September 12th has been an interesting day in Asian boxing though it's been far from a major day.
In 1974 we saw popular Japanese fighter Guts Ishimatsu successfully defend his WBC Lightweight title for the first time with a 15 round draw against Mexican challenger Arturo Pineda. The bout came 5 months after Ishimatsu's title winning bout against Rodolfo Gonzalez and would be followed with 4 more successive defenses, including a decision victory over Pineda the following year. Although not an all time great Ishimatsu is genuinely well remembered and his "Guts pose" is legendary among Japanese athletes.
On this day in 1995 Japanese fans saw Shinji Takehara retain his OPBF Middleweight title with a decision win over Korean challenger Sung Chun Lee. On it's own this win wasn't significant in the slightest but in his very next fight, just over 3 months later, Takehara became Japan's first ever Middleweight world champion courtesy of a decision over Jorge Fernando Castro.
In 2009 we had two fights of note in separate countries.
In Puerto Rico fans saw the controversial Rodel Mayol suffer a 7th round split technical decision loss to the great Ivan Calderon. This was the second meeting between Mayol and Calderon and the second successive technical decision and a case could have been made for Mayol to have deserved a win in either of the bouts. At the time Calderon was unbeaten and a poster boy of the hardcore boxing fans as well as a Puerto Rican boxing icon whilst Mayol was becoming one of the sports more controversial figures, as shown in his follow up fight with Edgar Sosa.
On the same day in Mexico fans saw Donnie Nietes retain his WBO Minimumweight title with a 12 round split decision over Manuel Vargas. This was Nietes's 3rd defence and he would actually only add one more defense before vacating the title to campaign at Light Flyweight. Although the performance was one of the best from the Filipino fighter it was certainly not a bad one considering that he was fighting on the road. Although scored a split decision one does need to question quite what Brian Garry saw from ringside considering that Nietes appeared to win the bout pretty handily and yet Garry had Vargas winning.
(Image, of Guts Ishimatsu, courtesy of boxrec.com)