October 30th has been a busy day in Asian boxing with numerous important fights falling on this date over the years.
The first that we stumbled on came in 1971 when the exciting Koichi Wajima first became a world champion. Wajima, a rather unique fighter to watch, took a 15 round split decision over Italian Carmelo Bossi to claim the WBA and WBC Light Middleweight title. For Bossi this was his final fight as a professional whilst for Wajima his reign would last until 1974 when he dethroned by Oscar Albarado. Wajima would avenge the loss to Albarado in a rematch and would later become a 3-time world champion before his retirement in the late 1970's.
The next bout of note came in 1989 when the amazing Khaosai Galaxy took a 12th round TKO victory over Kenji Matsumura in the second meeting between the two men. For Matsumura this was his second failed world title attempt in less than 7 months and he would then suffer subsequent world title defeats to Sung Kil Moon, in what was a fantastically fun bout to watch, and Katsuya Onizuka. For Galaxy however this was the 12th defense of his title and amazing his 10th that ended in a stoppage. Galaxy's reign continued until his retirement in the early 1990's when he retired as the champion.
Having just mentioned his name it's worth noting that South Korean great Sung Kil Moon also fought on this day, in 1992. Moon, one of the greatest and most exciting Korean's of all time, made the 7th defense of the WBC Super Flyweight as he over-came American challenger Greg Richardson with a majority decision. For Richardson this was a second successive loss following a 10th round stoppage loss to Japan's Joichiro Tatsuyoshi 13 months earlier. Sadly it was the start of the end for both and Moon would only manage another 2 defenses before losing his title to Jose Luis Bueno in November 1993.
More recently, 1999, we saw South Korean banger Jon-Kwon Baek narrowly out point Mongolian tough guy Lakva Sim to claim the WBA Super Featherweight title with a very narrow split decision. The bout was effectively decided bya point deduction from Sim who was deducted in the 8th round for use of the elbows. For Sim this ended his his first reign as world champion which had lasted a little more than 4 months. Unfortunately Baek's reign wasn't much longer. The South Korean managed a sole successful defense, fighting to a 12 round draw with compatriot Kyu-Chul Choi before losing the belt to talented Cuban Joel Casamayor in May 2000.
(Image, of Moon, courtesy of boxrec.com)
We've got to admit we've struggled again today to find much of note and as a result we've only got 2 bout of interest.
The first of those came in 1993 when Kyrgyzstan's great Orzubek Nazarov became the first fighter from Kyrgyzstan to claim a wold title after taking a very well earned decision in South Africa against Dingaan Thobela. The decision for Nazarov saw him claiming the WBA Lightweight title, a title he would hold until 1998 he suffered his sole career defeat to Jean-Baptiste Mendy and soon retired courtesy of a serious eye injury. Sadly for Nazarov the eye injury has left him blind in 1 eye but the great fighter is still remembered as his counties best, by a long, long way.
Our second bout of note came in 2004 when Japanese Minimumweight Yutaka Niida made his first defense of the WBA Minimumweight title as he over-came Juan Jose Landaeta in a very narrow split decision. The win was Niida's 3rd win in a world title fight and came just less than 4 months after he had reclaimed the title from Noel Arambulet. Niida would hold this belt until 2008 when he suffered his sole stoppage defeat, at the hands of the sensational Roman Gonzalez who won his first with the victory over Niida.
(Image courtesy of boxrec.com and is the poster from the Nazarov fight more than 20 years ago)
October 29th has been a relatively interesting day in Asian boxing boxing history though it's actually a very recent date that stands out head and shoulders above all the others. So for the first time we're actually only going to look at one day in history, hopefully though people will understand why.
The day in question was October 29th 2005 and the card in question was a Golden Boy Promotions show in Arizona that featured featured 4 world title fights that featured Thai fighters against Mexican fighters.
At Light Flyweight fans saw Hugo Fidel Cazares defend his WBO title against Kaichon Sor Vorapin in a fight that was a mismatch on paper though proved to be very interesting. The fight saw Kaichon dropped twice early before dropping Cazares in round 6. Unfortunately Cazares got up from the knockdown to stop the Thai later the same round in what was a truly exciting Light Flyweight contest. Sadly for Kaichon this was his sole world title bout and ended a 13 fight winning streak from the Thai that dated back almost 2 years.
In the Super Flyweight division Fernando Montiel defending his WBO title against the previously unbeaten Pramuansak Posuwan. The Thai entered the bout unbeaten in 30 fights and was very unfortunate to lose to Montiel here in a very competitive bout that Pramuansak would likely have won had the bout been in Thailand. The Thai would get a second shot at this title in 2009 though on that occassion he came up short against Jose Lopez in Puerto, that loss was the start of the end for the Thai who lost his 3 subsequent bouts before retiring in 2012 with an outstanding record of 45-5-1 (24), sadly 2 of those losses came in his most significant contests.
In a Bantamweight bout we saw WBO champion Ratanachai Sor Vorapin take on the thunderously hard hitting Jhonny Gonzalez and unfortunately the Thai was stopped in the 7th round after being bounced off the canvas several times earlier in the contest. For the Thai this was his second defense and unfortunately it was to be his final bout as a champion in a career that continued until 2011 and saw him come up short in another world title fight against popular Filipino against Gerry Penalosa in 2008.
For many fans who remember this show the most memorable contest was the Super Bantamweight title bout that saw Sod Kokietgym come up short on the judges score cards against Mexican banger Daniel Ponce De Leon in another WBO title fight, that was despite dropping the Mexican in the 2nd round. The bout was thrilling with both men trying to take each other's head off in one of the best all-southpaw bouts in recent years. Unfortunately for Sod a rematch just 9 months later saw the Thai being iced inside a round in one of the most chilling knockouts in recent memory.
This card featured 2 other Mexico Vs Thai bouts which included Thailand's only win as Terdsak Kokietgym narrowly out pointed Carlos Contreras in an 8 round bout.
October 28th seems to have been a very quite day in Asian boxing history and we've struggle to find much of interest in out brief search through time. Thankfully we have found a few events and hopefully these will interest you, at least slightly.
On this day in 1965 Filipino fighter Tacy Macalos was born. Although not an all time great the Filipino did have a very interesting 44 fight career that began in 1984 and lasted a decade with his final bout coming in 1994. Macalos didn't look like a star earlier in his career and actually began 0-1-2 in his first 3 bouts and was a bizarre 3-2-3 after 8 professional contests in less than 7 months. Despite the poor start Macalos would find his groove and in 1987 he fought Jum Hwan Choi for the IBF Light Flyweight title. He came up short in that bout, losing a close split decision, but 16 months later would avenge the loss to become a world champion. Sadly Macalos's reign as the IBF Light Flyweight champion lasted just shy of 6 months before he was beaten by Thailand's Muangchai Kittikasem, via split decision. From then on his career hit a serious downwards spiral and he would win just 4 of his subsequent 11 bouts before retiring with a record of 29-12-3 (12).
In 1979 Japanese fans got a treat as the great Yoko Gushiken scored his 20th straight win and his 10 successful defense of the WBA Light Flyweight title as he stopped Filipino fighter Tito Abella in 7 rounds. At the time Gushiken was ripping through challengers at an amazing rate and this was his 4th defense in 1979, he would add 3 more defenses the following year before finally losing his title in 1981 and retiring as one of the most loved Japanese fighters of all time. For Abella this was his only world title bout and seemed to be the start of the end for him with his record falling to a depressing looking 22-23-1 (9) when he retired. Interestingly in 1985 Abella actually fought Macalos, losing a 10 round decision to the future world champion.
More recently, in 2012, Japanese female great Naoko Fujioki defended her WBC Minimumweight title against the then unbeaten Victoria Argueta. The talented Japanese fighter dominated the visiting Mexican who sufferent her first, and currently only, loss whilst Fujioka recorded her second and final defense of the title. Just 13 months later Fujioka would move all the way up to Super Flyweight and claim the WBA title at 115lbs. In just a few days time Fujioka will be attempting to become a 3-weight world champion as she travels to Germany to fight popular German fight Susi Kentikian in a true female super fight.
(Image, of Gushiken, courtesy of boxrec.com)
We've not found a lot of interesting events for October 27th but we have got a few, including the birthday of a very highly regarded active fighter ready to challenge for his world title in just a few days time.
That birthday man is Thailand's unbeaten Minimumweight Wanheng Menayothin who was born on October 27th 1985 and has turned 30 just a few days before he gets a long awaited world title fight fight with WBC title Oswaldo Novoa in what is really a make or break fight for both men. Although not one of the hardest hitting fighters in the division Wanheng has been a very impressive fighter and is one of the most talented pressure fighters in the lower weights and we suspect his bout with Novoa could be a very special and hard fought encounter that may even become a FOTY contender.
Whilst Wanheng is just about ready to fight his first world title fight it's worth noting that another Thai had a very short lived comeback on this day in 1996, when Wanheng was celebrating his 19th birthday. That was former IBF Flyweight champion Pichit Sithbanprachan who had retired almost 2 years earlier but came back for a 1-off fight with Sammy Sordilla, a fight that Pichit won in 8 rounds to record his first stoppage win in 3 years! Pichit, one of the few world champions to retire undefeated, made another short lived comeback in 2000 when he fought 2 subsequent bouts before finally walking away from the sport with an excellent record of 24-0 (18). Although only a world champion for almost 2 years he did look like a sensational fighter on his break out win, a 3rd round KO of Rodolfo Blanco, it seems however that his style and hard battles took it's toll and when he first retired in 1994 he was looking like a shadow of the fighter he had once been.
Most recently we saw Japanese fighter Takahiro Ao losing his second world title, the WBC Super Featherweight title, on this date in 2012. Ao was out pointed by Mexican fighter Gamaliel Diaz in what was a notable upset at the time. The loss for Ao saw him leaving Super Featherweight behind, suggesting he struggled to make the weight, and he is now focusing on Lightweight with the intention of becoming a 3 weight world champion. Diaz would notably lose the title in his first defense to Takashi Miura who was on the same card defeating domestic rival Ryuji Migaki in just 97 seconds!
(Image, of birthday boy Wanheng, courtesy of boxrec.com)
There hasn't been a lot of major bouts on October 26th but we have managed to find 3 that we thought were interesting.
In 1991 South Korean fans got an All-Korean world title bout as Hi-Yong Choi successfully defended the WBA Minimumweight title against compatriot Bong-Jun Kim. This was the second meeting between the two men with Choi actually taking the title from Kim a little more than 8 months earlier in a competitive bout, unfortunately the rematch was rather 1-sided with Choi winning clearly. Sadly the losses for Kim were the start of the end and he would win just once more before retiring in the mid 1990's.
Exactly 10 years after the second Choi/Kim bout we had a bout of note in Thailand where the great Pongsaklek Wonjongkam retained his WBC Flyweight title with an 8th round technical decision over Alex Baba. This bout came just over 7 months after Wonjongkam had won the title, following his opening round blow out over Malcolm Tunacao, and was his second successful defense just months after he had taken out Hayato Asai in a very 1 sided affair.
Exactly 1 year later we saw a Japanese great in action, though sadly he was a long way from being his best. That man was Joichiro Tatsuyoshi who scored a second round TKO against Phalangchai Chuwatana in Bangkok. This was to be "Joe's" last win and a return to a Thai ring some 5 months later saw Tatsuyoshi suffering a 7th round TKO loss to Sakai Jockygym. Surprisingly this bout wasn't just "Joe's last win" but was also his first bout for more than 5 years!
(Photo, of Wonjongkam, courtesy of Scott Mallon)
In 1971 we saw Japan's Kazuyoshi Kanazawa attempt to claim the unified WBA and WBC Bantamweight titles. Sadly for the Japanese fighter, he ran into the sensational Ruben Olivares and, despite a gallant effort, was stopped in the 14th round with Olivares scored a trio of knockdowns in the fight's penultimate round. For Kanazawa this was his sole world title bout, and his second clash with Olivares, it also turned out to be the start of the end of his career and he retired after just 1 more fight.
In 1990 we saw one of the sports all time greats travel to Japan and beat down one of Japan's very own greats. This fight saw Ricardo Lopez, the Mexican legend, demolish Japan's very own Hideyuki Ohashi to claim the WBC Minimumweight title. Ohashi was attempting to record the second defense of the title but was dominated by the Mexican great who stopped him in round 6 of a 1-sided contest that had seen Ohashi being dropped 3 times prior to the stoppage.
Exactly a year after Ohashi's loss to Lopez That fans saw Muangchai Kittikasem successfully defend the WBC Flyweight title with a majority decision win over Alberto Jimenez. This was Kittikasem's second title defense after he had claimed the title from Sot Chitalada earlier in the year. The bout was a very tough one for the Thai and one that he only won by majority decision
(Image courtesy of boxrec.com)
In 2008 Japanese fans were treat to a thriller as Chris John retained his WBA Featherweight title with a 12 round decision over Hiroyuki Enoki in one of John's more entertaining and exciting fights. Not many would believe us if we said Chris john was involved ina war but this one really was, in fact this one was a really engaging, exciting and truly wonderful bout and although Enoki was the clear loser on the scorecards he played his part in what was a really entertaining fight. Sadly for Enoki this was the start of the end and he would only win one of his subsequent 4 bouts before retiring whilst John would continue to hold his world title until 2013.
Just 2 years later we had 2 more title fights in Japan. One of those saw the tremendous Toshiaki Nishioka successfully defending his WBC Super Bantamweight title against British challenger Rendall Munroe with a brilliant 12 round decision. For many British fans this was their first chance to see Nishioka in action though proved his quality as he clearly dominated the British fighter. On the same card we also saw Roman Gonzalez take a 2nd round KO against former foe Francisco Rosas to retain his interim WBA Light Flyweight title and put his only close decision well and truly behind him.
In 2011 we saw another Japanese fighter in world title action as Akira Yaegashi claimed his first world title as he stopped Thailand's Pornsawan Porpramook in 10 rounds to win the WBA Minimumweight title. This was the first world title win for Yaegashi who would later become one of the most exciting Japanese fighters of recent years. Following this bout Yaegashi would claim the WBC Flyweight title, a title he lost this year to Roman Gonzalez.
(Image courtesy of boxrec.com)
On this day in 1971 Japan's tragic Masao Oba managed to record the second defense of his WBA Flyweight title as he scored a clear 15 round decision over Fernando Cabanela. This fight came just over a year after Oba had won the title, via a 13th round KO against Berkrerk Chartvanchai, and although it was just hius second defense of his title it was his 5th fight following his itle win! Sadly Oba's career came to an end just 15 months later after he died in an automobile accident robbing the boxing world of a sensationally gifted young man, who was just 23 at the time of his death.
Exactly 6 years after Oba defended his title we then saw Thai great Saensak Muangsurin retain his WBC Light Welterweight title with a hard fought 15 round decision over Saoul Mamby. This was the 5th defense of Muangsurin's second reign and was amazing his 5th, of 6, defenses in the year, a number that seems unreal considering how little the top fighters fight today.
In 1983 we saw the 4th and final meeting between Katsuo Tokashiki and Lupe Madera. The men, fighting for the WBA Light Flyweight title, had entered this bout 1-1-1 in their memorable serious which had taken just over 18 months to complete and sadl saw Madera coming out on winning the final bout with a narrow unanimous decision. Sadly for Tokashiki this was really his last chance at winning back a world title with his only subsequent title shot coming against the sensational Jung Koo Chang, who ended Tokashiki's career in 1984 and was the only man to stop the tough Japanese fighter.
Also on October 23rd 1983 we saw the final bout of Korean fighter Chul Ho Kim who was beaten in 10 rounds by Prayurasak Muangsurin. Kim had previously been the WBC Super Flyweight champion between 1981 and 1982 making 5 defenses in 22 months. Sad for Kim this was his first fight in almost a year and ring rost and a hard career took it's toll on his own ability. Notably Kim later became the manager of fellow fighter Sung-Kil Moon, himself a man who would go on to claim 2 world titles.
(Image, of Oba, courtesy of boxrec.com)
October 22nd has been an interesting day in Asian boxing history with several bouts of note and the birthday of a memorable modern great, in fact strangely the birthday fell on the same day as one of the bouts.
That was October 22nd 1966 and the man who was born on this day was the great Yuri Arbachakov the former WBC Flyweight sensation. Born in Kizes, Russia, the heavy handed fighter made his name in Japan where he often fought as Yuri Ebihara, adopting the Ebihara from Hiroyuki Ebihara. Arbachakov claimed his first title, the Japanese Flyweight title, in 1991 and just 11 months later he stopped Muangchai Kittikasm for the WBC Flyweight title, a title he held until 1997 when suffered a decision loss to Chatchai Sasakul and soon afterwards he retired from the sport having previously made 9 defenses of his title, an amazing feat considering many fighters seemed to avoid him.
On the same day as Arbachakov's birthday Filipino fans were given a treat as the legendary Flash Elorde, one of the county's finest ever fighters, defended his unified Super Featherweight titles against Argentinian veteran Vicente Milan Derado. The bout was Elorde's 6th defense of the title and it would sadly be his last with the Filipino losing the belts 8 months later to Yoshiaki Numata in Japan. The win was a narrow one for Elorde who was given a very tough test by Derado but it was one of almost 90 that the great man scored in his amazing career.
In 1989 South Korean Bong-Jun Kim made the second defense of the WBA Minimumweight title as he stopped Indonesian challenger John Arief. For Arief this was a second successive world title defeat following a 12 round decision loss to Napan Kiatwanchai in a WBC title show and after this loss he would retire. For Kim however this was the second of 5 successful defenses before he ran into Hi-Yong Choi in 1991 and suffered a trio of successive losses in world title bouts. Sadly for the Korean he would lose 5 of his last 6 bouts to leave him with a very misleading record and he was better than the 24-10-3 (10) record that he eventually retired with.
Most recently we saw Filipino great Nonito Donaire defend the WBC and WBO Bantameight title against Argentinian great Omar Andres Narvaez. We won't pretend we were fans of the bout, given that Narvaez is a tiny fighter at Super Flyweight, but on paper it was an amazing win for Donaire even if everything about the contest could be desribed negatively, including Donaire inability to really open up the crafty Argentinian fighter.
(Image, of Elorde, courtesy of boxrec.com)