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 fighters from opposite ends of the scales, going from former Light Welterweight champion Tsuyoshi Hamada to former multi-time Thai world champion Chartchai Chionoi.
1-Hard hitting Japanese slugger Tsuyoshi Hamada was a huge punching force of nature through much of the 1980's. Although not too well remembered in the west he was a real star in Japan and has continued to be involved in boxing as one of the major players at Teiken. Hamada held the WBC Light Welterweight title for just under a year, winning it in July 1986 and losing it the following July, at the Kokugikan.
2-The Kokugikan played host to an interesting card in February 2001 headlined by an amazing bout between Takanori Hatakeyama and Rick Yoshimura. Also on that February card was Mexican American Urbano Antillon, fighting in his second professional bout.
3-Although not a major name Urbano Antillon is an interesting fighter who fought between 2000 and 2013, with his most notable bouts being his losses to Miguel Acosta, Humberto Soto and Brandon Rios.
4-Despite being a limited fighter Brandon Rios was also a tough and fun fighter to watch, and his first two bouts with Mike Alvarado were fantastic wars. Their third was significantly worse. Interestingly after those first two Alvarado bouts Rios found himself in the ring with Filipino great Manny Pacquiao.
5-The legendary Manny Pacquiao has long been the face of Filipino boxing and has been a multi-weight champion and a generational talent. Pacquiao's first world title was the WBC Flyweight title, which he won back in 1998 when he stopped Chatchai Sasakul in 8 rounds.
6-Chatchai Sasakul wasn't the only Thai to lose the WBC Flyweight title in 8 rounds. Way back in 1969 Chartchai Chionoi also lost the WBC Flyweight title in 8 rounds, when he was stopped by Mexican rival Efren Torres. Thankfully for Chionoi he get the last laugh, beating Torres for the title 13 months later to reclaim the belt!
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 Thai world champions Khaosai Galaxy and Chartchai Chionoi...but probably not in the way you'd expect!
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-Thai Super Flyweight great Sohla Saenghom, better known as Khaosai Galaxy is often regarded as one of the hardest hitting fighter the Super Flyweight division has ever seen. He was unfortunate to come in a relatively weak era of the then rather new Super Flyweight division but his power cannot be questioned and his lengthy reign as the WBA champion was impressive, and destructive. In many ways the one thing he missed was an elite nemesis to really let us see how good he actually was. During his career he only fought outside of Thailand a handful of times, one of those bouts saw him beating Ellyas Pical at the Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.
2-Whilst the Bung Karno stadium will never go down in the annals of history as one of the sports most notable venues, and is certainly not on par with Madison Square Garden for example, it did play host for several notable fighters. In 1973 one of those fighters was the legendary Muhmmad Ali, who beat Rudi Lubber there in a 12 round fight.
3-Muhammad Ali, was one of the few fighters who proved his was a global star, showing his excellence all around the world. Not only did he fight in Jakarta, but he also famously fought in places like Kinshasa, Toronto, London, Manila and Kuala Lumpur. Whilst the Thrilla in Manila is his most famous Asian bout, it's worth noting that he did fight in Tokyo, when he beat Mac Foster at the Nippon Budokan.
4-The first ever world title fight at the Nippon Budokan saw the legendary Fighting Harada defeat Alan Rudkin to retain the undisputed Bantamweight throne in 1965, in what was Harada's first defense of the Bantamweight titles after beating the legendary Edder Jofre.
5-Whilst the brilliant Fighting Harada beat Alan Rudkin it wasn't the only time Rudkin faced an Asian fighter, in fact less than 16 months after Harada had beaten Rudkin the Brit would stop Kiichi Tsuganezawa. In 1983 Rudkin would take another win over an Asian fighter, as he took a narrow decision over little known Thai foe Pornchai Poprai-ngam.
6-Although Pornchai Poprai-ngam is not a name we expect many fans to be too familiar with the Thai had a really odd career. In his 19 fights that are on boxrec Pornchai only actually fought in Thailand twice, and the other 17 bouts were really all over the place, and ranged form Mexico to the UK and the US to Guam. During his career he fought several notable fighters, not just Rudkin but also the likes of Efren Torres, Chucho Castillo, Ruben Oliveras and Chartchai Chionoi, who stopped Pornchai in 1996, in Pornchai's final recorded bout in Thailand!
Over the last few years the Japanese boxing scene has witnessed an incredible rise through the ranks by the "KO Dream Boy" Kosei Tanaka, who has gone on to become the star of the Chubu region of Japan. He's had a number of fights shown internationally through streams with CBC and has become one of the most notable figures in Japan boxing. Today we take you on a journey in our latest Six Degrees of Separation, starting with Tanaka and ending with Chartchai Chionoi.
1-Kosei Tanaka fights out of the gym lead by former WBC Super Bantamweight world champion Kiyoshi Hatanaka, the man who had been the face of boxing in Nagoya in the late 1980's and early 1990's.
2-Although Kiyoshi Hatanaka wasn't the most successful fighter of his era he certainly had a good local following and was regularly in great fights, thanks to his engine and toughness. Hatanaka's young son Kento Hatanaka is currently carving out a respectable career of his own, despite still being in the shadows of his father.
3-Another youngster stuck in the shadow of his father is Juiki Tatsuyoshi, who's father was more of a national star than Kento's father. Juiki's father Joichiro Tatsuyoshi was regarded as one of the most exciting fighters of his era and the most popular in Japan, by some margin, due to his enigmatic personality and his thrilling, in ring style which lead him to 2 reigns as the WBC Bantamweight champion.
4-Another WBC Bantamweight champion was the legendary Fighting Harada, who defeated Eder Jofre for the belt. Harada's significance to Japanese boxing is legendary and he is generally regarded as Japan's greatest ever boxer, and one of the finest fighters the lower weights have ever seen.
5-During his long and successful career Fighting Harada was only beaten by 1 Asian fight, Pone Kingpetch. Kingpetch was the first ever Thai world champion, and became a 2-time champion by beating Harada in 1963, before finally becoming a 3-time champion in 1964.
6-Thailand hasn't had many 3-time world champions. One was Kingpetch and another was Chartchai Chionoi, who, like Kingpetch, had 3 reigns at Flyweight taking the WBC belt from Walter McGowan in 1966 for his first reign, reclaiming it from Efren Torres in 1970 and then beating Fritz Chervet for the then vacant WBA title in 1973.
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).