October 22nd has been an interesting day in Asian boxing history with several bouts of note and the birthday of a memorable modern great, in fact strangely the birthday fell on the same day as one of the bouts.
That was October 22nd 1966 and the man who was born on this day was the great Yuri Arbachakov the former WBC Flyweight sensation. Born in Kizes, Russia, the heavy handed fighter made his name in Japan where he often fought as Yuri Ebihara, adopting the Ebihara from Hiroyuki Ebihara. Arbachakov claimed his first title, the Japanese Flyweight title, in 1991 and just 11 months later he stopped Muangchai Kittikasm for the WBC Flyweight title, a title he held until 1997 when suffered a decision loss to Chatchai Sasakul and soon afterwards he retired from the sport having previously made 9 defenses of his title, an amazing feat considering many fighters seemed to avoid him.
On the same day as Arbachakov's birthday Filipino fans were given a treat as the legendary Flash Elorde, one of the county's finest ever fighters, defended his unified Super Featherweight titles against Argentinian veteran Vicente Milan Derado. The bout was Elorde's 6th defense of the title and it would sadly be his last with the Filipino losing the belts 8 months later to Yoshiaki Numata in Japan. The win was a narrow one for Elorde who was given a very tough test by Derado but it was one of almost 90 that the great man scored in his amazing career.
In 1989 South Korean Bong-Jun Kim made the second defense of the WBA Minimumweight title as he stopped Indonesian challenger John Arief. For Arief this was a second successive world title defeat following a 12 round decision loss to Napan Kiatwanchai in a WBC title show and after this loss he would retire. For Kim however this was the second of 5 successful defenses before he ran into Hi-Yong Choi in 1991 and suffered a trio of successive losses in world title bouts. Sadly for the Korean he would lose 5 of his last 6 bouts to leave him with a very misleading record and he was better than the 24-10-3 (10) record that he eventually retired with.
Most recently we saw Filipino great Nonito Donaire defend the WBC and WBO Bantameight title against Argentinian great Omar Andres Narvaez. We won't pretend we were fans of the bout, given that Narvaez is a tiny fighter at Super Flyweight, but on paper it was an amazing win for Donaire even if everything about the contest could be desribed negatively, including Donaire inability to really open up the crafty Argentinian fighter.
(Image, of Elorde, courtesy of boxrec.com)