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 Chinese world champion Xiong Zhao Zhong to 2-time Thai world champion Chana Porpaoin.
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-Chinese fighter Xiong Zhao Zhong is best known for being the first Chinese fighter to win a world title, winning the WBC Minimumweight 2012. That win was a history defining one for Chinese boxing, even if his reign was a rather disappointing one. Prior to that title win his most notable bout was actually a loss in Japan to Daisuke Naito, for the WBC Flyweight title.
2-It's fair to say that Daisuke Naito had a really interesting career with a number of notable bouts, including the one with Zhong as well as bouts against Koki and Daiki Kameda. Whilst his rivalry with the Kameda family is certainly memorable so to is his 4 fight rivalry with Pongsaklek Wonjongkam.
3-Thai legend Pongsaklek Wonjongkam won his rivalry with Daisuke Naito, 2-1-1, and famously blew out Naito in their first bout. He also had a very over-looked Flyweight title reign, with defenses against a number of top fighters and future world champions, including Naito, Gilberto Keb Baas, Tomonobu Shimizu and Luis Alberto Lazarte. Despite losing it to Naito he would reclaim it by beating Koki Kameda, on a card that also featured Oleydong Sithsamerchai, who retained the WBC Minimumweight title with a win over Yasutaka Kuroki.
4-Oleydong Sithsamerchai made 6 defenses of the WBC Minimumweight title during his reign that ran from November 2007 to February 2011. His reign ended when he was stopped in 5 rounds by Kazuto Ioka, who was fighting in just 7th professional bout.
5-Kazuto Ioka isn't the only fighter to win a world title in his 7th bout, another man who achieved that feat was Korean great Sung Kil Moon, who achieved the feat when he took a technical decision win over Khaokor Galaxy to claim the WBA Bantamweight title in 1988.
6-Sung Kil Moon might have won his first world title in his 7th bout but his reign didn't last long and he lost the belt in his third defense, when he travelled to Thailand and faced Khaokor Galaxy in a rematch. On the same show as Moon's title loss was a then rising young Thai, Chana Porpaoin, who would later become a 2-time WBA Minimumweight champion.
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).