Today's Did You Know is a little different to usual as it looks at a rather peculiar bout that took place in 2009 at the Differ Ariake in Tokyo. That wasn't the originally set venue for the contest, and the bout only took place there due to some issues with the original venue. Which wasn't even in the same country as where the bout took place!
The bout in question is the WBC Flyweight title bout between defending champion Daisuke Naito and Chinese challenger Xiong Zhao Zhong. It was a rather odd event overall, but also a very notable one.
-The bout with was rather strange in a number of ways. Originally it had been planned for Shanghai, but had to be cancelled on short notice, reportedly 2 days notice, due to issues with the organisers in China. It was then re-arranged for the Differ Ariake in Japan as a peculiar 1-bout event, with no under-card, and all the tickets were sold at the venue on the day of the event.
-When Xiong scored a knockdown of Naito in round 6 it was only the second time Naito had been dropped, having previously been down in his opening round KO loss to Pongsaklek Wonjongkam in their first bout.
-Both men were deducted points for headclashes. In fact there was 3 points deducted in total, with 2 coming from Xiong, in rounds 4 and 5, and one from Naito, in round 10.
-This was Xiong's international debut. He would go on to fight on the road a further 4 times, losing twice more in Japan, as well as in Monaco. But he did score a huge win in Dubai.
-The bout was aired on TBS in Japan, who tried to sell Xiong as a "Little Tyson" in the build up video. This was different to how they sold Naito, with English test popping on the screen stating "He is a romantic".
-Sankyo were involved in putting the bout on. Sankyo are also responsible for putting on a number of recent Kazuto Ioka bouts, including his bout with Donnie Neites, in Macao, and his most recent bouts, against Jeyvier Cintron.
-This was the first time someone from the People's Republic of China had fought for a world title.*
-Naito was said to have been embarrassed by how close this bout was and his performance. He went on to apologise to the fans for the bout.
*Prior to this bout Rocky Lin, a fighter from the "Republic of China", or Taiwan, had twice fought for a world a world title.
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).