Something we've wanted to do for a while, but never got round to it, was look at some cases of boxers who share the same name. It's not a big thing, or the most exciting thing ever, but it's an oddity that has been on our radar for a few years now and something we've wanted to cover. Today, we're going to do just that and look at 10 names that were used by multiple fighters, with two of them being used by 3 fighters. Some of these fighters had careers that were similar, whilst others were cases where one fighter has certainly made the name synonymous with themselves.
10- Sho Nakazawa
One of the first names we had in mind for this article was Sho Nakazawa, a name shared by a once touted Super Bantamweight come Super Featherweight and a former Japanese Flyweight contender.
Of the two it's the modern day one, who was born in 1992 and began his career in 2013, who is the more notable, but that was more as an amateur, where he won a number of domestic trophies. As we write this he is 12-4 (6) and fighting out of the Ohashi gym, though did begin his career as Osaka Teiken. His career has failed to hit the heights expected of him, sadly, though is still an active fighter and is still a genuine talent, despite not becoming the fighter many had hoped.
The other Sho Nakazawa went was born in 1984 before debuting in 2004. He fought through to 2014 whilst running up a professional record of 17-11-2 (1). During his career he fought some notable names, including Ryoichi Taguchi, twice, and Kenichi Horikawa but was more regarded as a durable fighter than someone capable of going places with his career. Notably in his 30 bout career he was stopped just once, by Shota Kawaguchi in 2013.
We stick with Japan again for this name as we look at Daisuke Watanabe, a name shared by two Japanese fighters, born 10 years apart. As with Sho Nakazawa one of the men with this name is still an active fighter, and in fact has a direct link to Nakazawa, but more about that in a minute.
The first of the Daisuke Watanabe's was born in 1981 and made his professional debut in 2004. He only fought for a few years before leaving the sport in 2008 with a 3-4 (2) record. His record doesn't have anything of note on it, though his final bout took place on a card that featured Hozumi Hasegawa, Takashi Uchiyama and Edwin Valero. Very much an obscure fighter
The second Daisuke Watanabe is a currently active fighter who was born in 1991 and began his career in 2014. His career is ongoing and we still suspect some notable achievements from him. Among his bouts so far he has faced Sho Nakazawa, the second one, early in his career and is currently scheduled to compete final of the Hajime No Ippo 30th anniversary tournament. fighter. He's aggressive, heavy handed and has been matched hard, leaving him with a 10-4-2 (6) record as we write this. Aged 29 we see him still having a notable future in the sport.
A really interesting name to consider is Kenji Ono, which was a name shared by two different fighters. One is a rather recent fighter whilst the other is a less well known but, is somone one who etched his name into the boxing history books way back in 1986. Neither men had a stellar career, but both are very notable fighters.
The original Kenji Ono was born in 1959 and fought as a professional from 1981 to 1988, running up a 17-11-4 (6) record. During his career he fought some genuinely notable fighters including Samuth Sithnaruepol and Hiroki Ioka. As well as those opponents he also holds two notable distinctions. Firstly he was the first ever Japanese Minimumweight champion, beating Missile Kudo for the title in 1986, and he also lost in the first ever OPBF Minimumweight title bout.
The second Kenji Ono was born in 1988 and fought from 2011 to 2019, and may well continue his career going forward, though it does seem somewhat unlikely given recent results. His most notable achievement was winning the 2014 All Japan Rookie of the Year, beating Seita Ogido in the final and in 2016 he was involved in a sensational bout with Jun Takigawa, which saw both men hitting the canvas. Sadly in recent years his form has suffered and he has gone 0-2-2 in his last 4, including a stoppage loss to Seigo Yuri Akui.
Maybe the strangest case of two fighters with the same name comes from China, where we currently have two Xiang Li's, making things incredibly complicated. Not only are they both active fighters but both are still very early in their career's and it's hard to say who is the more accomplished, or even the most promising.
One of the Xiang Li's is a 22 year old Light Flyweight, who is currently 8-2-2 (3) and is a southpaw. So far in his career he's had some really interesting results, including a very controversial draw with Ryu Horikawa, a win in Hong Kong against Raymond Poon and he's hard fights in Thailand, Hong Kong and the Philippines. Although no world beater he has picked up a number of minor titles.
The other Xiang Li is an unbeaten Super Featherweight who was born in 1995 and currently sports a 6-0 (5) record. On paper he looks the more notable but in reality he hasn't hasn't looked as skilled as the younger, smaller man. What he does have is power and that power has seen him stop his last 5 opponents. He's one to watch, as he's fun and heavy handed, but he's further away from a world title fight than the other Xiang Li.
Notably this is the only case we can think of where two current Asian fighters share the same name.
6-Ji Hoon Kim
The first of a three-fer in this article is Ji Hoon Kim. We know some will recognise the name, after all there was a former world title challenger by the name who was a popular TV level fighter, but they may not be aware that there was other Ji Hoon Kim's out there.
The more notable of the 3 is the Lightweight known as "Volcano", who was born in 1987 and fought as a professional between 2004 and 2013. This Kim is one of the last notable Korean fighters and was a very much a TV friendly warrior who managed to make a name in the US, before fighting for a world title and then retiring due to an issue with his eyes. When he retired his record was 25-9 (19)
A second Ji Hoon Kim was a lower weight fighter who typically fought at Super Flyweight. This Ji Hoon Kim went 3-4 (1) and fought entirely in South Korea between 2011 and 2013 he was born in 1992 and whilst his career over-lapped with the more famous Ji Hoon Kim his career never really took off, with the fighter ending his career after 3 straight losses.
The third Ji Hoon Kim is even less notable than the other two, going 0-2 in his very brief career in 2013. He fought between Super Bantamweight and Featherweight and really, if we're being honest, did nothing of note in the sport. Strangely his career final bout was the final one of all 3 of these Kim's, who all fought in 2013.
As we write this Keisuke Matsumoto is only days away from his professional debut as he looks to follow in the footsteps of his father, Koji Matsumoto. Well that's one of the two Koji Matsumoto's who are known to have fought in Japan.
The most famous of the due, by far, is the former southpaw form Yokohama who was a 3-time world title challenger and a multi-time Japanese Featherweight champion. This Koji Matsumoto, Keisuke's father, was born in 1969 and fought as a professional from 1989 to 1998. During that time he went 26-6-1 (15) and shared the ring with the likes of Freddie Norwood, Yong Soo Choi and Young Kyun Park.
The second Koji Matsumoto was a Super Bantamweight who fought from 2005 to 2006 and was from Saitama. This Koji Matsumoto went 2-2 (1) with his final professional bout coming against a then 21 year old Takuya Kogawa. Compared to the other Koji Matsumoto this is a mismatch.
We're going to cheat a little bit here though we'll explain why. There has not been a notable boxer born with the birth name "Ric Magramo", there is however two men who fought under that name, and both are pretty notable fighters from a very interesting fighting family. In fact they may well be the case where both men are more notable, than any other 2-fighter pairing.
The "original" Ric Magramo was born Endrikito Magramo, though is better known as Ric Magramo. His date of birth isn't clear but he debuted in 1961 and fought through to 1970 whilst running up a solid 35-17-5 (15) record. During his career he fought the likes of Bernabe Villacampo, Walter McGowan, Tsuyoshi Nakamura, Hiroyuki Ebihara, Kiyoshi Tanabe, Erbito Salavarria and Berkrerk Chartvanchai. He actually took a few from those guys as well, won a Filipino title and fought for the OPBF Flyweight title 3 times.
The other Ric Magramo was born Renato Magramo in 1961, and had a career that spanned from 1982 to 1998. He ran up a record of 34-22-5 (9), which sounds poor but included bouts, like the other Ric Magramo, against a who's who of who. His opponents included Gerry Penalosa, Chana Porpaoin, Chatchai Sasakul, Joma Gamboa, Sompoch Harnvichachai, Paul Weir and Jacob Matlala. He even got a world title fight, when he fought Weir.
Like a few others in this list there is a huge gulf in how well known the two Hiroshi Kobayashi's are. One is regarded as one of Japan's greatest fighters, a former world champion and one of the great Japanese fighters from the past. The other is, sadly, a domestic journeyman who fought a number of top fighters but fail to score a win of note.
The original Hiroshi Kobayashi was a great Super Featherweight was born in 1944, made his debut at the age of 17 and was a professional from 1962 to 1971. He won his first 18 bouts before suffering 4 straight losses. In the years that followed however he rebuilt brilliantly and won the Japanese Featherweight title before dethroning Yoshiaki Numata for the WBA and WBC Super Featherweight titles. He would defend the WBC title once and the WBA title 6 times before losing his final 3 bouts in 1971, with the final loss coming to Roberto Duran. He retired with a 61-10-4 (10) record.
The other Hiroshi Kobayashi was born in 1969, whilst the first was still a world champion, and would make his debut in 1989, at the age of 19. He would go 12-15-2 (3) in a 29 fight career that ended in 2000. Although his numbers don't stack up he was a well trusted domestic level fighter who shared the ring with Hyung Chul Lee, Rolando Pascua, Rolando Bohol, Yuri Arbachakov, Hideki Todaka and Celes Kobayashi, among others. Very much a journeyman, but a good, domestic one.
2-Ki Soo Kim
We're back in South Korea here for another case of a fighter with a name being much, much better known than the other, with the name Ki Soo Kim. Unfortunately this is probably one of the most unfair in this list, with one being a national hero and the other being an unfortunate fighter with the same name.
The original Ki Soo Kim was born in 1939 and would go on to be a successful amateur and even more successful professional winning the Light Middleweight world titles in 1966. He was the first Korean to win world titles and fought as a professional from 1961 to 1969, running up a 33-2-2 (17) record and paving the way for the Korean fighters to follow him in the years ahead. As well as the Light Middleweight world title he also held the OPBF Middleweight title and would often switch between the two division's. Among his big wins were decisions against Nino Benvenuti, who had beaten him in the Olympics and Freddie Little.
The other Ki Soo Kim went 3-2 (1) and fought between 1982 and 1983. His achievements in the ring amounted to nothing, and he really didn't do much of note at all. The one thing noteworthy about his career, other than his name, is that he fought a then 18 year old Myung Woo Yuh, the future Light Flyweight great. Sadly it's unclear when Kim was born, though we suspect it was around the time that his name sake was a top fighter
The final name on this list again comes from Japanese boxing, and that is Takashi Miura. We suspect everyone reading this will know of one Takashi Miura but amazingly there has been three of them, two of whom fought at the same time, in the same division. Those two also share an opponent, and amazingly neither of them were the original Takashi Miura!
Let us explain.
The first Takashi Miura was a Super Bantamweight who fought in the late 1990's. His career record is possibly incomplete, though boxrec have him going 1-4 between 1997 and 1999. His most notable opponent was probably Jun Toriumi and he is very much a forgotten man.
The second Takashi Miura was a Super Featherweight who born in 1980 and made his professional debut in 2002. This Takashi Miura was an orthodox fighter had some solid success, including a win over Kinji Amano. After going 7-1-1 (4) his career capitulated and he would end with an 8-6-1 (5) record, including losses to future Japanese national champions Yosukezan Onodera and Yoshimitsu Yashiro. His career came to an end in 2007 after a 4th straight loss.
The third Takashi Miura was also a Super Featherweight, who debuted in 2003 and fought all the way up to 2017. He was born in 1984 and would become the most notable of the Takashi Miura's winning the Japanese and WBC titles, and became a fan favourite among the hardcore fans. Interestingly he twice fought Yoshimitsu Yashiro, ending Yashiro's national title reign, and would go on to fight a real who's who. He first made a mark internationally in 2011, when he fought Takashi Uchiyama, and would later face Gamaliel Diaz, Sergio Thompson, Billy Dib, Francisco Vargas, Mickey Roman and Miguel Berchelt.
*Please note some records may be incomplete, all records used as boxrec records as per August 2020.
Last week we began a new series, in the wake of the current global issue that has essentially put boxing on a pause, along with everything else. We continue that series this week by looking at the most significant professional wins in the career of Ki Soo Kim (33-2-2, 17), who retired in 1969 having etched his name in the history books.
For this we are again not looking at the biggest, or the best wins, but the ones which have the most significant for Kim and his career. As with the previous article in this series we'll list them chronologically, with the earliest of the five first, and try to shine a light on the most meaningful wins that the Korean legend scored.
1-Sae Chul Kang (October 1961)
The start of Kim's career is shrouded in some debate. BoxingM and other Korean sources suggest that Kim debuted in August 1961 with his second bout taking place in October, whilst Boxrec state his debut was in October. Whatever actually happened is unclear, as is the specific date, but what is clear is that in October 1961 Kim beat Sae Chul Kang to become the Korean Middleweight champion. What made this even more impressive is that Kang was the OPBF Light Middleweight champion, making the win a huge one for Kim at this very early stage of his career.
2-Fumio Kaizu (January 10th 1965)
Ki Soo Kim twice scored wins over Fumio Kaizu in 1965. The first of those was the more impressive of the two, as he travelled to Japan to stop Kaizu to become the OPBF Middleweight champion, claiming the title for the first time. The win saw Kim become the first Korea to win the title and with 5 defenses of the belt he also set a new bar for champions during his reign, that lasted for more than 2 years. It wouldn't be until Jae Doo Yuh that Kim's record for defenses would be beaten.
3-Nino Benvenuti (June 25th 1966)
The significance of a win doesn't really relate to how controversial it was, and Ki Soo Kim's win over Nino Benvenuti is certainly a controversial one, that many who have, and haven't, seen it will have their view on. With that said however the official result is that Kim got the win over the man who had beaten him in the 1960 Olympics, and with the win Kim became the first ever Korean world champion. The win was, by far, the most significant of Kim's career and one of the biggest in Korean boxing history.
4-Freddie Little (October 3rd 1967)
Another of Kim's wins that will forever have question marks over it, though again those question marks don't take away from the significance of it, was his 1967 win over Freddie Little. The bout, widely regarded as a full on robbery came against an American who would see controversy strike again a year later, when he was robbed of a win over Sandro Mazzinghi. Little, one of the best 154lb fighters of the late 1960's and early 1970's, would later go on to become a world champion and after retirement served on the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The win over Little really was controversial, but with the decision going his way the win was still a massive one for Kim. A massive one, with a huge asterisk over it.
5-Hisao Minami (March 1st 1969)
Picking a 5th fight was quite tricky here, though we've gone with Kim's final professional bout, which came in early 1969 against Hisao Minami. Minami had given Kim his second professional loss, taking a razor thin decision over the Korean in November 1968 to take the OPBF title. Less than 4 months later Kim avenged the loss, reclaiming the OPBF title and closed out his career as an Oriental champion. This win had come after back to back losses for the then 29 year old Korean who seemed to know it was time to walk away from the sport and do other things.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces