In 2000 Keitaro Hoshino battled against the then WBA Minimumweight champion Joma Gamboa in their first meeting. Hoshino, a Japanese fighter from Kanagawa, managed to take a narrow decision victory over Gamboa who was attempting to defend the belt for the first time. Gamboa, a talented Filipino, would unfortunately come up short in a rematch with Hoshino in January 2002, again for the WBA Minimumweight title. Sadly by the time of his retirement Gamboa's record read 33-10-2 (22), giving the hint he wasn't particularly good when in all honesty he was much better than his record indicated and was matched incredibly hard. Hoshino's reign was short lived with the Japanese fighter losing the belt in his first defense, against Thailand's Chana Porpaoin. Sadly Hoshino would also end up with a misleading record losing his last 3 contests before retiring with a ledger of 23-10 (6).
A year later Thai great Pongsaklek Wonjongkam made light work of controversial Argentinian Luis Alberto Lazarte who was stopped when his corner threw in the towel in the second round of their bout. This was Wonjongkam's 3rd defense of the title that he had won just 9 months earlier and he would continue to defend the belt until until 2007 when he lost his third bout with Daisuke Naito. Whilst Wonjongkam is regarded as a modern great it's fair to say Lazarte is known as a controversial figure and his bout with Johnriel Casimero is one of the most disgraceful bouts in recent memory.
In 2008 we saw Manny Pacquiao go from talented lower weight star to boxing superstar as he put on a masterclass against a weight drained and shot Oscar De La Hoya. Going into the bout Pacquiao was the under-dog and was viewed as being too small for De La Hoya, weight problems however saw a sluggish De La Hoya taking a pounding for 8 rounds before being retired in his stool and announcing his retirement from fighting after the bout. The bout helped make Pacquiao a cross over star and seemed to begin the talks of the super fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr, sadly however that bout still hasn't been made and is looking very unlikely as time goes on.
Most recently, just last year in fact, we saw a number of notable bouts with the headliner being a WBC Flyweight title fight. The bout saw Akira Yaegashi successfully defending the title against mandatory challenger Edgar Sosa with a clear decision win. Yaegashi used his speed and movement excellently to take the win however the bout was was probably one of the least exciting of Yaegashi's bouts, then again it was hardly dull. The same show also saw Takuma Inoue make his professional debut and Naoya Inoue claim the OPBF Light Flyweight title with a dominant win over Jerson Mancio.
(Image courtesy of boxrec.com)