For today's "On this day" we're glad to be able to celebrate a birth of a current world champion and look at fights from 3 difference decades.
The first of the fights is from 1981 and is from South Korea where Hwan Jin Kim made his only successful defense of the WBA Light Flyweight title. Kim had won title 3 months earlier stopping Pedro Flores in 13 rounds though found the challenge of Alfonso Lopez to be much tougher. Kim scraped a majority decision Lopez to retain his belt before losing his title, just 2 months later, to Katsuo Tokashiki in Japan.
In 1992 we saw the sensational Ricardo Lopez returning to Japan to defend the WBC Minimumweight title against Taiwanese challenger Rocky Lin. Lin went into the bout as an unbeaten challenger and Japanese champion, he ended the bout flat on his his back courtesy of Lopez's frightening left hand. For Lopez it was his second defense in Japan and saw him return to the Korakuen Hall, the venue where he had won the title 2 years earlier against Hideyuki Ohashi. For Lin this was unfortunately his his first crack at a world title and it would be almost 6 years before he would get another, coming up short against Wandee Singwancha in an interim WBC Minimumweight title fight.
The third fight is from 2000 when Takanori Hatakeyama made the first defense of his WBA Lightweight title and stopped compatriot Hiroyuki Sakamoto in 10 rounds. Hatakeyama had won the title exactly 4 months earlier, stopping Gilberto Serrano in the 8th, to become a 2-weight world champion though his reign was relatively short with only 2 successful defenses before losing a clear decision to Julien Lorcy. For Sakamoto this was his 4th failed world title bid, and second successive one having also come up short against Serrano for this very same title.
As the birthday boy, that's WBC Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka who was born on this day in 1982 and turned 32 today. He'll be hoping to celebrate his birthday with a win over Suriyan Sor Rungvisai in the coming weeks.
(Image, of Yamanaka, courtesy of boxrec.com)