On this day...
2005-Koji Sato debuts
Noteworthy Japanese Middleweights don't come around a lot so in 2005 things were a little bit exciting when the huge punching Koji Sato made his professional debut, and stopped Francisco Valdez in Las Vegas. Sato would fail to reach the heady heights hoped of him, though he did fight for a world title, losing to Felix Sturm, and was involved in a sensation 2011 bout with Makoto Fuchigami
2011-Toshiaki Nishioka vs Mauricio Javier Munoz
The then WBC Super Bantamweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka retained his title with his 6th defense as he stopped Argentinian challenger Mauricio Javier Munoz in the 9th round. The talented "Speed King" would only defend the title once more after this bout, beating Rafael Marquez around 6 months later before vacating the belt. He would then return for one more bout, a year later, against Nonito Donaire. By that point Nishioka looked a shell of the fighter he had once been.
2013-Akira Yaegashi vs Toshiyuki Igarashi
The hugely popular Akira Yaegashi became a 2-weight world champion when he defeated former Japanese amateur standout Toshiyuki Igarashi to claim the WBC Flyweight title. This wasn't a great bout, by any stretch, but was a major one for Yaegashi and his career. Sadly for Igarashi it seemed to be the start of the end for him and he was plagued with injuries in the years that followed.
2018-Pongsaklek Wonjongkam Vs Manot Comput
Thai legend Pongsaklek Wonjongkam essentially finished his career when he beat Manot Comput, in what was a bout set up literally to get around some red tape in Japan. The Thai former world champion returned at the age of 40, after almost 5 years away from the ring, and up at Super Bantamweight, to make sure he had fought with in the last 3 years to try and secure a professional license to face Koki Kameda later in the year. The JBC saw what was being done and refused to license Wongjonkam, but did allow him to face Kameda in an exhibition bout.