On this day...
1971-Masao Oba vs Betulio Gonzalez
Japanese great Masao Oba made his first defense of the WBA Flyweight title when he narrowly out-pointed fantastic Venezuelan fighter Betulio Gonzalez. Oba, one of the greatest "what if's" in boxing would make 4 more defenses before his untimely death in 1973. At the time of his death he was only 23 years old. As for Gonzalez he would go on to become a 3-time Flyweight world champion, and is sadly all too forgotten by modern day fight fans.
1972-Muhammad Ali Vs Mac Foster
Rather an odd one here, as it features two American Heavyweights, but it was on this day that the Nippon Budokan played host to "The Greatest" taking on the huge punching Mac Foster. After 15 rounds Muahmmad Ali had easily beaten Foster in what would be Ali's sole fight in Japan. Rather interestingly Foster would later go 2-4 (2) after this bout, whilst Ali would go on to become a genuine legend scoring wins over the likes of Floyd Patterson, Joe Frazier and George Foreman in the years that followed this bout.
1979-Chung Jae Hwang's debut
Although not a big name, by any stretch, Korean Welterweight Chung Jae Hwang is someone who provided a lot of explosive action in the 1980's. The Korean slugger racked up 28-3 (25) record between 1979, when he debuted, to 1989, when he fought for the final time. Although he never fought for a world title Hwang had 15 bouts for the OPBF Welterweight title, making 13 defenses of the belt between February 1980 and March 1982. Those 13 defenses still stands a record for the OPBF Welterweight title, nearly 40 years on!
1984-Yota Sato's birthday
Former WBC Super Flyweight champion Yota Sato was born on this day in 1984. Sato's reign as the WBC world champion was a relatively short one, as he won the title in March 2012 and lost the belt in May 2013 but is was a pretty notable one. His title win came against Suriyan Sor Rungvisai, and saw him dropping Suriyan twice, and ended when Nakornluang forced their option on him, with Srisaket Sor Rungvisai stopping him in 8 rounds. At the time the win for Srisaket didn't get much attention, but a few years later Srisaket would announce himself on the big time with a win over Roman Gonzalez to reclaim the title.
1993-Janibek Alimkhanuly's birthday
Another man blowing out his candles today is Kazakh hopeful, and former amateur stand out, Janibek Alimkhanuly was born on this day in 1993. Although yet to make a big mark on the professional scene we do expect big things from the 2013 World Amateur Champion. Fingers crossed we see him getting a big fight sooner rather than later.