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 the legendary Gabriel "Flash" Elorde to Akira Yaegashi!
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-During his lengthy and successful career Flash Elorde was stopped just 4 times in 118 bouts. The first of those stoppage losses came in his 10th professional bout, by a fighter who was known as "Kid Independence" on October 16th 1951.
2-Whilst Kid Independence is certainly not a fighter we expect many to know anything about, other than now being in shock that such an unknown stopped the iconic Elorde, he did fight a handful of others of note. They include Kyo Noguchi, who beat him in 1960, in one of Independence's final career bouts.
3-In the 1960's Kyo Noguchi was a fairly notably fighter in the Asian scene. He wasn't just a Japanese Flyweight champion but also had title shots at both the OPBF and the World Flyweight titles. His father was Susumu "Lion" Noguchi, himself a pre-war Japanese champion at Welterweight, pre-dating the JBC by several decades. This makes them the first father-son Japanese national champions.
4-Whilst the Noguchi's are regarded as the first father-son Japanese champions, they aren't the only ones. Another example of this is the Teraji's, Hisashi and Kenshiro, and the Naito's, Cassius and Rikki.
5-As an amateur Rikki Naito fought scored a number of notable wins on the domestic scene. Among those was a win over Koki Inoue.
6-Of course Koki Inoue, who is the current Japanese Light Welterweight champion, comes from a fighting family himself. His cousins are Naoya Inoue and Takuma Inoue, and his trainer is his uncle Shingo Inoue. It's not his family we're connecting to but an Ohashi Gym stable mate, in the form of Akira Yaegashi!
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).