On this day...
1969-Hiroshi Kobayashi vs Antonio Amaya I
Talented Japanese fighter Hiroshi Kobayashi might not be one of the most well known names in the sport but he was one of the first Japanese world champions. Around Easter in 1969 he successfully defended the WBA Super Featherweight title against Panama's well travelled Antonio Amaya, in the first of two bouts between the two men. Kobayashi would narrowly beat Amaya, in a very close bout, that deserved the rematch it got. Interestingly this was the first world title defense for Kobayashi following the WBC stripping him for not facing Rene Barrientos in early 1969.
2004-Takefumi Sakata vs Lorenzo Parra I
Exactly 35 years after Kobayashi defeated Amaya we saw Takefumi Sakata challenge unbeaten Venezuelan Lorenzo Parra, in the first of 3 bouts between the two men, for the WBA Flyweight title. The bout was a hotly contested one with Parra narrowly winning, to retain the WBA title. The two would face off again in 2005, with Parra taking another razor close decision win, before Sakata stopped Parra in 2007 to claim the WBA title, and get some revenge over his Venezuelan nemesis.
2007-Pongsaklek Wonjongkam Vs Tomonobu Shimizu
Staying with Flyweight bouts just 3 years after Sakata failed to beat Parra for the WBA belt his countryman Tomonobu Shimizu failed in his effort to take the WBC title from Thai great Pongsaklek Wonjongkam. Shimizu, in what was his first world title bout, was stopped after the 7th round, whilst a long way down on the cards and suffering from a broken nose. Shimizu was game, but was easily beaten by the Thai, in what would be his final defense before losing the belt to Daisuke Naito just 3 months later. Interestingly Shimizu would later move up in weight and win the WBA Super Flyweight title.