Yoko Gushiken - "Fist"
The legendary Yoko Gushiken (23-1, 15) was one of the all time great Japanese fighters. His lengthy reign with the WBA Light Flyweight title saw him record 13 defenses, and he later went on to open a gym, and lead several fighters, including Daigo Higa, to world titles.
What few might be aware of is that Gushiken had success outside of the ring. That included a musical career that included his 1979 track "Fist", which you can hear below along with releasing books and being involved in advertising.
Gushiken's success in the recording studio is certainly not close to his boxing success, but it's still an interesting thing to be aware of. Also to think this came out whilst he was still a reigning world champion is also kind of interesting.
Another goes by and we get the chance to again share another bout which we've dubbed over with English language commentary, as we try to help fans feel less alienated by the language that can keep some fans away from these types of fights.
This time we're looking at a Japanese Lightweight title between defending champion Shuichiro Yoshino (6-0, 4) and his then mandatory challenger Masaki Saito (14-12-6, 5).
We hope you enjoy these and do learn something from the fights, as really the key reason for us doing them is to get fans who perhaps are put off by the language barrier to actually give these bouts a chance. It's another short one, but another worthy of a watch.
This week we're not looking at a boxer either performing a song or being involved in the video of a song but instead a song about a boxer.
Here we see Japanese musician Johnny Ginowan performing his "Song of Yoko Gushiken", which is available on the album "Johnny Ginowan BEST 1998-2014", which is available in UK.
The Ukulele playing Japanese Ska artist is not someone we are too familiar with, but we certainly don't mind this too much given some of the other music we've featured on here.
Interestingly a different song by Ginowan was used as a walk out song for the hard hitting Featherweight Nobutoshi Hiranaka and by the Hanshin Tigers. He has also featured in numerous adverts and things in Japan and credit where it's due he's had some fairly catchy tracks.
Another Wednesday without live fights gives us another Wednesday to share one of the English language commentaries we did earlier this year.
This time it's the 2019 bout between Kenta Endo (4-0-1, 3) and Gi Won Shin (3-2-3) which took place at Korakuen Hall and was a rather short but fun bout, that again had TV quality footage for us to work with and wasn't too long.
Again there is a lack of overall polish to the commentary but the basis of the video is again to make fights more accessible to a Western audience, with some background information on the fights rather than trying to sound too professional.
Young Chun Min - "허와비"
Former OPBF Bantamweight champion Young Chun Min (17-2, 11) is certainly not one of the biggest names from the history of Korean boxing but he was an enigmatic figure after his career came to an end. He set up a number of businesses, most of which failed, worked as a taxi driver and finally found success as a restaurant owner.
Sadly Min was killed earlier this year, after being stabbed in the neck.
Prior to his death Min actually released a musical album and performed a number of musical numbers. Here is Min performing one of his songs on a Korean TV, in full showman attire.
We won't pretend this is our type of music, but it's still interesting to see a former fighter singing like this in front of a live audience more than 25 years after their final professional bout.
As we explained last week there are some fights we did some English language commentary for. We've not done a lot of them but enough to share whilst we're waiting for action to return.
One of them that was available on our youtube was this 2019 clash between Flyweight contender Junto Nakatani (18-0, 13) and Filipino foe Philip Luis Cuerdo (11-6-1, 4).
Again the fight fit what we were wanting to try and do, we whilst there is still a lack of polish we hope this sort of things helps makes fighters a little bit more accessible to Western fans who don't understand the original language of the commentary.
Hardcore Manny Pacquiao fans will be aware that the Filipino fought in Japan back in 1998, when he blitzed Shin Terao inside a round. Following that loss Terao continued a career in combat sport, and competed not just in boxing but also in kick boxing and wrestling.
In 2006 he put his kick boxing skills up against Masahiro Haneda, a Karate practitioner in what was a cross rules bout of sorts.
This little oddity is certainly an interestingly contest, it certainly not the best showing from Terao, who was gutsy but came off second best to the very talented Haneda.
With time on our hands we've decided to try and give a few fights the English language dub treatment, trying to make fights from the East a little bit more accessible to Western fans. We'll admit their is a lack of polish to these in general, but we hope the idea is something that fans are interested, and if it is we're happy to do more of them.
The first we've dong that we'll share here is the 2019 bout between Koshi Fujisaki (2-2-1, 1) and Hiroki Sakakubo (1-1, 1). The fight sort of fit what we were happy with doing, which were short fights, with TV quality video and not big names. Something we can shine a light on that isn't too distracting.
We hope you enjoy, and if you do, please let us know as we'll be able to do more of these over the coming weeks.
Chung Jae Hwang - "뻥이야"
Former Korean fighter Chung Jae Hwang (28-3, 25) has had an interesting life. He was a former street fighter, who turned to boxing in the 1970's and had notable amateur success. He would later go on to claim the OPBF Welterweight title and have a solid professional career.
Years, and years, after his retirement from the ring Hwang turned his hand to music and in 2018 released an album.
Following his album was release Hwang appeared on Korean TV shows and took part in some performances, including this one.
Despite his rather unique style we still believe he'd kick our ass so...lets not say anything about the ripped jeans and blazer combination!
Some things don't fit in elsewhere on the site so have been put here as a result.