For today's Closet Classic we are bending the definition a little bit on what really counts as a "Closet Classic" and instead looking at a bout which is more of an "instant classic", but it's such a good bout that we can't help but include it in this series. For one it's an amazing bout, with great back and forth action and for two it feature two absolute legends of the sport, albeit with one coming to the end of his career and one still on their way to all time great status.
This is a bout we expect many of you have seen, but one that is always worth a re-watch, and is genuinely a brilliant battle and the second chapter if an iconic rivalry.
Manny Pacquiao (40-3-2, 31) vs Erik Morales (48-3, 34) II
In one corner was 27 year old Filipino southpaw Manny Pacquiao, who was well on his way to establishing himself a special, once in a life time fighter. He had already scored wins against a who's who of who, with victories over the likes of Chatchai Sasakul, Lehlo Ledwaba and Marco Antonio Barrera. He had however suffered a loss in 2005 to Erik Morales, with the Mexican turning southpaw in round 12 to go to war with Pacquiao and make a statement of his machismo.
That was Pacquiao's first loss in the US and his first loss since he was a Flyweight, and suffered a TKO loss in 1999 to Medgoen Singsurat in Thailand, and was seen as an upset for the rampaging Filipino.
As for Morales the win over Pacquiao further showed that he was a modern day great and a true warrior, with his 12th round display becoming an iconic stand by a man who was told not to do anything stupid before going to war. Following that win however Morales had suffered a massive upset loss to Zahir Raheem, in what was the 2004 Ring Magazine upset of the Year. That loss had seen some suggest that Morales was on the slide, whilst others suggested it was a freak result, or a case of a fighter not being focused.
What both men had in common is that they were entertainers in the ring. Pacquiao was a whirling dervish as a fighter. He was crude at times, wild at others, but hugely entertaining with scary power in his left hand and a high work rate. Morales on the other hand was a polished boxer, with a good jab, and good technical skills, but seemed to prefer to ignore that and prove he had balls the size of melons, and was almost always happy to have a war, rather than using his skills.
Both men also had points to prove. Pacquiao had to prove the loss to Morales was a fluke, a one off, and not the end of his rise. He also had the chance to prove that the first bout was decided by gloves, as this time he was wearing his prefered Cleto Reyes gloves. Morales had to prove he wasn't done after the loss to Raheem. Both men came into the ring with hunger to make a statement and a hunger to prove they were still one of the best.
We also had two rabid fan bases, giving us an amazing atmosphere. It had Mexican fans there to support Morales, Filipino fans there to support Pacquiao and boxing fans there to watch chapter 2 of the Pacquiao Vs Morales story.
This started tactically, it was round 1 of fight #2 and not round 13 of Pacquiao Vs Morales, and as a result it was the clean, effective jabs of Morales that were key in the first minute or two. Within the final minute of the opening round however the two men picked up the pace and both managed to land some solid shots with their power hand. It was glimpse of what was to come later in the bout and saw that both men had quickly begin to settle down and get to work. Although the commentators praised a lot of Pacquiao's work it was certainly not a clear round, with Morales have plenty of success himself.
In round 2 we saw the action continue to pick up, with Pacquiao pressing more and Morales playing the role of smart counter puncher. The handspeed and aggression of Pacquiao saw him catching Morales clean repeatedly, but his crude, march forward also saw him eating some huge counters from Morales. Pacquiao almost dropped Morales in the final minute of the round, though it drew the machismo from Morales who decided to go to war in an attempt to get Pacquiao's respect. A tactic that didn't really work. Despite the success of Morales's counter he couldn't avoid Pacquiao's straight left hand, which was catching him time and time again.
Morales looked to create some distance in round 3, using his jab and footwork early on, though it wasn't long before he tried to get Pacquiao's attention again with a flurry of shots. It was a brilliant attempt to rebound after the previous round, but Pacquiao continued to have success with the straight left hand, and no matter how much success Morales had he was still eating the bigger shots and the more painful combinations.
As we entered round 4 Pacquiao's right eye was starting to swell, a result of Morales's long rangy jab, and Morales was starting to time Pacquiao more often with the Mexican starting to use more polished technical skills to take advantages of Pacquiao's flaws. Pacquiao on the other hand was becoming more and more reliant on the left hand, rather than landing his jab. The left hand had had success in rounds 2 and 3, but in round 4 Morales was starting to take it away and with Pacquiao not using his jab it allowed Morales to take some control of the contest and build some momentum.
It was a smart technical change from Morales who came out in round 5 and landed some eye catching leather early before Pacquiao came back as the round went on. Strangely, given the first 4 rounds, this one seemed a lot quieter than the earlier rounds, it was however the calm before the storm and in round 6 Pacquiao's pace increased, as he began to turn the screw and did some damage to Morales part way through the round. Morales tried to respond but was taking more and more punishment, with his face showing the damage from Pacquiao's shots. It was a huge round from Pacquiao and he seemed to send Morales stumbling right on the bell.
Entering round 7 we had already seen the momentum of the bout shift one way, then back and again and again. We had seen both men show some facial damage, both have success and both need to make adjustments. Amazingly we continued to see the momentum shift, with Morales have a great round 7, unleashing his arsenal on Pacquiao as he looked to re-establish himself. It was an amazing start to the round from Morales, but by the end of the round Pacquiao looked to have taken the best from Morales and was punishing the Mexican, who looked like a man fighting on heart and desire alone.
We'll leave the bout here for you to enjoy, and seriously it is one you will enjoy! A fantastic clash of legendary fighters both giving everything they had.
Back in the late 00's the Welterweight division had so many things going for it. It had the best fighters in the sport, it had the biggest names, and more amazingly than anything else, the top guys seemed to be fighting each other regularly. Time after time we were getting amazing match ups, between top fighters who seemed happy to face each other in an attempt to prove they were the best. Today we get to share one of those in this week's Closet Classic.
Manny Pacquiao (49-3-2 37) vs Miguel Cotto (34-1, 27)
By November 2009 Filipino sensation Manny Pacquiao had gone from boxing star to global sporting star, thanks to massive, high profile wins over Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton. Those wins had turned Pacquiao from a star that every boxing fan knew to a man that everyone knew. It had also sown the seeds for "Pacman" to move to Welterweight, where there was a lot of interesting match ups there for him, including a bout with Miguel Cotto.
Aged 30 at this point Pacquiao was now longer the scrawny but imposing fighter he had been at Flyweight, or the one handed destroyer he had been at Super Bantamweight. He was now a highly experienced, round swarmer, able to unload power shots with alarming speed from both hands. His straight left hand was still a murderous weapon, but his lead hand had been developed excellently by Freddie Roach and he was now an all round offensive machine with terrifying speed and power.
Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto was one of the biggest draws in the sport, and had a huge and loyal Puerto Rican fan base. Like Pacquiao he had fought a genuine who's who of who with wins against the likes of Carlos Maussa, Rendall Bailey, DeMarcus Corley, Pau Malignaggi, Zab Judah and Shane Mosley. He had been an offensive fighter himself, with heavy hands, crunching body shots and a technically intelligent boxing brain. He was a man fans loved and with good reason.
Not only did fans love Cotto and his in ring mentality, but they had also had a huge amount of sympathy for him following a 2008 loss to Antonio Margarito, in a sensational fight. That was a loss that had doubt cast over it in 2009 when Margarito was found to have tried to enter the ring with a plaster like substance in his gloves for a bout against Shane Mosley. That had essentially excused the loss in the eyes of many who saw Cotto as essentially unbeaten, with an asterisk next to the "1" in 34-1.
Coming in to the bout Cotto was the WBO Welterweight champion and a man many regarded as a top 10 pound for pound fighter. For Pacquiao this was his chance to claim a ABC title at a fifth weight, adding the Welterweight title to world title fights at Flyweight, Super Bantamweight, Super Featherweight and Lightweight. for both men it was a chance to further enhance their already impressive legacies.
With anticipation high for the fight we had expected something enthralling. This was two brilliant warriors clashing. It was a test of Pacquiao at a new weight and it was a chance for Cotto to face a naturally smaller man. The only mark on the fight going in was the fact it was at a catchweight, and wasn't at the Welterweight limit. Instead being fought at 145lbs.
Unlike some fights in this series this had the big fight feel. This had the mega fight build up, this had everything going for it, with hype and anticipation all over it. And it damn well delivered.
From the opening moments we saw both men looking to establish themselves, with Pacquiao's speed looking like the difference maker very quickly. Cotto however wasn't intimidated by the speed and looked to press forward, using his jab and left hook to the body to try and get Pacquiao's respect. Right at the end of the round Pacquiao began to dip into his bag of tricks as his confidence began to soar. It was as if he'd taken a few from Cotto, realised he could take the power, and began to move through the gears.
In round 2 we saw Cotto again showing confidence, trying to boxing behind his strong jab and pressure Pacquiao, but he struggled to cope with the speed of Pacquiao, who found his grove by the mid-way point of the round. From there on it was a question of whether Cotto could impose his strength, his power and his physicality on Pacquiao, or slow him down with body shots. It seemed like Cotto really couldn't handle the speed and that was shown again in round 3, when Pacquiao dropped Cotto with a right hook. The knockdown wasn't a bad one, but would be the first of two for the Filipino, with Cotto going down a second time in round 4.
Despite the knockdowns Cotto was still hungry and valiant, fighting back through the middle rounds as the bout continued on. Pacquiao putting on a great showcase of his ability, and Cotto showing the hunger, desire and warriors mentality that had made him a fan favourite.
We'll leave most of the bout unspoiled here, but if you've never seen it before make time to enjoy it in amazing HD thanks to Top Rank. This is a great fight, and a great reminder of recent history, and a time when two true stars of the sport clashed in a sensational bout.
For those wondering, this isn't the best bout we'll feature here in out Closet Classic series. It's certainly not the most competitive or even match up, but it's one of the rare big fighters that lived up to all expectations. It was a virtuoso performance at times, possibly Pacquiao's most complete performance, and one that is, sadly, now often over-looked.
Not many fighters are in instant classics, but between 2004 and 2012 we saw two men battle 4 times, and several of their bouts became instant classics. The bouts, pit a legendary Filipino against an often over-looked Mexican, enhanced the legacies of both men and gave us 3 ultra close bouts as well a stunning KO in their 4th contest. For today's Closet Classic we're going to look at the first of the 4 bouts between the two modern day legends
Manny Pacquiao (38-2-1, 29) vs Juan Manuel Marquez (42-2, 33) I
Of course the rivalry we're talking about is the sensational 4 bout series between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. The two men were stylistically very different, yet they matched up pretty much perfectly. The two men shared more than 40 rounds together and yet until the 42nd round neither man had managed to finish off the other. Not only were the two men well matched, but their rivalry stretched over multuple years and saw the men fight each other at Featherweight, Super Featherweight and Welterweight.
For this bout we go back to the beginning of the rivalry between the two men, with their May 2004 bout. At this point Pacquiao had already won world titles at Flyweight and Super Bantamweight and was now looking to become a 3-weight world champion. Coming in to the bout he had been unbeaten in almost 5 years and had reeled off a 13 fight unbeaten run. That run had seen him defeat the likes of Nedal Hussein, Lehlo Ledwaba and Marco Antonio Barrera. He was starting to not just make waves but actually become a boxing star. Aged 25 at this point he was becoming a regular on US TV, this was his 6th bout on US soil, and a must watch attraction in the sport.
Whilst Pacquiao was building a name for himself Marquez was often getting over-looked. He had scored 42 wins and had gone unbeaten since a decision loss to Freddie Norwood in September 1999. Since that loss he had reeled off 13 straight wins and beaten the likes of Robbie Peden, Manuel Medina and Derrick Gainer. He had unified the WBA and IBF Featherweight titles and had managed to become highly regarded as a very good technical boxer. Despite being a brilliant boxer, with solid power and a great boxing brain, he was often over-looked in favour of Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales, two other Mexican fighter who had more fun styles and were more well known to the world at large. He was, in many ways, the forgotten man of Mexican at this point in time.
Not only were the fighters two of the best but so too were the trainers. In Pacquiao's corner was Freddie Roach the man who had developed Pacquiao into a much more rounded fighter than he had once been. He was still a work in progress, but a sensational talent all the same. In the opposite corner was Nacho Beristain, a Mexican boxing genius who crafted Ricardo Lopez and was now crafting another brilliant Mexican in Maruqez.
For Pacquiao this was a chance to claim more world titles, for Marquez this was a chance to get recognition he craved. It was aggressive tornado against counter punching genius. It was Mexico Vs Philippines. It was special. For fans this was to become an instant classic. One for the ages.
The bout started fast, really fast. Both men seemed to ignore the typical "feeling out round" and Marquez was fighting more aggressively than he typically had, it was as if he wanted to make a statement, and tell the world he every bit the Mexican warrior that Morales and Barrera were. That however cost him and he was dropped 90 seconds into the bout. The knockdown sent the crowd wild, though Marquez didn't appear hurt. Less than 30 seconds later Marquez was down for a second time and then down again only seconds later. It looked, for all intents, like Marquez was going to be taken out inside a round, as Pacquiao kept finding a home for his straight left hand. A bloodied Marquez barely surived the round.
With blood running from his nose and a huge hole to climb out of Marquez's chances looked done within a round. It didn't look like we were seeing the first chapter, of a 4 fight series but instead it looked like we were watching a sensational performance from Pacquiao. It seemed like Marquez was simply unable to cope with the straight left hand of Pacquiao, which had been his undoing in the first round. It looked like Marquez, at the age of 30, was too slow, too old and not versatile enough to over-come the speed and power of the Filipino.
Then things changed. Marquez changed tactics. He was from a man looking for war to a man who was looking to neutralise Pacquiao and counter. The tactical change was stark, no longer was Marquez fighting aggressively but instead he was fighting smartly. Despite the change Pacquiao still seemed to have some major success through the round, landing his straight left hand a number of times. Marquez's tactical change didn't instantly end Pacquiao's success, but did slow the tempo, and began to slow the momentum of the Filipino.
In round 3 Marquez would begin to go to the body of Pacquiao, trying to slow down the Filipino, and would also begin to really time the Filipino as the bout went from a fight to a boxing contest. The slower pace began to suit Marquez more and more. Not only did the slower pace suit Marquez but the distance he was creating also brought him success, and he began to out box Pacquiao. The Filipino was still landing some of the bigger, flashier shots, but Marquez was really building himself a foothold in the bout and that foothold would see him really pull himself back into the bout.
The Mexican also had a solid round 4, making Pacquaio follow him around the ring and countering him regularly. This was becoming Marquez's fight, this was becoming the type of fight that Pacquiao was going to struggle with. Saying that however Pacquiao knew he had the power to drop Marquez, if he landed clean we could see the Mexican fall apart like he had in round 1.
The bout had started with incredible drama but had began to turn into a high paced boxing contest. The drama was slowly ebbing out, but there was tension and action throughout, both men letting shots go, the styles gelling perfectly.
As we went into the middle rounds it was getting harder and harder to predict the outcome. From there on we had exciting, high level boxing. We had a damaged boxer, with what appeared to be a broken nose, against a puncher who was dangerous but struggling to land his main power punch, his straight left hand. We had an aggressive monster against a boxing genius, and we had two top trainers pitting their wits against each other just as much as we had two great fighters against each other.
In the middle rounds we began to see Pacquiao having success once again, landing his left hand, and making adjustments needed, the Marquez adapted once again making things swing back and forth as the bout moved towards the finishing line. It seemed like both men had had major success at times, but it was impossible to predict a winner as we went deeper and deeper into the bout.
We're not going to ruin the outcome for those who haven't seen this, and for those who have, let your memory go a little blank and just relive this sensational battle.
For those who love drama, high intensity action, brilliant back and forth, staggering momentum shifts, high quality action and a touch of controversy this has it all. This genuinely has every thing a fight fan could want and the result left the door open for the rivalry that would unfold over the coming years and give us 3 more amazing fight between two legendary modern day greats.
Another month is here and we get another chance to dip into the subject of boxers being involved in commercials and adverts. As people familiar with this series will know, this isn't something to take too seriously but is a bit of fun and a chance to see fighters in some interesting roles outside of the ring.
Guts Ishimatsu - Ricoh Printer
A show on to kick off with but one featuring a favourite of this series, former Lightweight world champion Guts Ishimatsu. Ishimatsu was involved numerous adverts, having a long post-boxing career as an actor and talent, and one of his many assignments was Ricoh Printers, featuring in two Ricoh Printer adverts. This one sees Ishimatsu walking in to an office with a before some confused looking colleagues. We're sure the advert makes sense to those able to speak Japanese but to us, it's just amusing to see Ishimatsu, once again, showing brilliant presence on screen and being involved in a humourus role.
Tomomi Takano - Christian & Co
Another regular in this series is female fighter Tomomi Takano, who had the natural aura to draw eyes and attention to anything she was promoting. That's seen here in an advert for Christian and Co. The advert is very modern, very basic and a bit boring if we're being honest, yet it's almost impossible to look away from Takano who really does act as the main factor in an overly artsy commercial. This is very style over substance, and is supposedly the "simple version" of the advert, suggesting there is a more complex version out there, despite us not yet coming across it.
Manny Pacquiao - Anta
Another boxer who has been in numerous commercials over the years is Filipino sensation Manny Pacquiao, who has put his face to pretty much everything and anything. Here is a commercial he filmed for Anta Sports Products entitled "I am a Fighter". The entire video focuses more on Pacquiao and his career than the product he's selling, which is a bit strange. In fact almost the entire advert is based on Pacquiao with Anta barely getting an actual mention in the video. Very odd for the brand awareness if we're being honest.
Gennady Golovkin - GGG Energy Drink
Kazakh boxer Gennady Golovkin is undeniably the greatest professional boxer from Kazakhstan so far. He's also the only one to have an energy drink emblazoned with his his name, or rather his initials. Sadly the advert here is a very weird one being mostly training with the energy drink coming at the very end of the video. We understand the idea behind it, with the energy drink fuelling Golovkin's great training, but it very much feels like a missed opportunity and it would have made more sense to push the product at the start of the video, or during the middle of it, rather than flash it at the end of the advert for a few seconds.
Katsunari Takayama - BODYMAKER
We suspect long term fans of Japanese boxing will remember the "Bodymaker Colosseum", and that was a deal where sports where company Bodymaker bought the naming rights for the Osaka Prefectural Gymansium for a number of years. Bodymaker also had a number of notable athletes promoting their clothing, such as Katsunari Takayama, who featured in a number of commercials for them. They included this very basic one of him sprinting in their clothing as part of one of his work outs. Again a very simple advert, but one where we at least see the brand's logo during the advert as well as at the end. We can at least understand what Bodymaker are here, even if the advert isn't the most artistic one out there.
We're back again with more commercial's featuring boxers. This time is maybe the most eclectic selection so far, featuring a herbal product, a Wonderboy promoting a banking product, a Monster in his underwear and a legendary along with a monkey. Yes the world is a strange place and commercials are real oddities.
Manny Pacquiao - Tolak Angin
We kick off this months look at commercials featuring Asian boxer's by returning to the face of Asian boxing, Manny Pacquiao. Here Pacquiao is promoting a herbal supplement Tolak Angin. The product is best known for being available in Indonesia, but has spread around the globe and could be purchased in the UK from Amazon at one point. The commercial is a really basic one, but one that sadly left us wondering what on earth the product is...needing us to research it. For an advert appealing to a market who knew what the product was this is great, but those who didn't know would just be confused...as we were.
Rex Tso - Standard Chartered Balance Transfer Loan
From one of the most marketable men in Asian boxing to another, with Hong Kong star Rex Tso advertising Standard Chartered Balance Transfer Loans. Yeah we were completely lost by that idea too. The commercial does little to connect Tso to the product and appears to be more of a training video until the final seconds when we see the product details on the bottom of the screen. Yeah this is just a terrible mess of a commercial. Really bizarre.
Ryota Murata - Under Armour
Japanese star Ryota Murata is another very marketable fighter and someone who has often found himself as a face of products in Japan. One of his most notable contracts has been with sportswear company Under Armour with this being one of the many commercials for the company he has featured in. Give the previous two adverts this month at least we know what he's promoting, which is a huge improvement from the Rex Tso advert. Still it's a bit boring and little more than a training video.
Naoya Inoue - Body Wild Airz
We stay in Japan as we feature Naoya Inoue walking around in his underpants! Yup this one sees the Monster advertising some underwear in what is a short but interesting advert that clearly makes it obvious what he's advertising. An advert making the product clear seems a novel here, but it's good to see Bodywild using one of the faces of Japanese boxing to sell their product, rather than just...featuring him training.
Guts Ishimatsu - ENEOS
One of the few men who always seems to be in humorous and entertaining adverts is the legendary Guts Ishimatsu. He's in another here for ENEOS, who are an oil and energy company. We'll admit we're not totally sure on what the commercial is selling us, though it appears to be some kind of loyalty card, but in reality that hardly matters, seeing the interactions here between Ishimatsu and the Monkey is brilliant. We suspect, although we could be wrong, that part of the advert is a call back to a previous Ishimatsu advert, for Ape Escape, but even if that's not the case this is still a funny advert and much more memorable than other adverts we tend to see.
So this is the 4th in our mini series looking at Asian boxers in commercials and today we do a special looking at 5 adverts that were based around food and drink, and trust there's more of these for future editions of this series. In fact it appears food and drink is probably the #1 subject for Asian fighters to advertise!
Joichiro Tatsuyoshi - Stir Fried Beef
Whilst we said food and drink was the #1 subject for Asian fighters to be involved in commercials for, we didn't say they were all good, and that's obvious here in a 1994 advert featuring Japanese icon Joichiro Tatsuyoshi. For those saw edition 2 of this series you should be aware Tatsuyoshi didn't do a great Nissan commercial, and this wasn't any better. For a guy who oozed natural charisma his adverts were terrible.
Takanori Hatakeyama - Kirin Beer
We like beer! Do you like beer? It seems that Takanori Hatakeyama likes beer! Here we see the popular Hatakeyama bringing in the laundry before the rain begins and enjoying a can of Kirin lager afterwards. This is simple, slightly comedic and essentially void of dialogue. Not the best advert but still an interesting look at Japanese commercials circa 2001...they typically weren't great.
Ryota Murata - Pork miso soup
As we've seen already some Japanese food adverts were awful, though in fairness there does seem to be a bit more polish to this Ryota Murata advert for some a Sukiya product, in fact a soup set. It's not an amazing advert but compared to the two above, it works much better in selling the product, with the product clearly on view.
Guts Ishimatsu - Sweet Gum
When a former boxer has legitimate acting roles you tend to think they can work a commercial, and Guts Ishimatsu can certain work commercials. He's been in a lot of them including this one for a sweet gum. The veteran is a natural on camera and the advert not only looks professional and works and also has a comedic element. A really solid advert for...gum... Nothing amazing, but solid.
Manny Pacquiao - Uni-Pak Sardines
Whilst Guts Ishimatsu has been in a lot of commercials, we believe that Filipino great Manny Pacquiao has been in more, and we mean a lot more. They vary in quality and humour, but the Filipino marketing teams know what they are doing with the "Pacman". Here we have an advert for Uni-Pak Sardines, and this probably the best of the food and drink adverts on this list, with Pacquiao and friends enjoying the sardines. It's light-hearted, it's silly and it's got Pacquiao not taking himself too seriously.
We bring another in our mini-series of commercials featuring boxers, and here we have an interesting mix of legends bringing us a very varied variety of products and quality of commercials.
Manny Pacquiao - Hennessy
Filipino great Manny Pacquiao was in so many adverts that it was clear some of them would be complete stinkers. We think this one for Hennessy isn't a good one. The product isn't featured at all until the final few frames and it tells us little about the product. The sense of fun Pacquiao pokes at himself in most of his adverts is gone and the whole commercial just takes it's self way too seriously.
Manny Pacquiao and Chris John - Kuku Bima Ener-G
From an overly serious advert with Manny Pacquiao to one featuring Pacquiao and Chris John selling an energy drink with tigers and dragons. This is much more the style of silly commercial we are used to seeing from Pacquiao, and it really tries to sell the product. This is a commercial that isn't taking it's self seriously and uses the people involved pretty well. We've never tried the product but on the back of this we'd like to.
Guts Ishimatsu - Ape Escape
Manny Pacquiao isn't the only Asian boxer featured in a lot of commercials. Another is Guts Ishimatsu, who's adverts really are varied from food to subscription services to video games! Here's his advert for popular Playstation video games Ape Escape, featuring Ishimatsu, and his acting chops, and a giant Ape.
Hiroki Ioka - Top Boy
Western readers will be well ahead of "Head and Shoulders" and it appears there's a Japanese product that is similar, combining Shampoo and Conditioner. That is Top Boy. Here we have a 1988 advert featuring Hiroki Ioka trying to sell the product. This is one of those commercials where the subject matter seems to come second to the people involved in what is a real 80's advert. A little camp, a little garish ans certainly not something that would help sell the product in this day and age.
Yoko Gushiken - Ishigaki Memorial Park
Someone who has done quite a lot of adverts over the years is Japanese legend Yoko Gushiken. Sometimes they really don't make the most of his ability to catch the eye, but this one does, as we see a lot of Gushiken, or is that Gushiken's, singing and trying to entice people to Ishigaki Memorial Park. This is silly, daft, and shows Gushiken having some fun. A simple but effective commercial!
After having had fun in January with our first look at boxer's in commercials we've decided to make it a mini-series. Today we look at 5 more featuring fighters from Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia, including some genuine legends of the sport...and someone who wasn't such a big legend.
Tomomi Takano - Laudarin'
We started the first one of these with a Tomomi Takano advert for a kitchen spray so we though we should show Takano in another advert, this time for a fabric softener...yeah Japan should be ashamed, and so should the guys watching this one multiple times. We'll admit it made us somewhat interested in the product and we found out Takano actually did two adverts for the company, this one and one with her in a dress heading for a night out.
Joichiro Tatsuyoshi - Nissan
As the biggest name in Japanese boxing for much of the 1990's we were surprised to not find a lot of Joichiro Tatsuyoshi adverts. What we did find was an anti-bullying message, after the fighter had been bullied as a child, this short advert for Nissan from 1995 and one other, for a beef product. It really is odd how little marketers seemed to use the charismatic Osaka.
Koichi Wajima - Boxer's Road 2: The Real
One thing we never expected to come across was a Koichi Wajima advert for a video game, especially not in the 00's when Wajima was into his 60's! But here were are with Wajima being featured in an advert for a PSP game "Boxer's Road 2: The Real". The game was a boxing game featuring over 100 professional fighters and 77 gyms. Sadly the game doesn't appear to have made the jump over to the West, but you never maybe Boxer's Road 3 could do so, with the attention the Japanese scene is now getting...we can hope right!
Chris John - Extra Joss
One man who was in a lot of adverts in Indonesia was Chris John, in fact he was in a lot with Manny Pacquiao. Here is John trying to show the effects of Extra Joss. From a quick glance on wikipedia Extra Joss is a health drink, that is typically sold in powder form, and required the addition and was originally aimed at the less economically well off in Indonesia, hence coming as a powder.
Manny Pacquiao - HP Touchpad
We've just mentioned that Chris John did a number of commercials with Manny Pacquiao, and here's one Manny did by himself. In fact the sheer number of commercials Pacquiao did could have filled a number of these articles by himself, and they are incredibly varied ranging from shoe stores to drinks, to sardines to this, for the HP Touchpad. This sees the Filipino legend poking fun at himself a little whilst also showing off the product. Simple but effective.
We know we'll get some stick for having the legendary "Pacman" so low on this countdown, and we understand that their will be some backlash, but bear with us whilst we explain why Manny Pacquiao fails to break the top 3.
Let us start by saying that official results were a key part of the criteria we used, not the media and consensus results, but the actual, official results. With that in mind Pacquiao has gone 12-4 (1) for the decade. Their can be debate about his losses to Timothy Bradley and Jeff Horn, the official results show losses, just like they show a win for his third bout with Juan Manuel Marquez.
By it's self those numbers only tell half a story, but when we figure out who some of those wins have come against things begin to stack up against Pacquiao. Wins over Joshua Clottey, a 39 year old Shane Mosley, Brandon Rios, Chris Algieri, Jessie Vargas, Lucas Matthyse and even Adrien Broner, don't really leave us with a fighter of the decade resume. Wins over Keith Thurman, Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Antonio Margarito are however excellent, it's just a shame there is such a drop off between his top few wins and the rest.
Also the fact Pacquiao's performance, for much of the decade, felt like he was dialling it in didn't help. There was certainly fights where he looked brilliant, but the wins over Mosley, Algieri and Rios seemed very much like a guy who was missing his top gear. As did his loss to Jeff Horn, where he only managed to put his foot on the gas for a few rounds.
The fact Pacquiao beat Keith Thurman in 2019 was amazing, but the fact he hadn't managed that level of performance through the decade did come back to bite him here in our rankings.
Had this list been compiled on what a fighter had done since the year 2000, or from 2000 to 2009, Pacquiao would have topped the list. That was the decade where he planted himself on the boxing world, won world titles from 122lbs to 147lbs, and took out hall of fame level competition regularly. That was the decade where he smashed Marco Antonio Barrera, broke down Erik Morales, battered Miguel Cotto, destroyed Ricky Hatton, and crushed Oscar Dela Hoya. During that same decade he went 23-1-2 (20). Comparing the two decades it's remarkable just how different Pacquaio and his performances where.
Although no where near as impressive as he was in the previous decade Pacquiao continued to entertain, score notable wins and, even at the age of 40, proved he was still one of the top fighters in the world. His 2019 win over Keith Thurman was incredible, and earlier in the decade, when he beat Antonio Margarito, it was impossible no to be impressed. Sadly though too much of the decade was spent fighting faded forces or less names to push Pacquiao further up this list. He is however, strengthening his legendary status with every win.
Boxing might be the sweet science but, if we're all being honest, it's also a fight. Due to it being a fight we of course love the true fighters, the ones who come to the ring with the intention of stopping their opponents and are willing to do all they can to finish a fight early. In this feature we're going to take a look at 10 of the most fun to watch Asian fighters. Some fighters you will be familiar with whilst others you may not be too aware of, one thing is for certain however, these men mean business every time they step in the ring.
-Wanheng Menayothing-Intelligent pressure fighter, even though he lacks lights out power he is great fun to watch
-Akira Yaegashi-A real warrior who is coming to the end of his career though will always go out on his shield and give fans good value.
-Takuya Kogawa-A warrior through and through. Though he lacks power he does enjoy a tear up and is scarcely in a dull fight
-Suguru Muranaka-Another warrior who enjoys a tear up and is more than happy to let his hands go despite not being a note puncher.
-Knockout CP Freshmart-With a name like “Knockout” you already know he's looking for the stoppage every time.
-Rex Tso-Like many featured above this man from Hong Kong is flawed but that's what makes him so much fun with every fight being a war
-Kyoo Hwan Hwang-Korean teenage has got ability though often lets his "Korean instinct" kick in and turns every fight so far into a slugfest
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