We've all heard of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, and we've decided to put our spin on things with "Six degrees of separation" looking to connect Asian fighters you may never have assumed were connected! Today we connect former world champions Guts Ishimatsu and Ben Villaflor
Just as ground rules, we're not doing the more basic "A beat B who beat C who beat D" type of thing, but instead we want to link fighters in different ways. As a result we will limit A fought B connections, and try to get more varied connections together, as you'll see here! We also know there are often shorter routes to connect fighters, but that's not always the most interesting way to connect them.
1-Japan's Guts Ishimatsu was one of the more notable Japanese fighters of the 1970's. He is a former WBC Lightweight champion, who reigned for a little over 2 years. He lost his world title in 1976, to Esteban De Jesus and then moved up in weight to challenge Thailand's Saensak Muangsurin.
2-A few years ago we saw Vasyl Lomachenko win his first world title in his third bout, with many declaring it a record. What he actually did was tie the long standing world record set way back in 1975 by Thailand's Saensak Muangsurin. As a professional boxer Muangsurin's career was one of the shortest of any multi-time world champion, fighting just 20 times in his career and going a less than stellar looking 14-6 (11). Despite his lack of fights he repeatedly fought at a very high level, fighting in 12 world title bouts. The first of those 12 world title bouts saw him win the WBC and WBA Light Welterweight titles, stopping Perico Fernandez.
3-Spain's Perico Fernandez fought between 1972 and 1987, fighting mostly in Europe. His loss to Muangsurin was one of two bouts he had in Asia, along with a 1978 bout to Katsuhiro Okubo, who he stopped in 8 rounds.
4-It's fair to say that Katsuhiro Okubo isn't a notable name, fighting just 19 times in a 4 year career that spanned from 1978 to 1982. Despite his short career he did fight in a couple of title fights, including a 1979 loss to Battlehawk Kazama, who defended the Japanese Lightweight title inside a round.
5-The Japanese Lightweight title was the only one that Battlehawk Kazama won, however he did also fight for the WBA Super Featherweight title in 1980, when he was stopped in the 13th round to Samuel Serrano.
6-Although not too well remembered in recent years Samuel Serrano was an excellent fighter in the 1970's and 80's. His first title world title fight had come in April 1976, when he challenged Ben Villaflor, in a bout that ended in a 15 round split decision draw.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).