It's not often we get to do one of these based around just one day, it's even rare when the day was exactly one year ago but it's hard to forget just how great November 30th 2013 really was. The day had a host of world title bouts spread across the world and was a genuinely memorable day.
The first of the bouts came in China where China's first male world champion Xiong Zhao Zhong made the second, and final, successful defense of the WBC Minimumweight title as he dominated Thailand's Lookrak Kiatmungmee. Lookrak got the fight on very late notice after the Chinese government apparently had issues with Omari Kimweri and the challenger really did look completely out of his depth before eventually being stopped in the 5th round of the bout. For Zhong the win was an impressive looking one but Lookrak was an awful opponent who lacked everything a challenger needed to even make a fight interesting.
Although the Chinese bout was a mismatch there was some competitive action in the Philippines where the then WBO Minimumweight champion Merlito Sabillo was very lucky to retain his title against talented Nicaraguan Carlos Buitrago in a bout that ended in a draw. The bout was one of the late runners for the 2013 FOTY year though sadly began a career free fall for Sabillo who has lost his two subsequent bouts, one of which was a painful beat down to Francisco Rodriguez Jr whilst the other was a massive shock loss to Faris Nenggo.
On the same Filipino card the locals did have something to celebrate as Donnie Nietes made extremely light work of Sammy Gutierrez in what amounted to a stay busy world title defence for "Ahas" who was already looking toward a rematch with Moises Fuentes, a rematch that took place this year with Nietes looking at his best to stop Fuentes.
Later the same day we saw Russia Sergey Kovalev dominate Ismayl Sillah before knocking the Ukrainian out in the second round to retain the WBO Light Heavyweight title. We were all hoping this would lead to a bout between Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson, who was also on this show, though that bout never materialised with Stevenson doing all he could to avoid Kovalev and deprieve fans of what would have been a very highly anticipated bout between two truly heavy handed fighters.
In the last few years November 29th has been a key date with numerous interesting fights falling on this date. Some of those fights have started an era whilst others have just been entertaining.
One of the era defining fights came in 2007 when the great Eagle Den Junlaphan traveled to his native Thailand to defend his WBC Minimumweight title. Unfortunately for Den he was narrowly out pointed by the then undefeated Oleydong Sithsamerchai. For Junlaphan, who was seeking his 5th defense of his second reign, this would be his second loss and the loss that sent him into retirement. For Oleydong this win started his reign that would last until 2011 and included defenses against the likes of Pornsawan Porpramook, Muhammad Rachman and Juan Palacios before eventually losing to the then fast rising Kazuto Ioka.
The following year we unfortunately saw Juanito Rubillar come up short in Mexico as he attempted to dethrone Edgar Sosa in a WBC Light Flyweight title fight. Rubillar was stopped in the 7th round and although he was behind on the cards he had managed to give Sosa some issues before being stopped.
Exactly one year later Japanese fighter Koki Kameda claimed the WBC Flyweight title to become a 2-weight world champion. Kameda out pointed Daisuke Naito and in turn both claimed the world title and avenged Naito's win over younger brother Daiki Kameda, in a bout that was one of the most controversial on recent Japanese history. The fight it's self was an all out war with Koki needing to go through hell in the later stages to win. Unfortunately for Koki his reign was a short lived one and he lost the title soon afterwards to Pongsaklek Wonjongkam.
A little more recently, in 2013, fans were treat to a war in Thailand as Yodmongkol Vor Saenthep managed to stop Koki Eto and claim the WBA interim Flyweight title with a 12th round stoppage. Eto was returning to Thailand after winning the title against Konmpayak Porpramook in a thriller though this time he was unable to repeat the feat and in the end he looked to have been out fought before eventually being stopped.
Over the last 30 years we've seen some great bouts on November 28th. We're not saying they have been frequent but they have been entertaining and we've picked 3 world title bouts that time span which have involved knockdowns, a little bit of revenge and some intense action.
The first of the bouts came back in 1982 when South Korean Chul-Ho Kim sadly lost the WBC Super Flyweight title to Rafael Orono. Kim had actually beaten Orono for the title 22 months earlier when he plkled the fight out of the bag, this time around however the Korean was battered, beaten and eventually stopped as Orono gave him a real hiding in round 5. The bell, which went early in the 5th, did little to help the Korean who was stopped early in round 6 as Orono became a 2-time champion and essentially finished the career of Kim who fought just once more before retiring.
In 1993 Thailand's excellent Chana Porpaoin pulled himself off the canvas to record his 3rd defense of the WBA Minimumweight title. Chana was battling against Rafael Torres and was surprisingly dropped in the opening round though managed to drop Torres for the count with a body attack in round 4 to retain his title, a title he would hold until December 1995. Although not remembered as an all time great Minimumweight Chana was a 2-time world champion with wins over the likes of Hideyuki Ohashi, Carlos Murillo and Keitaro Hoshino.
More recently Russian banger Kostya Tszyu claimed the WBC interim Light Welterweight crown as he defeated Diosbelys Hurtado in an up-and-down fight. The bout, fought on this day in 1998, had an amazing first round though eventually Tszyu came out on top stopping Hurtado in the 5th round of a genuinely pulsating contest.
(Image of Chana courtesy of boxrec.com)
Sometimes fighters fight on a specific date for traditional purposes, for examples the big shows in Japan at the end of the year. Strangely November 27th appeared, for a little bit of time, to be Oleydong's day.
In 2008 Oleydong Sithsamerchai defended his WBC Minimumweight title with a with a clear win over fellow Thai Pornsawan Porpramook in what was a rather 1-sided contest. For Oleydong this was his second defense of the title that he had taken from Den Junlaphan a year earlier, in fact almost to the day whilst for Pornsawan this was this was his second attempt to win a world title and come 14 months after his loss to Donnie Nietes in a WBO world title fight. Incidentally Oleydong would fight Pornsawan again in 2010, that time Pornsawan was robbed of a clear win with the bout being scored a draw. Although the rematch did see Oleydong fight much of the bout with an injury he was still very lucky to receive the draw.
Exactly a year after the first bout between Oleydong and Pornsawan fans saw the Thai world champion again defending his belt. On this occasional he very narrowly defeated Nicaraguan tough guy Juan Palacios in a bout that seemed to sum up the fact Oleydong was destroying himself to make the 105lb Minimumweight limit. Thankfully it wasn't long before Oleydong was forced to move up, though he did come undone against Kazuto Ioka before eventually moving all the way to Super Flyweight.
Over the last 15 years or so there has been plenty of notable events coming on November 26th.
In 2002 Thai great Pongsaklek Wonjongkam traveled to Japan successfully defended the WBC Flyweight title against Japan's very own Hidenobu Honda. For Wonjongkam this was his second defense in Japan and his 6th defense in just over 20 months as the Thai kept up one of the busiest scheduled seen in recent memory, especially of a champion. The bout was a clear win for the Thai who would later become of the names of the 00's with notable wins over a relative who's who of the lower weights, including Koki Kameda, Daisuke Naito and Edgar among others.
In 2010 Japanese fans actually had something to celebrate as a pair of their fighters came out on top in notable world title bouts. One of those bouts saw Takahiro Ao claim the WBC Super Featherweight title with a 12 round decision over German based Vitali Tajbert with Ao becoming a 2-weight world champion. The other bout saw the popular Hozumi Hasegawa claim the WBC Featherweight title by out pointing Juan Carlos Burgos to himself become a 2-weight world champion. Hasegawa later attempted to become a 3-weight champion though came up short earlier this year against Kiko Martinez whilst Ao will be looking for a Lightweight title in 2015.
More recently, inm 2011, we saw Indonesian tough guy Angky Angkiotta come up short in a WBO Bantamweight title bout against Jorge Arce. The bout was for the vacant world title and was the second meeting between two men in less than 2 years following a bout for the WBO Super Flyweight title the previous year, a bout that was also won by Arce.
Sadly time constraints and real life have again meant that the "On This Day" piece has been left until late in the day and is unfortunately a weak one due to lack of research time.
On this day in 2008 we saw Thai great Chatchai Sasakul fight for the last time as he stopped Kondej Sithtrajtrakan in 5 rounds. This was Chatchai's 69th professional boxing contest and saw him leaving the sport with an impressive 65 wins, including 40 by stoppage. Aged 38 by the time of this bout Chatchai wasn't the fighter he once was and had actually suffered a stoppage defeat to Cristian Mijares just 3 months earlier, this win gave him a successful bout to retire on though he certainly was a long, long way removed from his prime which was in the late 1990's.
In 1998 another Thai great Saman Sorjaturong, successfully defended his WBC Light Flyweight title against Mexican challenger Ladislao Vazquez. The bout was to be Saman's 10th and final successful defense and was one of the closest with the Thai being somewhat fortunate that he was at home for the bout. Sadly following this win the Thai's career went down hill and he lost to every subsequent notable opponent, such as Yo Sam Choi and Koki Kameda.
November 24th has been a busy day over the last 20 years or so with some very interesting bouts.
The first of the bouts came in 1996 when there were two bouts involving Thai's. One of those bouts saw Minimumweight great Ratanapol Sor Vorapin retained his IBF title with a controversial 2nd round KO against Venezuelan challenger Gustavo Vera. Vera had won 9 of his 11 bouts coming into this contest but was stopped in highly debatable fashion by Ratanapol and he failed to recover his career losing 4 of his subsequent 5 bouts. Ratanapol would add 3 more defenses of the belt before coming up short, 13 months later, against Zolani Petelo.
One of Gustavo Vera's losses, prior to being beaten by Ratanapol, had come to Jose Bonilla who managed to claim the WBA Flyweight title with a decision victory over the highly skilled Saen Sor Ploenchit also on November 24th 1996. For Ploenchit this was his first loss in 27 bouts and ended his reign as champion which had consisted of 9 successful defenses in less than 3 years.
More recently, in 2012, we saw history being created in China as Xiong Zhao Zhong defeated Javier Martinez Resendiz and claimed the WBC Minimumweight title to become the first Chinese fighter to claim a world title. The bout was controversial in terms of politics with Zhong getting the opportunity ahead of Denver Cuello but a bout between the two men the following year did give Cuello a chance to win the title, something he failed to do after suffering a nasty injury that subsequently kept him out of the ring for more than a year.
(Image of Ratanapol courtesy of boxrec.com)
Due time constraints, again, we've been limited in what we can o for November 23rd's "On this Day" with only 2 bouts getting a mention.
In 1997 the under-rated Filipino star Gerry Penalosa made the second defense of his WBC Super Flyweight world title as he over-came the previously unbeaten South Korean Young-Joo Cho with a 10 round KO. This bout was Penalosa's first in Korea ans followed recent bouts in Japan, where he won the title, the Philippines, where he defended the belt, and the US where he won a non-title bout. For Cho this would be final bout and his sole world title contest. Subsequent to this contest Penalosa would lose the belt to In-Joo Cho before later claiming a Bantamweight title and carving out a career as one of the most technically proficient fighters on the planet.
More recently, in 2000, Kozo Ishii came up short against Yober Ortega in a bout for the WBA Super Bantamweight title. This bout came just over a year after Ishii's contest with Nestor Garza for the full WBA title though ended in the same fashion with Ishii being stopped in the championship rounds.
November 22nd 2014 has been a hectic day. Sadly it has been so hectic that we've not had time to do a full fledged "On This Day" so sadly we've been limited to more of a summary of this in history rather than a full blown break down. Sorry to all of those who have expected more of us.
In 1986 Hi-Sup Shin successfully defended the IBF Flyweight title with a 13th round TKO against the much less experienced Henry Brent. Brent was a mile behind going into round 13 as Shin made his only successful defense of the belt before he lost it to Dodie Boy Penalosa the following year in what would be the Korean fighter's final contest as a professional. Brent would also fight just once more before retiring.
In 1997 we had two bouts of interest. One of those saw Keiji Yamaguchi come up short in a WBA Flyweight title bout against Jose Bonilla, with the Japanese fighter being stopped in the 6th round as he attempted to become a 2-weight world champion. The other bout was much more memorable as Joichiro Tatsuyoshi rolled the clock back and stopped Thailand's Sirimongkol Singwancha to claim the WBC Bantamweight title. The win for Tatsuyoshi reinvigorated his career and kept him a relevant fighter for another couple of years though sadly it would have been the perfect result to retire on rather than continue as he did. Strangely, or rather quite amazingly, Sirimongkol is still fighting to this day and is currently a world ranked fighter some 17 years on!
In recent years November 21st has been a huge day in Asian boxing, so big that we've not really traipsed through the history books looking for much from a historical aspect.
The furthest back we went was 15 years as we went to 1999 when the then 22 year old Kozo Ishii came up short against Nestor Garza in a bout for the WBA Super Bantamweight title. Ishii was fighting in his first world title fight and put up a solid account of himself prior to being stopped in the 12th round, with just 30 seconds of the bout left. Sadly for Ishii he would lose in 2 more world title before his untimely death in 2012 following a car accident. At the time of his death Ishii was just 34 years old.
Exactly 10 years on from the Ishii/Garza bout we had a trio of world title bouts all with different outcomes for Asian fighters.
In a great result for Asian boxing Mexican fans saw Filipino Rodel Mayol upset Edgar Sosa and claim the WBC Light Flyweight title. Prior to the bout Sosa had recorded 10 defenses of the title beating the likes of Takashi Kunishge, Sonny Boy Jaro, Juanito Rubillar and Pornsawan Porpramook and was nearing the pound-for-pound top 10 before facing Mayol. Sadly whilst Mayol won there was huge controversy over the result with the men clashing heads in nasty fashion, sadly Sosa never really recovered and soon afterwards he was finished off by Mayol, in a bout that really should have ended in a technical draw or a no contest.
We saw another Mexico Vs Philippines bout end in less controversial fashion, though disappointing fashion, as Sonny Boy Jaro was stopped inside a round by by WBA Light Flyweight champion Giovani Segura. Prior to the stoppage we had had a minute of chaos as both guys fought with the intention of halting the other man quickly, just unfortunately for Jaro he was forced to take a devastating body shot that sent him down for the count.
A third bout between a Filipino and a Mexican on the same day took place in Canada as Marvin Sonsona fought to a draw with Alejandro Hernandez. The bout was a WBO Super Flyweight title bout but Sonsona had sadly lost the title on the scales. This draw was followed by Sonsona losing to Wilfredo Vazquez Jr as his career quickly fell apart and saw him walk away from the sport for almost 2 years before eventually getting back on track in 2014 with wins over Akifumi Shimoda and a revenge win over Wilfredo Vazquez Jr.
(Image courtesy of boxrec.com)