There are very few Mongolian fighters who have managed to connect with fans around the world. One of the few who has is the enigmatic Choi Tseveenpurev (36-7-1, 24), who fought between 1996 and 2014. During that time he managed to really connect with British fans and become a fan favourite among the hardcore fans in the UK.
Although he never won a world title Tseveenpurev managed to knock on the door a few times and shared the ring with some notable names, including Veeraphol Sahaprom, Lehlo Ledwaba, Derry Matthews and Daud Yordan. He also moved up in weight, beginning his career at Bantamweight and moving all the way up Lightweight at one point.
With that said, lets us bring you 10 facts you probably didn't know about... Choi Tseveenpurev
1-Choi's family was nomadic, and he was brought up in the Mongolian mountains.
2-As a child Choi trained in boxing for about 18 months, before giving up the sport to go to college, and didn't have time to train in the sport any more.
3-After college Choi worked in a fire station, doing so in the early 1990's. He left the job, and told his colleagues he had got a new job. In fact he hadn't got anything lined up and left to chase his dreams of becoming an athlete. He was jobless for around 2 years after this decision.
4-Among the many inspirations for Choi to become a boxer was watching a Mike Tyson fight on Russian TV, and felt that he could use boxing to become well known and to show his power.
5-Although Choi was in his 20's when he began to really take the sport seriously he did manage to have a pretty notable amateur career. In the unpaid ranks he took home a Gold medal from 1994 Tammer Tournament in Finland, and a Bronze medal at the Seoul Box Cup in 1995. He also competed at the 1995 Asian Championships in Tashkent
6-Choi was a sparring partner for Lakva Sim, the first Mongolian to win a world title.
7-Choi has explained that his favourite opponent was Abdul Tebazalwa, a man he fought in 2007. It seemed like Choi saw a lot of familiarity with himself, with both men moving from relatively poor countries, Mongolia in Choi's case and Uganda for Tebazalwa, to Europe, with Choi living for years in England and Tebazalwa being based in Sweden.
8-During his 44 fight professional career Choi only fought once in Mongolia. He also fought in South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, China, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Singapore.
9-Rather interestingly Choi's only draw came in his very final bout, drawing with Hyun Sunwoo in South Korea. This bout was interesting for a few reasons. Not only was it his only draw but it also resulted in him having a 1-1-1 record in 6 round bouts that went to a decision and it took his career full circle, with his first and final bout coming in Korea. It was also his only scheduled 6 rounder not to take place in the UK, as the previous 8 hard!
10-Choi featured in a movie, called "Iron Monk".
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 Kazuto Ioka to Choi Tseveenpurev.
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-Well known by modern day boxing fans as a multi-weight world champion and one of the best Japanese fighters of the current generation Kazuto Ioka isn't actually the first member of his family to be a boxing star. Whilst his father Kazunori Ioka, failed to leave a big mark in the pro ranks his uncle Hiroki Ioka, was a fantastic fighter and a multi-weight world champion him.
2-As a youngster Hiroki Ioka was a great talent, and he would become the 6th world champion to be trained under the legendary Eddie Townsend, who is such a big part of Japanese boxing that he's even had an award named after him, the "Eddie Townsend Award". Townsend was one of the most revered and legendary trainers in Japan and his time as a trainer really changed Japanese boxing, and how the sport was taught in the country.
3-The "Eddie Townsend Award" is one of the major Japanese boxing awards, and has been around since 1990. It recognises the best trainer in Japan in a given year, and has seen a number of very notable winners. In 2014 the winner was Shingo Inoue, the father of Naoya Inoue.
4-Japanese trainer Shingo Inoue is one of a number of trainers who also happen to be fathers of the fighters they train. Others come from all over the world, with a notable and loud mouthed example being Angel Garcia.
5-Angel Garcia has trained his son, Danny Garcia, for more than 20 years and whilst he's a controversial figure the work he has done for his son has been brilliant. Angel has often deflected attention from Danny and his performances, as well as teaching him the tools for Danny to go a very long way in the sport and have success through out his career. That includes Garcia's professional and amateur career. During his son's days as an amateur he won gold at the 2005 Tammer Tournament in Tampere, Finland.
6-Going back to the 1994 Tammer Tournament, 21 years before Danny Garcia won his, we saw popular Mongolian fighter Choi Tseveenpurev winning a gold medal! This was long before he made his name in the pros as a tough nosed warrior in the UK, and became a bit of a cult figure in British boxing circles.
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).