Newer fans to the Asian scene likely won't remember the PABA title, which was the WBA's answer to the OPBF. The title has been completely killed off in the last few years, being replaced by other affiliated WBA regional titles, but for around 20 yaers we would see PABA title fights on a regular basis, particularly in Thailand.
For today's Did you know... we look at the relatively short lived, yet rather notable, PABA Lightweight title, which was fought for through out Asia and had several notable champions, and contenders.
-The first champion was future Mongolian world champion Lakva Sim! That alone is pretty notable but even more amazingly he won the belt in 4 rounds on his debut back in December 1998! So Sim, unlike most fighters, actually debuted in a 12 round regional title fight!
-Whilst Sim holding it is pretty notable it was actually won by a number of Mongolian fighters. There was Sim, Zorigoo Sosorbaram and Sukhbayar Nemekbayar, the 1st, 3rd and 5th champions respectively.
-The first 4 bouts for the title all ended with a stoppage, in fact 7 of the first 8 did!
-Prawet Singwancha's 13 defenses of the title were the most, by far...in fact no one else had more than 2 defenses of the belt!
-Despite being the "Pan Asia Boxing Association" title, it was once fought for in Germany! It was in the European country that German based Azeri fighter Azad Azizov won the belt.
-Two future world champions have held the title at some point. There was Lakva Sim, as mentioned previously, and Eduard Troyanovsky
-On the subject of Eduard Troyanovsky, he defended the title against a trio of Colombian fighters, Walter Estrada, Orlen Padilla and Luis Zambrano
-In 2015 there was also an Argentinian trying to win the belt! That was Leonardo Esteban Gonzalez fought George Kambosos Jr for the "interim" title, and was stopped in 3 rounds.
-One of the champions, relatively early in the title's lifespan, was David Kosawara. Kosawara, like Lakva Sim, won the belt on his debut, but would later blow up, and fought as heavy as 260lbs later in his career, almost double the Lightweight limit!
-Ahmad Abbybastnov only recorded bout was in a PABA title fight. The Uzbek was stopped in 2 rounds when challenging Prawet Singwancha in 2002.
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).