September 17th has been a notable day in Asian boxing history with several notable bouts in the last 30 years as well as the birth of a true legend.
The birthday mentioned was that of South Korea's Ki Soo Kim. Kim, a former WBC/WBA unified Light Middleweight and OPBF Middleweight champion, was the first ever world champion from South Korea. Born on September 17th 1939 Kim would be a notable figure in the development of Korea boxing through the 1960's, 70's and 80's though sadly died in 1997 when he was just 57 years old.
Japan's Jiro Watanabe successfully defended his WBC Super Flyweight title with a 7th round TKO against Kazuo Katsuma on this day in 1985. This was the 11th straight win in a title bout for Watanabe who recorded the 3rd defence of the WBC belt with the win. As for Katsuma this was his sole world title bout, though was a 2-time Japanese national champion.
On this day in 1992 we saw the insanely popular Joichiro Tatsuyoshi lose his WBC Bantamweight title to Mexican challenger Victor Rabanales. Rabanales stopped Tatsuyoshi in round 9 to take the world title from the popular Japanese fighter. This was the first of two meetings between the two men with Tatsuyoshi getting revenge for the loss 10 months later when the Japanese fighter won a split decision over the Mexican.
In 1995 we saw an all-Thai world title fight as the great Veeraphol Sahaprom announced himself on the boxing scene. Fighting in just his 4th professional contest Veeraphol managed to take a split decision over the much more experienced Daorung Chuwatana to claim the WBA Bantamweight title. At the time this was the second fastest "race to a world title" in history taking just a fight more than fellow Thai Saensak Muangsurin, who won a world title in his 3rd bout.
In 1999 Thailand's Medgoen Singsurat scored a career defining victory as he stopped Filipino Manny Pacquiao and claimed the WBC Flyweight title. Pacquiao, who had failed to make weight, was stopped in round 3 of the bout though would later become one of the sports greatest icons and over the following decade he became one of the faces of the sport. As for Singsurat his reign was short lived. He defended the belt once, defeating Masaki Kawabata before suffering a stoppage loss to Filipino Malcolm Tunacao.
(Image, of Singsurat, courtesy of boxrec.com)