Way back on April 6th 2013 fans of professional boxing saw their attention turn to the Cotai Arena in Macao for the "Fists of Gold" show. The card featured the professional debut of Zou Shiming along with a brilliant Flyweight title match up between Brian Viloria and Juan Francisco Estrada. Whilst the show didn't instantly make Shiming a star as a pro, in fact Shiming never really became a professional star, it did have a theme song.
That's right, a boxing show had a them sense.
The song was preformed by Stephanie Cheng and produced by Johnny Yim, with a looooot of auto-tune being used.
It's clear the production values behind the whole thing were high but the song really isn't very good, despite a nice rap in the middle of it. Despite not being very good it is an interesting little bit of boxing history and the song we felt we should share this week.
After last week's Japanese folk song about boxing we're in deep again this week with a Japanese pop song from 1986. This is "Boxer" by Junko Yagami, who released to track on her album Yagamania, and it placed at #33 on the Oricon charts in Japan.
Although never released as a single Yagami herself appears to have made this available to all on her youtube channel and it's a rather catchy track, with somewhat dark lyrics. Nothing too original, but it does feel very much a product of it's time, with an almost disco like feel to the track musically.
Relatively painless to listen too, but maybe not the sort of thing many of us would actively be listening too now, almost 4 decades on.
We're never too sure on Japanese folk songs being included in this series as they are pretty inaccessible to most people stumbling on this series. Despite that we like them and given that the idea of this weekly section is to help expand on things we do like to include some.
In this case we have a brilliant little folk song from Osamu Setoguchi called "Nobu is a boxer". The song talks about the titular Nobu's battle within the sport and with loneliness. It's a track that we do accept won't twig with most Westerners reading it, but even without understanding the story it's inoffensive and easy enough on the ear.
It's not often we see boxing used as a primary focus for a music video, without a particular being used, but for Hazzie's 2014 release "For You" we actually see boxing being used as part of the story arc of a music video, in a really interesting and smart way.
The video begins with a young man wrapping his hands before flipping to a scene of him unpacking with his girlfriend. From there we see the man training to become a fighter, interspersed with the relationship between the two. By the end of it the young man gets his Japanese boxing license and the two get engaged. It has trials and tribulations through out.
The song is a bit lovey dovey, but the video is a really smart one. This is sweet, innocent and peaceful but uses boxing as a foundation. Really smartly done.
In late 2019 we had the chance to see a truly exceptional fight as Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire went to war in the WBSS Bantamweight final. The fight saw clips being taken from it to help make the official video for Takuya Yoshida's "Fighting Pose" track.
The song is a soft Japanese rock song, nothing too original but a solid song. As for the video it uses the fight footage well, alongside a performance of the song to make for a solid video to a pretty solid track.
For those who want to relive the legendary war between the two modern day greats we suggest giving this a watch. And for those wanting to enjoy yet another boxing song this is obviously worth a listen on own merit.
The Kameda family, love em or hate em, is one of the most notable boxing families in Japan, and it now extends beyond the three fighting brothers that we all know, Koki, Daiki and Tomoki. Another of the fighting Kameda's is the cousin of the fighting brothers, Kyonosuke Kameda.
Here is an official music video, recorded by Japanese rapper SARA, for his song "Infighting Boxing". The song, which was apparently modified from the original release of the track, was also used as a ring walk song for Kameda as well as this video featuring him.
Given we're not too sure on SARA or his Career, we'll admit this is a pretty track. It's hard hitting when it gets going, it's got a catchy vibe to it and a solid beat. Nothing amazing musically, but still a very solid track.
We stay in Kazakhstan for one more week as we find a boxer in a situation that they don't look confident in doing a performance of a song that, whilst not terrible, doesn't seem like a natural performance at all.
The boxer in question is Aidos Yerbossybuly, who is performing a song that appears to be called "Asyl Ana", with the help of his uncle.
We're not really sure what lead to this happening but, it's rather amusing and Yerbossynuly looks so glad when it's over. We do wonder if, maybe, he lost something and had to do this as a forfeit. Saying that however credit to him, he doesn't actually sound bad, despite looking really uncomfortable.
We get to include a lot of randomness in this weekly series looking at music that is connected to boxing in some way, be we think this might be a first. This time we are including a track from the original sound track of a biopic based on a boxer, as we continue to look at some Kazakh music.
The track "Asau zhurek" by Ushkyn Zhamalbek, is from the "Bekzat" movie that was done to honour brilliant Kazakh youngster Bekzat Sattarkhanov. The 20 year old, who died at the end of the year 2000, had won an Olympic medal earlier that year and was regarded as one of the best amateur fighters on the planet before his passing.
The video seems very much to be respecting the fighter, who has regularly been honoured in his homeland.
We've all heard Manny Pacquiao singing and, lets be honest it's not great. But he's a boxer turned singer. What about the cases where we have an actual singing-boxer. No we don't mean a Karaoke level boxer who sings after his bouts, but someone who is a professional singer and a professional boxer?
Well that's actually what Kazakhstan have with Ibragim Iskandarov, who has recorded number tracks. Here is his song "I want to see the Kazakh".
Whilst he's not a boxer on the level of Pacquiao, and who is? He is actually a damn good singer and has a cracking voice. Sadly however we have no idea what he's singing about, but it's tuneful and and gives off a very ye olde vibe.
We're not going to even pretend we know anything at all about the Kazakh music scene, what we know about it could be written on the back of a postage stamp. With that said it's interesting that there is actually some Kazakh music related to boxing.
Among those tracks is Gazizkhan Shekerbekov track "QAZAQ Style" which was recorded for Zhanibek Alimkhanuly's ring walk.
The music video features Alimkhanuly, a former amateur stand out and professional hopeful as well as, we assume, the music behind the track. Certainly something a bit different to what we usually feature in this Friday series.
Some things don't fit in elsewhere on the site so have been put here as a result.