With there being next to nothing happening in the ring any time soon we've brought back this old series for another run, with 5 bouts that happened on this day!
1968-Hiroshi Kobayashi vs Rene Barrientos
The unified Super Featherweight Hiroshi Kobayashi, who had won the titles 3 months earlier, made his first defense as he retained his titles with a draw against the highly talented Rene Barrientos of the Philippines. The bout, a controversial one that many felt should have gone Barrientos' way, was supposed to see a rematch in 1969 but that failed to materialise and Kobayashi would later be stripped of the WBC belt, that Barrientos won in February 1969.
1979-Sung Jun Kim Vs Hector Melendez I
Sung Jun Kim, the then WBC Light Flyweight champion, recorded his first defense 6 months after winning the title as he fought to a draw with Hector Melendez in their first bout. The two men would later rematch, with Kim taking a decision win over the talented Melendez, who later came up short in a third world title bout against Hilario Zapata. Sadly Kim would pass away end less than 10 years later, when he took his own life at the age of 35.
1985-Ji Won Kim v Ruben Dario Palacio
Talented Korean Ji Won Kim made his first defenses of the IBF Super Bantamweight title as he took a clear decision over Colombian challenger Ruben Dario Palacio. Kim had won the title in January, stopping compatriot Sung In Suh, and would go on to make 4 defenses before retiring in 1986, with a record of 16-0-2 (7).
1990-In Chul Baek Vs Christophe Tiozzo
WBA Super Middleweight champion In Chul Baek travelled to France to defend his title against the then unbeaten Christophe Tiozzo. Sadly for Baek, who had apparently been fed up with the sport and drinking too much, his reign came to an end in the 6th round, in what would be the end of his memorable career. Baek had, apparently, been lined up for a potential Tommy Hearns fight had he won here, but instead hung up the gloves after this loss.
2007-Wanheng Menayothin Vs Ma Yi Ming
We end this with a bit of a weird one, because that's what we do! In 2007 a then 2-0 Wanhen Menayothin won his first title, the WBC Youth Minimumweight title, as he stopped China's Ma Yi Ming, who entered 0-1. Since then Menayothin has gone on too reel off in excess of 50 extra wins, and boasts a 54-0 (18) record, to go along with his WBC World title!
On this day...
2012-Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (20-4-1, 7) Vs Yota Sato (23-2-1,12)
The "Sor Rungvisai" name is now very much the name we think of when talking about Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, but he's not the only fighter to use that name. Before him was stablemate Suriyan Sor Rungvisai, who travelled to Japan in 2012 to face off with Yota Sato. The talented Thai was, surprisingly, dropped twice in round 3 as Sato surprised the Thai and scored a unanimous decision to claim the WBC Super Flyweight title. Interestingly Sato would lose the title to Srisaket the following year as Srisaket began his first reign.
2010-Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (74-3-1, 38) vs Koki Kameda (22-0, 14)
Thai great Pongsalek Wonjongkam had one of the most remarkable careers of any "little guy", holding the WBC Flyweight title twice, and fighting in more than 20 world level bouts. One of his most famous wins was his 2010 win over Koki Kameda to reclaim the title he had lost to Daisuke Naito in 2007. Although often over-looked Wonjongkam's resume is outstanding and this win is among the best. It's worth noting the two men would "rematch", in a way, in 2018 with Kameda stopping Wonjongkam during an exhibition on Abema TV.
1970-Hiroshi Kawashima's birthday
Former WBC Super Flyweight champion, and the chairman of the Kawashima gym, Hiroshi Kawashima was born on this day in 1970. His career which ran from 1988 to 1997, saw him have a solid resume, going 20-4-1 (14) and scoring wins over Jose Luis Bueno and Carlos Gabriel Salazar, among others. A defensively smart both, with surprising pop he earned the tag "Untouchable" due to his excellent skills.
1959-Chartchai Chionoi's birthday
Just 11 years before Kawashima's birth was that of Thai great Chartchai Chionoi, who went 61-18-3 (36) during his career and was a multi-time world champion. Chionoi fought from 1959 through to 1975 beating the likes of Walter McGowan, Susumu Hanagata, Berkrerk Chartvanchai and Efren Torres among others. Sadly he passed away in early 2018 at the age of 75.
On this day...
2014-Kohei Kono (29-8, 12) Vs Denkaosan Kaovichit (62-3-1, 26)
In 2014 Japan's Kohei Kono became a 2-time world champion, stopping Thai veteran Denkaosan Kaovichit in the 8th round for the WBA Super Flyweight title. Kono had lost the title the previous May, to Liborio Solis, but with this win he became a 2-time champion, and essentially ended Denkaosan's career as a world class fighter. Interestingly in his previous bout Denkaosan had ended the career of Nobuo Nashiro, who lost a split decision to the Thai for the interim title.
2005-Akira Yaegashi (0-0) vs Tomoyoshi Nakayama (8-8-1, 1)
There are few Japanese fighters in recent years who have given us more action than Akira Yaegashi. His career, of 14 years, began in 2005 when he made light work of Tomoyoshi Nakayama in 80 seconds to begin his remarkable, exciting and action packed career. The popular warrior from the Ohashi gym may not go down as a legend in terms of achievements, despite being a 3 weight world champion, but will always be fondly remembered by fans.
1983-Jung Koo Chang (20-1, 9) vs Hilario Zapata (22-2, 9) II
In September 1982 Jung Koo Chang suffered his first professional loss, losing a split decision to Hilario Zapata. Just 6 months later the two men would rematch, with Chang avenging his loss and taking out Zapata in the 3rd round, to become the WBC Light Flyweight champion. As the champion Chang was sensational holding the title for over 5 years, and making 15 defenses.
1940-Hiroyuki Ebihara's birthday
Born in Fussa, Tokyo on this day in 1940 Hiroyuki Matsuda, better known as Hiroyuki Ebihara is a Japanese legend, who was sadly taken before his time in 1991. Often regarded as one of the true legends of Japanese boxing, Ebihara was a close friend, and rival, of the great Fighting Harada, who once revealed that whilst he didn't cry at his parent's funeral he did cry at that of Ebihara. Ebihara is such a legend in Japan that the Pokémon games have a character named after him, Ebiwalar better known as Hitmonchan in the west.
One this day...
2006-Hozumi Hasegawa (19-2, 6) vs Veeraphol Sahaprom (51-2-2, 35)
In 2005 Hozumi Hasegawa announced himself on the world stage by out pointing Veeaphol Sahaprom to become the WBC Bantamweight champion. Around 11 months later the two men would battle again, with Sahaprom looking to reclaim the title and Hasegawa looking to make his second defense. This the bout had no doubt about the winner, with Hasegawa showing he had more than he record suggested, and he stopped Sahaprom in the 9th round, in spectacular fashion, to retain his title!
2006-Gao Li Jun (1-0) vs Ha-Na Kim (3-0, 1)
In recent years we have seen a new level of attention being put on to female boxing. Even with that increase in profile we're not seeing tope fighters matched like some of the Asian fighters were earlier this century. One such example was Gao Li Jun from China, who won the WBA female Featherweight title in her second bout, stopping Ha Na Kim, in the 10th round in Korea. Sadly Jun would never defend her belt, and her achievement was over shadowed just a few years later when Hyun Mi Choi took the same title on her debut!
1991-Rolando Pascua (25-5, 9) Vs Melchor Cob Castro (30-2-4, 15)
In 1990 Filipino fighter Rolando Pascua claimed the WBC Light Flyweight title, stopping the great Humbero Gonzalez in a massive upset. Sadly Pascua's reign was short lived, losing the title just 3 months later to Mexican Melchor Cob Castro, via 10th round TKO. Sadly for Pascua he would never reclaim a world title after this.
1988-Pichit Sithbanprachan (0-0) vs Taksin Muangsurin (2-3, 1)
Thailand's Pichit Sithbanprachan made his debut when he stopped Taksin Muangsurin in 2 rounds. Pichit would later go on to claim the IBF Flyweight title, holding it from 1992 to 1994, and end up retiring as a rare unbeaten world champion. He did, like many, make a comeback, in 1996 and in 2000, but still remained unbeaten running up a 24-0 (18) record.
On this day...
1989-Samuth Sithnaruepol (34-11-1, 18) Vs Nico Thomas (7-6-1, 3) I
Thailand's Samuth Sithnaruepol's second defense of the IBF Minimumweight title saw him take on Indonesian foe Nico Thomas in Jakarta. The bout saw some really crazy scoring, though resulted in a majority draw for the Thai, thanks to a bizarre 117-117 card from John Reilly. A rematch in June would however see Thomas take the win, to become the second ever Indonesian world champion.
1989-Kazuto Ioka's Birthday
Also on this day in 1989 was the birthday of Japan's Kazuto Ioka, who has won 3 world titles during his career far, and is looking to become a 4 weight world champion later this year. The Japanese fighter won his first world title back in 2011, unified titles in 2012 and went on to have success at higher weights as well.
1988-Samuth Sithnaruepol (32-11-1, 17) vs Pretty Boy Lucas (17-0-1, 5)
In 1987 Kyung Yung Lee became the first ever IBF Minimumweight champion. Sadly he vacated before making a single defense, and that resulted in Thailand's Samuth Sithnaruepol taking on unbeaten Pretty Boy Lucas in the second ever IBF title fight at 105lbs. The bout saw the Thai scoring an 11th round stoppage over the Filipino, who would end up going 0-3-1 in world title bouts.
1980-Shigeo Nakajima (13-2-1, 7) Vs Hilario Zapata (10-1, 5) I
In January 1980 Japan's Shigeo Nakajima claimed the WBC Light Flyweight title. In his first defense, he took on the great Hilario Zapata, who was getting his first world title fight. Nakajima would be narrowly beaten by the rising star of Panama before being stopped in a rematch 6 months later. By the middle of 1981 Nakajima was done, whilst Zapata was doing a world tour against stop contender
1960-Elly Pical's birthday
It's not just a time for Kazuto Ioka to blow out candles but this day is also when 3-time Indonesian world champion Elly Pical does it too! Pical was the first Indonesian to win a world title, and would hold the IBF Super Flyweight title 3 times. Sadly however all 3 reigns were relatively short lived, and only 1 lasted for more than a year.
On this day...
2002-Masamori Tokuyama (25-2-1, 6) vs Kazuhiro Ryuko (13-1-3, 4)
In 2002 Japanese born Korean Masamori Tokuyama made his 4th defense of the WBC Super Flyweight title, stopping Kazuhiro Ryuko in the 9th round. Although not a heavy handed fighter Tokuyama did manage to score some notable stoppages, and this was one of them, as he dropped Ryuko with a fantastic right hand. The challenger beat the count but the bout was waved off with him on his feet. Tokuyama, who famously fought under both the North Korean and Unified Korean flags, would hold the title until 2004 when he was upset by Katsushige Kawashima, though he would reclaim the title from Kawashima the following year.
1991-Satoshi Iida (0-0) vs Hideyuki Koshiba (0-0)
Future WBA Super Flyweight champion Satoshi Iida made his debut in 1991, defeating fellow debutant Hideyuki Koshiba with a 4 round decision in Nagoya. Iida would go on to dethrone Yokthai Sithoar in 1997 and would make 2 succesful defences before losing to Jesus Rojas in 1998, and then retire, with an impressive 25-2-1 (11) record.
1957-Chan Hee Park's birthday
Korean fighter Chan Hee Park has become a forgotten man in recent years, though he was a pretty notable fighter in the late 70's and early 80's. Park would run up a 17-4-2 (6) professional record fight in 9 world title bouts and score notable wins over Miguel Canto, Chikara Igarashi and Guty Espadas. Sadly for Park however he is best known for going 0-3 in a trilogy against Japan's Shoji Oguma before retiring in 1982.
On this day...
2015-Rey Loreto (19-13, 11) vs Nkosinathi Joyi (24-3-0-1, 17) II
In early 2014 Filipino fighter Rey Loreto shocked the sport with a KO win against former world champion Nkosinathi Joyi in Monaco. The following year Loreto proved it wasn't a fluke, stopping Joyi inside a round in South Africa to make a strong case for a world title fight, that he would eventually get and sadly lose.
1997-Ratanapol Sor Vorapin (31-2-1, 25) Vs Luis Doria (13-1, 9)
After regaining the IBF Minimumweight title in July 1996 Ratanapol Sor Vorapin would begin his second notable reign as the champion. In his 4th defense he took on Luis Doria, of Colombia, and scored a 4th round stoppage. The Thai would add 2 more defenss before losing in 1997 to Zolani Petelo
1924-Clever Sencio (0-0) Vs Frisco Concepcion (3-2)
It's hard to be sure with records from the early 1900's on their accuracy, but according to the record books it was on this day in 1924 that Filipino fighter Clever Sencio made his professional debut, winning the Oriental title in a15 round against Frisco Concepcion no less! Sencio wouldn't be a huge name in history books, but he would be a notable name, fighting against Pancho Villa in 1925 for the Flyweight title, the final All Filipino world title for over 90 years! Sadly he passed away tragically young in 1926 following a loss to Bud Taylor
On this day...
1998- Faisol Akbar (10-3-2, 2) Vs Zolani Petelo (11-2-2, 6)
We sadly don't see many Indonesian world champions, in fact even the decent world title challengers from the country are few and far between. One of those who came incredibly close to winning a title was Faisol Akbar, Akbar challenged South African fighter Zolani Petelo for the IBF Minimumweight title in Gauteng, South Africa. Although a clear under-dog the Indonesian put up a great effort, and ran Petelo close before losing a split decision to the local favourite. Sadly Akbar would never get a second world title shot.
1988-Mike Tyson (33-0, 29) vs Tony Tubbs (24-1, 15)
We don't get many Heavyweight world title bouts in Asia but in 1988 we did see Heavyweight king Mike Tyson take on Tony Tubbs, in what was the second Heavyweight world title bout to take place on Japanese soil The bout, held at the Tokyo Dome, saw more than 50,000 people attend the fight with Tyson taking out Tubbs in the second round. Tyson would, of course, return to a Japanese in 1990 though on the occasion he would famously lose to Buster Douglas, ending his world title reign and his unbeaten streak.
1968- Shozo Saijo (14-5-2, 3) vs Jose Luis Pimentel (9-0-1, 6) II
It's fair to say that 1968 was a massive year for Shozo Saijo, who went 5-1 (2) for the year and won the WBA Featherweight title. A lot of his success for the year came from an upset win over Jose Luis Pimentel, in what was their second bout. Pimental had won the first meeting, with a razor thin decision, but in the rematch it was Saijo who took the win, less than 3 months later he would upset world champion Raul Rojas in a non-title bout before beating Rojas again to become a world champion. Were it not for this win over Pimental his career almost certainly wouldn't have gone the way it did.
On this day...
1993-Young Kyun Park (24-1-1, 13) vs Thanomchit Kiatkriengkrai (21-7, 12)
Young Kyun Park is one of the many forgotten Korean world champions, overshadowed by some of the country's true legends. In 1993 he made his 7th defense of the WBA Featherweight title, stopping Thai challenger Thanomchit Kiatkriengkrai. Sadly for the Korean this would be his penultimate successful defense, before losing the belt later the same year to Eloy Rojas by split decision. A second bout with Rojas also saw the Korean lose a split decision before choosing to retire from the sport in the mid 1990's.
1970-Chartchai Chionoi (50-13-2, 33) Vs Efren Torres (61-6-1, 39) III
The third meeting between Thailand's -Chartchai Chionoi and Mexican Efren Torres took place in 1970, as the two finished their violent trilogy. The previous bouts had both taken place in Mexico, with Chinoi winning the first, by TKO13, and losing the second, TKO8. This rubber match would take place in Thailand, and like the first two bouts would be for the WBC Flyweight title. This time the two fighters, who both struggled to make weight, went the distance with Chionoi becoming the WBC champion for the second time.
1935-Battling Key passes away
One of the earliest boxing deaths in Asia happened on this day in 1935 when Singapore's Battling Key passed away a day after losing a bout to Jimmy Nelson in Malaysia. He was sadly just 36 at the time of his death.
On this day...
2016-Mari Ando (12-8, 5) Vs Ibeth Zamora Silva (24-5, 9)
In 2016 Japanese fighter Mari Ando travelled to Mexico in an attempt to become a 2-weight world champion. The former WBC female Minimumweight queen unsuccessfully challenged WBC female Light Flyweigth champion Ibeth Zamora Silva, a hugely talented fighter. Sadly for Ando the Mexican was too good, and stopped Ando in the 6th round. Sadly Ando would only fight twice following this loss, ending her career after a defeat to Yuko Kuroki in 9 months after losing to Silva.
2007-Takefumi Sakata (29-4-1, 14) vs Lorenzo Parra (28-0, 17) III
Japan's Takefumi Sakata had twice lost to Venezuelan fighter Lorenzo Parra by majority decision in WBA Flywight title fights. In 2007 the two men would meet in their third bout, and this time attempting to make weight became too much for Parra, who came in at ridiculous 116¾lbs for a Flyweight title bout. Although Parra had a significant weight advantage over Sakata he had lost his belt on the scales, and would end up being stopped by the Japanese fighter in the 3rd round. Sakata would make 4 defenses, before losing the belt at the end of 2008 to Denkaosan Kaovichit, when he was stopped in the 2nd round.
2005-Manny Pacquiao (39-2-2, 30) Vs Erik Morales (47-2, 34) I
It's great to see two all time greats face off, and through out Manny Pacquiao's career he did that, often multiple times with the same fighters. One man who he shared a trilogy with was Mexican great Erik Morales. Their first bout came back in 2005, when Morales managed to out box the Filipino in what would be one of his final great performances. Morales wouldn't just out box the Filipino great, but would willingly go to war with him in the final round, ignoring his trainers advice to fight southpaw and give the fans a show in the final 3 minutes. Sadly for Morales he would be stopped in the following two bouts against Pacquiao who ended the series with a 2-1 advantage.