On this day...
2009-Akira Yaegashi (9-2, 6) Vs Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (0-0)
Every legend starts somewhere and for Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, who at the time was fighting as Wirawut Wor Por Srisaket, that legend began with a loss to Akira Yaegashi. The Thai, who has gone on to become of the biggest sporting names in Thailand, was stopped inside a round by Yaegashi in 2009. Although physically they looked the same, this was a Srisaket who was a long way from the man he would become. He was actually a right handed fighter at the time and lacked balance, defense, accuracy and almost everything that has made him what he is today. Interestingly this bout came less than 3 years after Yaegashi had had his first world title fight, and only a few years later he would claim his first, of 3, world titles.
2007-Gerry Penalosa (51-5-2, 34) Vs Daniel Ponce De Leon (30-1, 28)
Filipino fighter Gerry Penalosa dipped his toes at Super Bantamweight to challenge big punching Mexican Daniel Ponce De Leon for the WBO title. Penalosa showed his ring craft and technical ability, landed a reported 36% of his total punches, but was massively overwhelmed by the less accurate but much, much busier Pone De Leon. The compubox, which we tend to take with a grain of salt, had Penalosa landing 175 from 481 whilst Ponce De Leon landed just 259 from 1399. In the end it was activity that won out, with the Mexican taking a clear decision.
1984-Ju Do Chun (15-1-3, 6) vs Diego De Villa (15-12-6, 3)
In 1983 Ju Do Chun became one of the earliest IBF world champions, stopping Ken Kasugai in Osaka for the title. In his second defense, just 3 months later, he faced off with Filipino challenger Deigo De Villa. The bout lasted less than a minute, with the Filipino being stopped quickly by the Korean champion. Interestingly Chun would play a bigger part in history in 1985, when he was stopped by Elly Pical, who would stop Chun to become the first Indonesian world champion.
On this day...
1996-Ratanapol Sor Vorapin (25-2-1, 20) vs Lee Sandoval (9-4-1, 6)
After making 12 defenses of the IBF Minimumweight title Ratanapol Sor Vorapin actually failed to make weight for a bout against Nicaraguan challenger Lee Sandoval, so was stripped. Despite losing the belt he would stop Sandoval in the 11th round, before regain the belt in his very next fight, defeating Jun Arlos for the then vacant title. Interestingly this would be Sandoval's sole world title fight.
1992-Pretty Boy Lucas (27-2-2, 9) Vs Ricardo Lopez (29-0, 21)
In the 1990's there was one standout Minimumweight, and that was Ricardo Lopez. The technically excellent Mexican who would end his career with a record of 51-0-1 (38). For much of the decade he was the WBC champion, having taken the title from Hideyuki Ohashi in 1990. Few opponents survived the distance with Lopez, known as "Finito", in world title fights. One of the few that did was Filipino Pretty Boy Lucas. Despite lasting 12 rounds with the Mexican great Lucas did fail to win a round, and was beaten with scores of 120-106, twice, and 120-104.
1991-Sung Kil Moon (12-1, 10) Vs Nana Yaw Konadu (20-1-1, 16) II
We don't tend to see Asian fighters having much success in Europe, though there are occasional examples. One of those came on this day in 1991 when Korean fighter Sung Kil Moon travelled to Spain and stopped Ghana's excellent Nana Yaw Konadu, in the second bout between the two men, to retain the WBC Super Flyweight title. Moon would make another 6 defenses of the title before eventually losing it in 1993. As for Konadu he would move up and go on to twice hold the WBA Bantamweight title, winning it twice in Thailand!
1973-Hideki Todaka's birthday
Former WBA Super Flyweight, and WBA "interim" Bantamweight champion Hideki Todaka was born on this day in 1973. His career is often forgotten by those in the west but he would play a solid part in the Japanese scene in the late 1990's and early 00's, beating the likes of Jesus Rojas, Yokthai Sithoar and Leo Gamez in his 26 fight career.
On this day...
2008-Manny Pacquiao (45-3-2, 34) Vs Juan Manuel Marquez (48-3-1, 35) II
The second meeting between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez fell on this day in 2008, as they continued their storied and legendary rivalry. They had first met in 2004, in a very controversial draw, and the controversy didn't stop here with Pacquiao taking a razor thin split decision to retain the WBC Super Featherweight title. Two would go on to fight twice more, with the two fighters splitting those bouts. Although the series ended 2-1-1 in favour of Pacquiao, it was Marquez with the last laugh, scoring an amazing KO over Pacquiao in their final bout.
2008-Terdsak Kokietgym (29-2, 19) Vs Steve Luevano (34-1, 15)
On the same card as the first Pacquiao Vs Marquez rematch fans had the chance to see Thai fighter Terdsak Kokietgym challenge WBO Featherweight champion Steve Luevano. Sadly for the Thai he was completely neutralised by the busy and effective jab of Luevano, which was thrown so regularly it set a new record for the Featherweight division. The Thai would remain a notable contender through his career and would go on to have a FOTY contender in 2014 with Orlando Salido.
2004-Keisuke Ayukawa (16-6-1, 12) vs Masanao Noto (8-1, 5)
Tragedies, sadly, happen in boxing. One such case was the tragic pass of Masanao Noto who passed away at the age of 24 on April 2nd 2004. His died due to injuries he suffered in his March 15th bout with Keisuke Ayukawa. The bout saw Noto lose a 10 round majority decision before failing to recover from injuries suffered to Ayukawa. Ayukawa wouldn't really bounce back, and would lose his next fight before retiring.
1997-Daorung Chuwatana (60-6-3, 36) vs Felix Machado (12-2, 5)
Thailand's Daorung Chuwatana became a 2-time WBA Bantamweight champion in 1996, when he beat Nana Yaw Konadu to reclaim the title that he had lost to Veeraphol Sahaprom in 1995. His first, and only successful, defense of his second reign saw Daorung take a split decision win over Venezuelan foe Felix Machado. Sadly for Daorung he would lose the belt in a rematch with Konadu just 3 months after this bout.
On this day...
1998-Artur Grigorian (23-0, 14) Vs Marco Rudolph (13-0-0-1, 8)
In Sydney in 1991 German fighter Marco Rudolph beat Soviet fighter Artur Grigorian in the World Amateur Championship final. In 1998 the two men would rematch, both as unbeaten professionals. Grigorian was the WBO Lightweight champion, the first Uzbek world champion, whilst Rudolph was looking to repeat his win from Sydney. Sadly fro Rudolph he was stopped in 6 rounds by Grigorian, who would remain the WBO champion until 2004, when he was stopped by Acelino Freitas.
1993-Ratanapol Sor Vorapin (12-2-1, 8) vs Nico Thomas (11-9-2, 5)
In December 1992 Ratanapol Sor Vorapin, aka Anucha Phothong, won the IBF Minimumweight title beating Manny Melchor at the age of just 18. During the 1990's Ratanapol would be one of the key figures at Minimumweight and would be a key figure with the IBF title. Interestingly his first defense of the title came in 1993 when he took on Indonesian foe Nico Thomas, who had held the title back in 1989. Sadly for Thomas he was stopped in 7 rounds denying him a chance to become a 2-time champion. Just to quickly go over how key Ratanapol was in the division, he was involved in 22 world title fights at 105lbs between 1992 and 1997!
1979-Masashi Kudo (21-0, 11) Vs Manuel Ricardo Gonzalez (43-0-4, 12) I
Japanese world champions at 154lbs are rare, one of the 4 men to achieve the feat is Masashi Kudo, who achieved the feat in 1979, when he controversially beat Argentinian foe Manuel Ricardo Gonzalez for the WBA title with a majority decision. The win saw Gonzalez suffer his first loss, but he would get a rematch just 3 months later, losing that by 12th round TKO. Sadly for Kudo that would be his only successful defense, before losing the belt to Ayub Kalule in October 1979.
On this day...
2017-Naoko Fujioka (15-2, 6) v Isabel Millan (18-2-1, 8)
Over the last 12 months we've heard a lot of talk about Kazuto Ioka wanting to become the first 4 weight world champion form Japan. Sadly for him, that achievement has actually already been done. It was done on this day in 2017, when Naoko Fujioka stopped Isabel Millan to become the WBA female Flyweight champion. The female star has gone one better since this win, claiming a Light Flyweight title to become Japan's first 5 weight champion!
2010-Manny Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38) vs Joshua Clottey (35-3, 21)
Talking about multi-weight champions from Asia there are none as well known as Manny Pacquiao, who successfully defended the WBO Welterweight on this day against the tough Joshua Clottey, who if we're being honest put in no real effort to fight back against Pacquiao. Clottey spent almost the entire fight turtling up and seemed happy to just be there, at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and as a result the fight really failed to deliver, despite Pacquiao trying to put on a show.
1999-Artur Grigorian (25-0, 16) vs Oscar Garcia Cano (14-1, 6)
Uzbek world champion Artur Grigorian was the WBO Lightweight champion from 1996 to 2004, and he made 17 defenses of the belt. The 7th of those defenses saw Grigorian take on Spanish challenger Oscar Garcia Cano, who showed real toughness but was soundly beaten on points. This was to be Cano's only world title fight, though he would twice hold the European title during his career.
On this day...
2009-Hozumi Hasegawa (25-2, 9) v Vusi Malinga (18-2-1, 11)
Japan's Hozumi Hasegawa was, during his prime, one of the real faces of Japanese boxing. He wasn't as popular as Joichiro Tatsuyoshi has been before him, but he was clearly the man that carried the sport in the country, especially during his WBC Bantamweight reign. Although not known as a power puncher, Hasegawa did his harder than his record would suggest, and that was shown in his 8th defense, when he stopped Vusi Malingo in the opening round in Hyogo. Malinga would prove to be a tough nut to crack, and would never suffer another stoppage loss during his career. Hasegawa on the other hand, would go on to become a 3 weight world champion before his career came to an end.
2009-Takahiro Ao (16-1-1, 8) vs Oscar Larios (63-6-1, 39) II
Also in 2009, though in Tokyo this time, fight fans saw Japan's popular Takahiro Ao claim his first world title, as he defeated Mexican veteran Oscar Larios in their second bout, and claimed the WBC Featherweight title. The first contest had come in October 2008, with Larios taking a split decision win. The would have this bout as an immediate rematch and finally fans had the chance to see why there was so much fuss about Ao, who would go on to become a 2-weight champion the following year.
2004-Tomonobu Shimizu (0-0) vs Mio Mizokami (4-4-1, 2)
On the day in 2004 Japan's Tomonobu Shimzu made his professional debut, stopping Mio Mizokami in 2 rounds, in a bout scheduled for 6. Shimizu would be stopped in his second bout, inside a round by Kaennakorn Klongpajol, but would rebuild his career and in 2011 he would go on to win the WBA Super Flyweight title in his third world title bout. Interestingly Mizokami would never win a bout after this loss, retiring with a 4-8-2 record.
2000-Hiroyuki Sakamoto (35-3, 25) vs Gilberto Serrano (18-4-1, 15)
Japan's Hiroyuki Sakamoto was a Japanese "nearly man" around the turn of the millennium. He would go 4-0 in world title fights, with the third of them taking place against the heavy handed Gilberto Serrano, in a battle for the WBA Lightweight title. Sadly for Sakamoto he would lose by TKO when his right eye was closed part way through round 5, despite a great start that saw him dropping Serrano twice in the opening round. Sadly for Sakamoto he would lose in another world title fight 8 months later, to Takanori Hatakeyama and his career would falter before he retired with a record of 39-7-1 (29).
On this day...
2017- Rex Tso (20-0, 12) Vs Hirofumi Mukai (13-4-3, 3)
In 2017 we had one of the bouts of the year, as unbeaten Hong Kong fighter Rex Tso beat down gutsy Japanese foe Hirofumi Mukai in an amazing 7 round war. Tso was his usual self, bringing the pressure with an amazing intensity whilst Mukai fought off the back foot and tried to fight back, giving his something very special and very exciting. Sadly Tso only fought once more as a professional after this bout, controversially beating Kohei Kono with a technical decision, before announcing plans to compete at the 2020 Olympics. Mukai on the other hand has gone 3-1 (3) since this bout, losing in another thriller to Akira Yaegashi.
2001-Celes Kobayashi (22-4-3, 13) vs Leo Gamez (33-7-1, 25)
In August 2000 Celes Kobayashi had his first world title fight, and was held to a draw, in a close bout with Malacolm Tunacao. On this day he would step up in weight for his second world title bout, a contest with Leo Gamez for the WBA Super Flyweight title. Games, a 4 weight world champion, put up a good effort but was stopped in the 10th round as Kobayashi took his career defining win. Sadly he would record just a single defense losing the title in 2002.
2000-Veeraphol Sahaprom (25-1, 19) vs Adan Vargas (33-1-1, 22)
Thailand's Veeraphol Sahaprom made his 3rd defense of the WBC Bantamweight title when he took on Mexican challenger Adan Vargas. The challenger proved to be incredibly tough, going 12 rounds with the Thai challenger, though lost a clear decision to Sahaprom who would score more than 10 defenses before losing a the title in 2005 to Hozumi Hasegawa.
On this day...
2018-Tamao Ozawa (13-4, 5) Vs Raja Amasheh (20-1-1, 4)
In 2018 Japan's Tamao Ozawa travelled over to Germany to battle against Raja Amasheh for the WBO female Super Flyweight title. Sadly for Ozawa she would lose a razor thin decision to the Jordanian born German. Ozawa has since bounced back with two wins and is expected to get another world title fight in the future.
2018 is also notable as both Shakhram Giyasov and Murodjon Akhmadaliev made their debut, both scoring opening round wins on a card in New York.
1990-Yul Woo Lee (18-2, 10) Vs Jesus Rojas (19-1-1, 9)
In 1990 Korean fighter Yul Woo Lee, became a 2-weight champion. The former WBC Light Flyweight champion had lost the belt in his first defense, in 1989, but moved up in weight and dethroned WBA Flyweight champion Jesus Rojas with a split decision. Sadly though Lee's reign was a short one, and he lost the title in his first defense, losing in 10 rounds to Leopard Tamakuma.
1972-Lakva Sim's Birthday
It's hard to believe that Mongolia has still only given us a single world champion, and that was Lakva Sim. The former 2-weight world champion was born on this day back in 1972 and is still the stand out professional fighter from the country. It is worth noting, as we write this, that Tugstsogt Nyambayar is on the verge of getting himself a world title fight in the near future and in a year's time he may well have become the second Mongolian world champion
On this day-
2002-Celes Kobayashi (24-4-3, 14) Vs Alexander Munoz (21-0, 21)
In 2000 Celes Kobayashi challenged for the WBC Flyweight title, fighting to a draw with Malcolm Tunacao. The following year he stopped Leo Gamez to become the WBA Super Flyweight champion. In his second defence Kobayashi would take on huge punching Venezuelan, and would sadly be stopped in the 8th round, whilst a long way down on the score cards.
1986-Myung Woo Yuh (19-0, 4) vs Jose De Jesus (16-2-1, 13) I
Thai great Myung Woo Yuh had one of the greatest reigns in Light Flyweight history, following his title win in 1985 against Joey Olivo. His first defense came just over 3 months after his title win, when he took on Jose De Jesus. The bout was one of the toughest defenses for Yuh, who took a narrow decision over his Puerto Rican challenger. Interestingly the two would have a rematch in the summer of 1988, and De Jesus again took Yuh all the way in a razor thin decision. Yuh would hold the title until 1991, when he lost a close decision to Hiroki Ioka, but would avenge the loss with a win in a rematch against Ioka in 1992, before making 1 more defense then retiring.
1955-Chamroen Songkitrat (6-3-2, 2) Vs Raul Macias (16-0, 5)
As a Muay Thai fighter Chamroen Songkitrat was a bit of a star though as a boxer he never quite managed to score a win to etch his name in the history books. Despite that he did have a number of world title fights during a short career, that has a recorded 16 bouts. One of those saw him take on the unbeaten Raul Macias, of Mexico, for the National Boxing Association Bantamweight title. Sadly for the Thai, who is best known for facing Jimmy Carruthers in an outdoors fight following a rainstorm in Thailand, he was stopped in 11 rounds by Macias, in what would be his final world title shot.
On this day....
1998-Joichiro Tatsuyoshi (15-4-1, 12) vs Jose Rafael Sosa (30-11-5, 20)
One of the last big wins of Joichiro Tatsuyoshi's career saw him successfully defending the WBC Bantamweight title against Argentinian veteran Jose Rafael Sosa. This was Tatsuyoshi's first defense of his second reign, which had began when he had upset Sirimongkol Singwancha, in a sensational bout. Sadly this is a more forgotten contest than his title win, and he would lose the title less than 10 months later.
1987-Sung Kil Moon (0-0) Vs Ric Bajelot (11-2-3)
Korea fighter Sung Kil Moon is an all time legend, a war monger and a hero among fans who like exciting, high pressure wars. Prior to turning professional he had been a stellar amateur and would debut on this day in 1987, stopping Ric Bajelot in the 4th round, of a scheduled 8 round contest. Bajelot wasn't an amazing fighter but was a durable opponent and this win was very impressive.
1981-Yoko Gushiken (23-0, 15) Vs Pedro Flores (16-7, 4) II
The legendary reign of Yoko Gushiken came to end when he lost his second bout with Pedro Flores. In late 1980 Gushiken had successfully defended the WBA Flyweight title, winning a close but clear decision on the cards. A rematch however would end with Gushiken being stopped in the 12th round and ending his career with 13 world title defenses.
1965-Hideyuki Ohashi's birthday
Former 2-time world champion, and current Japanese gym owner, Hideyuki Ohashi was born on this day in 1965. His 24 fight career wasn't the most amazing, but he really did achieve more than many realise, and would later become one of the major forces in Japanese boxing as a manager and gym owner. A real credit to the sport as both a fighter and promoter.