Asia Pacific title, this past May, from Ben Mananquil (17-2).
-Kazuto Ioka (24-2): WBO World champion.
Ioka defeated Aston Palicte (25-3) in June to capture the vacant WBO strap and to become the 1st ever Japanese 4 division World champion.
-Akira Yaegashi (28-6): WBO #7 / WBA #11 / WBC #13
The 3 division World champion has been undefeated as a Super Flyweight, with 3 consecutive TKO victories under his belt. His goal is to meet Jerwin Ancajas (31-1) for the IBF title, probably in November.
-Sho Ishida (28-1): WBO #2 / WBA #3 / IBF #5 / WBC #9
Ishida has been 4-0 since losing to Khalid Yafai (26-0) in 2017.
-Koki Eto (24-5): WBO #11 / IBF #7
Eto lost to Jeyvier Cintron (11-0) on August 2nd in a WBO eliminator.
-Takayuki Okumoto (24-8): IBF #15
The Japanese champion made his 4th successful title defense on August 4th against Dynamic Kenji (11-4).
-Kosei Tanaka (14-0): WBO World champion
Tanaka defended against Jonathan Gonzalez (22-3) on August 24th.
-Junto Nakatani (19-0): WBC #3 / WBO #4 / WBA #7 / IBF #11
Nakatani’s biggest fight yet will take place on October 5th, when he tests himself against the former IBF Light Flyweight World champion Milan Melindo (37-4).
-Masayuki Kuroda (30-8): IBF #10 / WBC #14
Kuroda went to war with Moruti Mthalane (38-2) for the IBF World title, this past May, but couldn’t bring the belt back home.
-Yusuke Sakashita (18-8): WBO #15
Sakashita stopped former world title contender Masahiro Sakamoto (13-3) to become the new WBO Asia Pacific champion. He will mark his first defense against Naoki Mochizuki (16-4), in a revenge match from 2016, on October 21st.
-Hiroto Kyoguchi (13-0): WBA (Super) World champion.
Kyoguchi successfully defended the WBA title this past June, against Muay Thai champion Tanawat Nakoon (11-1). His next opponent will be Tetsuya Hisada (34-9), whom he’ll face on October 1st in Japan.
-Ken Shiro (16-0): WBC World champion.
The unstoppable Ken Shiro made short work of Jonathan Taconing (28-4) in July, to mark his 6th title defense.
-Tetsuya Hisada (34-9): WBA #1 / WBC #2 / WBO #3 / IBF #6
Hisada has been on an impressive 13 fight winning streak. His big opportunity finally has arrived as he challenges Hiroto Kyoguchi (13-0) for the WBA (Super) title, on October 1st.
-Kenichi Horikawa (40-15): WBC #4 / IBF #5
Horikawa won the Japanese title earlier this year, for the second time in his career. He made his inaugural defense in May.
-Reiya Konishi (17-2): IBF #8
Konishi didn’t manage to capture the IBF title from Felix Alvarado (35-2).
-Sho Kimura (18-3): WBA #8
The former WBO Flyweight World champion lost a unanimous decision to Carlos Canizales (22-0) for the WBA (Regular) World title in China.
-Norihito Tanaka (19-7): IBF #5 / WBO #6 / WBA #12
Tanaka won the Japanese title, this past January, and defended it in June against Naoya Haruguchi (15-11).
-Masataka Taniguchi (11-3): WBO #7 / WBC #13
Taniguchi will face rising star Kai Ishizawa (6-0) on September 21st.
-Takumi Sakae (21-3): IBF #13
Sakae will fight for the 3rd time this year, on September 23rd, against Stevanus Nana Bau (9-11).
-Tsubasa Koura (14-1): WBC #8 / IBF #14
Koura surprisingly lost his OPBF title to Lito Dante (16-10) a few months ago.
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features