2000-Eagle Den Junlaphan debut
Den Junlaphan, also known as Eagle Kyowa, Eagle Den Junlaphan and Eagle Akakura, is one of the many fighters who has been born outside of Japan but made the Land of the Rising Sun their boxing home. His career began on this day in 2000, when he was 21, and actually began in his native Thailand.
His debut saw him take out Saming Porkungpaorachada in 2 rounds, in Bangkok and his first 5 bouts would actually all take place in Thailand before he moved over to Japan. In Japan Junlaphan would go 13-1, winning the WBC Minimumweight title twice and scored notable wins over Jose Antonio Aguirre, Katsunari Takayama, Rodel Mayol and Akira Yaegashi. Sadly he would lose in his return to Thailand in 2007, losing the WBC title to Oleydong Sithsamerchai in 2007 and then retire.
With a career record of 18-2 (6) Den Junlaphan hasn't got a huge record, but with a record of 7-2 in world title fights, and a number of strong wins he deserves to be remembered a very good and often over-looked fighter from the early part of this millennium.
1991-Masahiro Sakamoto AND Masayuki Ito birthdays
Amazingly both Masayuki Ito and Masahiro Sakamoto were both born on this day in 1991!
Ito, the current WBO Super Featherweight world champion, has certainly had more success than Sakamoto, who came up short in an IBF Flyweight title fight, but is a remarkable coincidence that both men were born on the same day and both have had pretty notable success in the pro-fight scene. Ito has won almost everything, from Rookie titles to world honours, whilst Sakamoto has fought for a world title and held a regional belt.
1978-Royal Kobayashi challenges Wilfredo Gomez
Japan's Royal Kobayashi isn't a name that comes up very often, and sadly he is probably best remembered for having a very short reign as the WBC Super Bantamweight champion and for losing most of his notable bouts. What needs to be remembered however is that Kobayashi went in with some huge names from his era.
Among the many fighters that Kobayashi shared the ring with was the monstrously hard hitting Wilfredo Gomez, who Kobayashi challenged on this day in 1978, as he attempted to reclaim the title that he had held for 46 days. Notably Kobayasho got off to a good start, and was leading on 2 of the 3 scorecards, after 2 rounds. Sadly however, Gomez's power proved to be the difference maker in round 3, dropping Kobayashi 3 times in quick succession to defend the title.
Kobayashi would recover from this loss to take the OPBF title Featherweight title, but lose in a subsequent world title bout to Eusebio Pedroza. He would fight on into the early 1980's before retiring with a record of 35-8 (27). Gomez on the other hand would go on to defend until 1983, when he moved up in weight and became the WBC Featherweight champion. Gomez's last fight came in 1989 and then he retired with an incredible record of 44-3-1 (42), a record that backs up the belief that he was one of the hardest hitting fighters of all time!
1975-Somjit Jongjohor born
It was on this day in 1975 that Thailand's Somjit Jonghohor was born. Although you find Somjit Jongjohor's name in a professional boxing record he is a very notable former Thai amateur who was a standout in the early part of this millennium.
In 2002 Sonjit won the Asian Games gold medal, and he built on that success in 2003 Somjit won the World Amateur Championship gold medal at Flyweight. Not only did he win the gold, but he did so by beating Yuriorkis Gamboa, Jerome Thomas and Rustam Rahimov on route to that gold medal. A loss to Gamboa in 2004 Olympics again showed how well the men were matched but he would bounce back to take a silver medal at the 2007 World Amateur Championships and then a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics. On route to his Olympic medal Somjit defeated the likes of Anvar Yunusov, Vincenzo Picardo and Andry Laffita.
After the 2008 Olympics Somjit retired from active boxing and joined the Thai national team as a coach.