In recent years August 31st has become a notable day in Asian boxing circles. This has seen a number of recent world title fights.
Two of those bouts occurred in 2011. One of those bouts saw Koki Kameda, the then WBA Bantamweight champion, narrowly over-come Mexican challenger David De La Mora. Koki scored a knock down in round 3 and that effectively earned him the close win, without it the bout would have been a split decision draw on the official cards.
On the same card as the Kameda/De La Mora fight we also saw Japan's Tomonobu Shimizu defeat Hugo Fidel Cazares and claim the WBA Super Flyweight title. For Shimizu it was third time lucky after having previously lost in Flyweight title bouts to Daisuke Naito and Pongsaklek Wonjongkam though unfortunately his reign was a short one losing in his first defence, 8 months later, to Tepparith Kokietgym.
A year after the title double header we saw Pongsaklek Wonjongkam win his final title, the WBC International Flyweight title. Wonjongkam would take a 12 round decision Hyobu Nakagama to win the bout though sadly he would lose the title just over 2 months later following a shock stoppage loss to Rey Megrino. Following that loss Wonjongkam fought just thrice more to record his 90th win, since then he hasn't fought and it appears he's retired.
Just last year we saw another world title fight, though this time it was in Mexico. That fight saw Atsushi Kakutani challenge Adrian Hernandez for the WBC Light Flyweight title. The bout saw Kakutani drop Hernandez early in the bout though suffer a stoppage loss to the Mexican just a few rounds later. Whilst this was disappointing at the time Japanese fans would see one of their fighters get revenge over Hernandez not too much later when Naoya Inoue stopped Hernandez in 6 rounds to become Japan's fastest world champion.
It's not all been recent fights however and in 1976 we saw Filipino puncher Ben Villaflor score his final career win as he defeated Rogelio Castaneda with a 10 round decision. This bout was sandwiched between a draw and a loss to Samuel Serrano and was fought whilst Villaflor was still the WBA Super Featherweight champion.
(Image, of Shimizu, courtesy of boxrec.com)
August 30th has been one of the busiest and most important days in Asian boxing with numerous world title fights taking place on the day as well a number of important births.
We'll start with those births, the first of which was in 1966 and was that of Orzubek Nazarov, the first ever world champion from Kyrgzstan. "Gussie" was one of the first Soviet boxers to turn professional in 1990 and he rose through the ranks quickly by winning Japanese, OPBF and WBA titles at Lightweight before suffering a loss in 1998 to Jean-Baptiste Mendy and retiring. A former amateur stand out Nazarov was an amazing fighter tough sadly his career came to a sad end after he was shot in the arm and later left blind in his left eye.
Exactly 8 years after Nazarov's birthday saw the birth of Japan's Daisuke Naito. Naito would go on to win Japanese, OPBF and WBC Flyweight titles in a wonderful career that was highlighted by his 4 fight series with Pongsaklek Wonjongkam. Although an under-rated fighter in the West hardcore fans will know of Naito for his wins over a number of solid fighters like Wonjongkam, Daiki Kamda, Tomonobu Shimizu and Xiong Zhao Zhong. Naito lost his world title to Koki Kameda in 2009 and retired the following year after scoring a win over Liempetch Sor Veerapol.
Back on this day in 1997 Thailand's Ratanapol Sor Vorapin made the final successful defence of his IBF Minimumweight title taking out Brazilian challenger Wellington Vicente in just 2 rounds. At the time Wellington looked like an interesting challenger though his career fell apart after this fight and he retired with a 16-15 record. As for Ratanapol he would lose his title 4 months later to Zolani Petelo and although he did later challenge for the belt he came up short against Will Grigsby and Ricardo Lopez.
In 2008 we saw two bouts of note with one ending in disappointing fashion and one ending in success. The disappointment came in Mexico where Thai great Chatchai Sasakul was stopped by Cristian Mijares in a bout for the WBC and WBA Super Flyweight titles. It was only the second time Sasakul was stopped in 69 fights with the previous one coming amost a decade earlier to a then relatively unknown Manny Pacquiao. Sadly for Sasakul this loss was effectively the end of his long career and he would fight just once more before retiring in his late 30's.
The other bout was in the Philippines where Donnie Nietes made the first defence of his WBO Minimumweight title. Nietes, one of the longest reigning champions in Filipino history, made very light work od Nicaraguan challenger Eddy Castro who was stopped in 2 rounds.
One year later fans in Mexico got the chance to see Nobuhiro Ishida defeat Marco Antonio Avendano in Mexico to claim the WBA interim Light Middleweight title. This was a second meeting between the two men and saw Ishida score one of his most notable wins, of course it was over-shadowed by his stunning win over James Kirkland less than 2 years later.
One final bout of note came last year as the great Pongsaklek Wonjongkam fought for what we believe will be the final time. The Flyweight great scored his 90th win by taking a decision over Indonesian Falazona Fidal.
(Image, of Naito and Wongjongkam from their 2008 clash, courtesy of boxrec.com)
August 29th has been quite an interesting day in Asian boxing with some great fights some, an historic event and a notable debut.
Possibly the most historic bout to happen on this day was in 1981 when Thomas Americo took on Saoul Mamby in Jakarta, Indonesia for the WBC Light Welterweight title. It was the first ever world title fight in Indonesia and saw the first Indonesian challenging for a world title. Sadly for Americo he wasn't to be the first world champion from Indonesia, unfortunately losing a split decision to the talented Mamby. Although Americo lost he did open the door for fighters like Ellyas Pical and Nico Thomas who both won world titles in the following decade.
On the same day as Americo's loss Filipino fans got the chance to celebrate as the "Bad Boy from Dadiangas" Rolando Navarrete stopped Cornelius Boza-Edwards in Italy to claim the WBC Super Featherweight title. The bout came 16 months after Navarrete had lost in a world title challenge against Alexis Arguello. Unfortunately for Navarrete his reign was to be a short one and he would lose the belt 9 months later to Rafael Limon.
The same date also pops up in the late 1990's when we had several notable bouts. The first of which was in 1998 when the then WBC Super Flyweight champion Gerry Penalosa lost his title in Seoul to In Joo Cho. The bout, which ended in a split decision was certainly not a thriller though it was competitive with both men fighting as counter punchers and effectively neutralising each other for swathes of the bout. Cho would successfully defend the title 5 times, including a rematch with Penalosa, before losing the belt in 2000 to Masamori Tokuyama. A second loss in 2001 to Tokuyama brought the end to Cho's career with a stellar record of 18-2 (7).
Just a year after the first Penalosa/Cho bout we saw notable action in Japan as Veeraphol Sahaprom stopped Joichiro Tatsuyoshi in their second meeting. Sadly for "Joe" this would be his final world title bout and after the contest many had hoped he would retire, unfortunately he would continue on and off until 2009 and is now showing signs of pugilistica dementia. As for Veeraphol his career would be an excellent one prior to his retirement in 2010 when he was 41. As a champion Sahaprom was sensational prior to running into Hozumi Hasegawa in 2005, Hasegawa would avenge Joichiro's losses to Sahaprom and beat the Thai twice in less than a year.
As for a notable debut, it was on August 29th 2003 that Akio Shibata made his pro debut stopping Hideki Kobayashi in just 39 seconds. Since then he has had a great career on the continental and domestic scenes becoming a unified champion at both 154lbs and 160lbs, though to many he is little more than the man beaten by a debuting Ryota Murata in 2013.
*At the time Timor Leste was part of Indonesia, it has since claimed independence
(Image courtesy of Navarrete courtesy of boxrec.com)
August 28th doesn't appear to have been one of the standout days in Asian boxing though has featured some notable events.
Way back in 1988 South Korean great Myung Woo Yuh scored the 9th defence of his WBA Light Flyweight title with a destructive win over Thailand's Putt Ohyuthanakorn. The fight was Yuh's third defence of the year as he kept an amazingly busy schedule en route to setting a record for most title defences at Light Flyweight. Known as "Sonagi" Yuh is still viewed as one of the great of Korean boxing alongside fellow Light Flyweight great Jung-Koo Chang.
It was on this day in 2009 Pongsalek Wonjongkam successfully defended the WBC "interim" Flyweight title by scoring a 6th round TKO over Japan's Takahisa Masuda. It was Wonjongkam's only interim title defence before he climbed the top of the mountain and defeated Koki Kameda to reclaim the WBC's real title that he had lost in his 4th meeting to Daisuke Naito. Naito had lost the title to Koki Kameda who in turn lost the belt back to the Thai great just 7 months after Wonjongkam had beaten Masuda.
In 2010 current WBO Bantameight champion Tomoki Kameda came close to suffering his first loss as he took a narrow and controversial split decision over Belgian Stephane Jamoye. The bout, a WBC Youth world title bout, was easily the closest that Kameda has come to a loss though it's a bout that has been put well behind him with the Japanese fighter now being regarded as one of the premier fighters at 118lbs. As for Jamoye he has managed to fight at the world level though was stopped by Shinsuke Yamanaka earlier this year.
One the same day as Tomoki's win over Jamoye Filipino fans saw the then unbeaten Milan Melindo score an easy win over South Korean visitor Jin-Man Jeon. The talented Filipino now has one loss on his record though we wouldn't write him off and if anything we'd give him a great chance at becoming a world champion somewhere down the line.
As we know fans are looking forward to his return it's of interest to note that on this day in 2004 Denver Cuello made his debut, losing a split decision to Pit Anacaya. Anacaya has gone on to become a Filipino journeyman whilst Cuello is an exceptionally popular world level fighter who will be hoping to win a world title in the near future.
(Image, of Yuh, courtesy of The Orient Boxing Monthly and Boxrec.com)
August 27th has been an interesting day through boxing history, not the most interesting of course but still a thoroughly interesting one all the same.
We'll start with the birthdays which notable include Shiro Yahiro who was born in 1968. Yahiro, who fought between 1989 and 2001 was a 3-time world title challenger who fell short against Leo Gamez in 1993 and then twice to Saman Sorjaturong. Although he fell short at the world level he did claim both the Japanese and OPBF titles at 108lbs.
Another birthday was that of Mongolian Shinny Bayaar who was adopted by the British boxing fans in 2001 and would later claim the British Flyweight title with a close decision over Chris Edwards. Although Bayaar's career wasn't great he did effectively act as a catalyst for the BBBofC in the UK to change their accidental foul rule after he lost his title in controversial fashion to Paul Edwards.
Away from birthday's the date was also memorable. In 1998 the tragic Yo-Sam Choi retained his OPBF Light Flyweight title to make the 3rd and final defence of the belt. Just 14 months after that bout Choi would claim the WBC Light Flyweight title, claiming a decision over the previously mentioned Saman Sorjaturong. Sadly Choi would die in 2007 following a victory over Heri Amol and with his death we saw the swift decline of South Korean boxing, thankfully though Choi's death wasn't in vein and he did donate many of his organs.
On the subject of Korean's it was on this day in 1989 that the great Jung-Koo Chang returned to the ring due to financial issues. Sadly for Chang his comeback was less than stellar and although he won the comeback fight, taking a 10 round decision over Armando Velasco, he would lose 3 of his subsequent 4 fights and retire, in 1991, with a record of 38-4 a stark difference to the 36-1 that he originally retired with.
Again staying with Koreans it was in 2000 that In-Joo Cho lost his WBC Super Flyweight title to "North Korean" Masamori Tokuyama. At the time Tokuyama was fighting under the North Korean flag though he would, later, begin fighting as a South Korean whilst being based and raised in Japan. These two men would fight a rematch 9 months later with Cho losing again and then retiring with a record of 18-2, both of his losses coming to Tokuyama.
One final bout of note occurred in 2011 when Filipino puncher Jether Oliva challenged the then IBF Light Flyweight champion Ulises Solis. Solis would retain though Oliva did show signs of being a potential champion of the future though that potential hasn't yet been realised.
(Image courtesy of boxrec.com)
When it comes to August 26th in the world of boxing there is only 1 starting point, 1906. That was the day that legendary Filipino Ceferino Garcia was born. Garcia, one of the true greats of Filipino boxing was a notable pre-war fighter and scored 119 wins from 163 contests. In his career he shared the ring not just with contemporary greats but all-time greats such as Henry Armstrong, Ken Overlin, Fred Apostoli, Barney Ross and Young Corbett III. His crowning achievement was a short reign as Middleweight champion though his legacy is that of one of the greatest Filipino fighters of all time.
Staying on the subject of birthday's some 51 years after Garcia was born we saw the birth of Yong Hyun Kim from South Korea. Kim's career is no where near as memorable as that of Garcia though did compete at the highest level, at least once. Kim's defining fight was a loss at the hands of Japanese great Yoko Gushiken in 1980 as Gushiken recorded his 10th world title defence.
Exactly 9 years after Kim's birthday Japanese fans would have been shocked as Super Featherweight world champion Hiroshi Kobayashi was narrowly out pointed by Ruben Navarro. Thankfully for Kobayashi it was a 10 round non-title fight fought above the 130lb limit and he would go on to hold one title or another for almost another 3 years before losing in 1971 to Alfredo Marcano.
In 1995 Japanese fan favourite Joichiro Tatsuyoshi bounced back from his high profile defeat to Yasuei Yakushiji to defeat Noe Santillana in a non-title bout.
Exactly a year after "Joe's" return to the ring Japanese fans got the chance to see Yuri Arbachakov in action defending his WBC Flyweight title. Yuri would be fighting Puma Toguchi and actually make the final defence of the his title that he unfortunately lost 15 months later to Chatchai Sasakul. Yuri was the first Russian to hold world a title in professional boxing and one of the greatest imported fighters to Japan in history. A true Flyweight phenomenon.
Talking about successful world title title defenses we also saw one from the controversial Masamori Tokuyama. Tokuyama, who represented North Korea in a number of fights, succesfully defended his WBC Super Flyweight title against Erik Lopez on this day in 2002, this was the 8th defence by Tokuyama who was named "Japan's boxer of the year" for the same year.
(Image, of Garcia, courtesy of boxrec.com)
Although August 24th was a packed day in Asian boxing history the same, unfortunately, cannot be said for August 25th which has had a sprinkle of notable days though far fewer than several other dates. Strangely it did feature as a notable date in 2013, though more about that a little later.
The first August 25th of note was in 1979 when South Korean Kwang Min Kim took on the legendary Antonio Cervantes and lost a split decision. The bout seemed to be one that was a clear win for Cervantes though he did struggle with the pace late on as he was pushed hard by the previously unbeaten Korean. Although it did look close at the end it seems as though the fight flattered Kim in some ways and Cevantes would lose the title less than a year later.
Exactly 6 years after Kim had failed in his title effort we saw the first successful defence of a world title by Ellyas Pical who stopped Wayne Mulholland in 3 rounds to retain his IBF Super Flyweight title. The bout ended in odd circumstances though it was an historic day for Indonesian boxing as it was the first ever successful world title defence by an Indonesian boxer.
In 2001 talented Japanese fighter Yutaka Niida claimed the WBA Minimumweight title with a narrow decision win over Thailand's Chana Porpaoin. Chana was defending the title for the first time of his second reign though was unfortunate to lose to Niida in Japan. Strangely not long after this fight Niida himself announced his retirement due to back pain. Thankfully he would return to the ring in 2003 and went on to regain the title which he held until running in to Roman Gonzalez in 2008 and suffering the sole stoppage defeat of his career. Prior to losing the belt to Gonzalez Niida had defended the title 7 times.
On this date in 2009 Somsak Sithchatchawal, the Thai great who was involved in "that bout" with Mahyar Monshipour, scored his last ever win. Aged 32 Somsak out pointed Hendrik Barongsay before ending his career with a controversial win over Dante Paulino and a shock upset loss to Fernando Otic. Unfortunately for the Thai he ended his career fighting well above his peak fighting weight and was showing serious signs of having had a long and hard career.
Away from the world scene we have seen two, notable, debuts on August 25th. The first came in 2005 when Indonesia's Daud Cino Yordan made his debut and stopped Anshori Anhar Pitulay inside a round. Yordan, one of our favourite fighters, has fallen short against the best opponents that he has faced though he is usually in good action fights, such as his war with Lorenzo Villanueva and his great bout with compatriot Chris John. Hopefully we'll see Yordan back in the ring short though he does appear to be having problems with his career at the moment, sadly.
Exactly 8 years after Yordan's debut we saw the much anticipated professional debut of former Japanese amateur star Ryota Murata. Murata began his career by stopping OPBF Middleweight champion Akio Shibata in 2 rounds of a non-title fight and immediately looked like a potential champion though did show some flaws. Amazingly Murata has moved into the world rankings after just 4 fights whilst Shibata has unified the OPBF and Japanese titles showing that his career isn't close to being over despite a loss to a debutant.
On the same that Murata debuted his compatriot, and fellow star, Naoya Inoue claimed his first professional title. Inoue defeated the tough Ryoichi Taguchi to claim the Japanese Light Flyweight title and just 2 fights later Inoue became the quickest ever Japanese fighter to a world title, winning a belt in just 6 fights to set a Japanese domestic record.
(Image, of Somsak, courtesy of boxrec.com)
It's strange when we et really busy days though in the case of August 24th it's been so busy we could easily have had 2 or even 3 of these short pieces done.
In 1974 Filipino puncher Ben Villaflor retained his WBA Super Featherweight and made light work of Japan's Yasutsune Uehara. The fight came just 10 months after Villaflor had scored his career defining KO over Kuniaki Shibata to reclaim the title, and once again he proved to be a thorn in the side of Japanese fighters. Villaflor would hold the title in until 1976 when he lost it to Puerto Rico's Samuel Serrano and retired from the sport. Incidentally in 1980 Serrano lost the belt to Uehara in a major upset.
Just 8 years after the Villaflor/Uehara fight saw the debut of one of Thailand's greatest boxers, Samart Payakaroon. Samart, an oddly handsome looking fighter, had transitioned from Muay Thai and began his boxing career with a 10 round victory over former world champion Netrnoi Sor Vorasingh. Whilst this was the start for Payakaroon it was sadly the end for Netrnoi who died soon afterwards in a motorbike accident ending his life at just 23 years.
Whilst the date has been a busy one it hasn't always been a successful one and in 1991 Chun Huh fought, unsuccessfully, in his only world title fight, dropping a lop sided decision to the great Daniel Zaragoza in a WBC Super Bantamweight title fight. Exactly 12 years after Huh's disappointment we saw Japan's Hiroyuki Hisataka lose a WBO Super Flyweight title fight in Argentina to the great Omar Andres Narvaez.
As for female boxing this date certainly stands out for South Korean females. with August 24th 2007 being the notable date. The day saw two world title fights in Seoul and both were won by South Koreans. One of those women was Ju Hee Kim who successfully won the WBA Light Flyweight title with a 7th round TKO against Yuki Sakurada the other woman was Cho Rong Sun who successfully defended her WBA Minimumweight crown against Lin Jin Mei. Kim, the inaugural WBA female Light Flyweight champion, never actually defended her belt though Son did make one further defence before losing in Japan to Etsuko Tada.
One finale note for August 24th is Japanese based American fighter Charlie Ota who was born in 1981. We know Charlie has re-tweeted some of the stuff we have published so we'd like to wish him a very happy birthday!
(Picture, of Sirimongkol, courtesy of boxrec.com)
August 23rd pops up a lot in Asian boxing and whilst many of the dates are somewhat insignificant, such as as early career fights for Shinsuke Yamanaka, there are also numerous important August 23rd's.
Born on August 23rd 1944 Hiroshi Kobayashi is one of the most famous birthday boys for the day. Notably he hwas had two reasons to celebrate the date in 1970 when he not only turned 26 years old but also successfully retained his Super Featherweight world title with a decision over Antonio Amaya. Sadly however Kobayashi's career was coming to it's end and he would retire less than 2 years later after back-to-back losses to Alfredo Marcano and Roberto Duran.
Satoshi Shingaki may be an oft forgotten member of Japanese boxing history but on this day in 1985 he fought in his last world title fight, his second bout with Australia destroyer Jeff Fenech. Shingaki, the first ever IBF champion from Japan, was tyring to recapture the IBF Bantamweight title that he had lost to Fenech 4 months earlier, unfortunately for the Japanese fighter he suffered back-to-back defeats to Fenech being stopped in 4 rounds. He would fight on until 1990 though never get another world title fight, though he did win the IBF Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title in his final bout.
In 1998 Japanese boxing icon Joichiro Tatsuyoshi recorded his last ever world title defence, a 6th round technical decision victory over the then unbeaten American Paulie Ayala. Sadly for Tatsuyoshi he would lose his title just over 4 months later, being stopped by Thai great Veeraphol Sahaprom, a second loss to Sahaprom in 1999 effectively ended Tatsuyoshi's dreams of ever recapturing a world title again and probably should have forced his permanent retirement. Sadly "Joe" fought on until 1999 making 2 ill fated comebacks and now suffers from the clear ill effects of a career that went on too long.
In 2008 hardcore Filipino fans in Cebu would have seen the then unbeaten John Riel Casimero claim his first ever professional title, the PBF Flyweight title. Casimero would decision Rodel Quilaton to claim the belt and extend his record to 10-0 (6) little would we have guess that he would later claim the IBF Light Flyweight title and have a thoroughly great though hugely over-looked career.
Staying on the subject of notable wins by Filipino's Rey Loreto scored one of his most notable wins on August 23rd 2013 when he defeated Pornsawan Porpramook via a 10th round technical decision. In his very next fight Loreto would enhance his reputation by icing South African Nkosinathi Joyi and boost him into the world rankings. Sadly we've not seen him back in the ring following his win over Joyi.
(Image, of Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, courtesy of the Orient Boxing Monthly and boxrec.com)
August 22nd is another day that hasn't stood out as being a huge one in Asian boxing but there has been some interesting days
In 1979 South Korean great Chong-Pal Park claimed his first international title, the OPBF Middleweight title, with a 2nd round KO over Cassius Naito. Whilst it was a break out moment for the Korean, who would later claim the IBF and WBO world titles at Super Middleweight, it was sadly the start of the end for Naito who fought just once more, losing in 6 rounds to Naoto Suzuki.
August 22nd 1985 saw the birth of Japanese based Venezuelan Jorge Linares. Linares, a Teiken managed fighter, would go on to claim Featherweight and Super Featherweight titles in the 00's and now looks towards becoming a 3-weight world champion with a WBC Lightweight title fight being imminent.
On exactly the same day as Linares was born we also had the birth of Thailand's world ranked Mike Tawatchai, real name Pipat Chaiporn. Tawatchi might not be a bit name in the sport but he is highly ranked by the IBF and has shared the ring with Daiki Kameda amongst others. There appears to be a lot more left for Tawatchai to achieve in his career though we're unsure on just how much potential he really has.
In 1993 then unbeaten Chana Porpaoin made the second defence of his WBA Minimumweight title by over-coming tough Filipino challenger Ronnie Magramo with a 12 round decision. Interestingly Magramo's last professional bout came in a WBA interim title fight against Songkram Porpaoin, the twin brother of Chana.
(Image courtesy of boxrec.com)