2007-Wanheng Menayothin makes debut
It was on this day that the longest reigning active world champion was debuted, with Wanheng Menayothin making his debut on Thailand against Filipino Roel Gade, who was also making his debut, at the City Hall in Tak. The bout was a 6 rounder, that Wanheng won by decision.
Gade would only fight once more losing the following month to Suriyan Sor Rungvisai, retiring in 2007 with a record of 0-2.
At the time of writing Wanheng has amassed a 52-0 (18) record going unbeaten for 12 years now. He has held the WBC Minimumweight title since November 2014, and has made 10 defenses of the title, with his 11th set for March 1st against Japan's Tatsuya Fukuhara. His record is the longest unbeaten record in the sport, and last year he surpassed the 50-0 record of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
1988-Khaosai Galaxy vs Kongtoranee Payakaroon
It's rare we get all-Thai world title bouts, but in 1988 we got a relatively controversial one, as the legendary Khaosai Galaxy took on Kongtoranee Payakaroon. The bout was the 7th defense of the WBA Super Flyweight title by Khaosao whilst Kongtoranee would be getting his second world title fight, following a loss in 1986 to Gilberto Roman.
The bout saw Kongtoranee boxing on the outside, out moving the hard hitting Khaosai and evening dropping Galaxy. Sadly though Kongtoranee wouldn't get the decision, and retired from boxing afterwards with the fighter and his manager, Songchai Rattanasuban, feeling like they had been cheated. He would go back to fighting in Muay Thai until retiring from active competition.
When he ended his boxing career, following this bout, Kongtoranee was 12-2 (9). Khaosai on the other hand would fight through to 1991, recording 12 more defenses, before retiring with a record of 47-1 (41). Khaosai is still regarded as one of the best Super Flyweights ever and one of the divisions biggest punchers. Had the decision of this bout gone the other way, we can only wonder how differently both men would have been remembered.
1969-Ruben Olivares v Kazuyoshi Kanazawa I
Not many fighters get in the ring with a featured puncher, twice, but that's what Kazuyoshi Kanazawa did with destructive Mexican Ruben Olivares. The first of those meetings came on this day in 1969.
Kanazawa would end up being stopped in 2 rounds by Olivares here, being dropped several times by the Mexican legend. In their rematch, in 1971, Kanazawa would put up a legitimate fight, giving Olivares one of his toughest bouts before being stopped in the 14th round.
Kanazawa would fight just once after the second loss to Olivares, retiring in 1972 with a record of 30-10-1 (17). Olivares on the other hand would finish his career in 1988, after some ill fated comebacks, he would retire with a record of 89-13-3 (79) and is still regarded as one of the greatest punchers and greatest Mexican fighters ever.