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 2-weight Filipino world champion Luisito Espinosa to... 2-time world champion Masamori Tokuyama.
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-The talented and well liked Luisito Espinosa fought from 1984 to 2005 and racked up an impressive 47-13 (26) record, whilst winning world titles at Bantamweight, winning the WBA title in 1989, and Featherweight, winning the WBC title in 1995. His first title win came in Thailand, where he stopped Khaokor Galaxy inside a round, in what was a rather big upset at the time.
2-Although not as well remembered as his twin brother, Khaosai Galaxy, the talented Khaokor Galaxy was a 2-time WBA Bantamweight champion. Khaokor may have been over-shadowed by his brother but his record features two huge wins, a split decision over Wilfredo Vazquez and a unanimous decision over Sung Kil Moon. The only other Thai to be a 2-time WBA Bantamweight champion is Daorung Chuwatana.
3-Talented southpaw Daorung Chuwatana held the WBA Bantamweight title twice in the 1990's. Neither of his reigns were particularly long but yet both were fairly notable. The first came to an end against future legend Veeraphol Sahaprom, with Daorung seeking his third defense, whilst his second ended with a TKO to Nana Yaw Konado in 1997, in what was Daorung's final bout. On the card that Daorung reclaimed the title were a former world champion, Pichit Sithbanprachan, and future world champion Yodsanan 3-K Battery.
4-Theera Phongwan, better known as Yodsanan 3-K Battery, was one of the biggest Thai stars of 00's and is a former WBA Super Featherweight champion. Blessed with destructive power, and fighting out of the southpaw stance he was one of the most popular Thai fighters of his time. He claimed his world title with a clear win over Lakva Sim and made 3 defenses before losing to Vicente Mosquera in 2005. Yodsanan, was mentioned, a heavy handed southpaw. He was also born in Si Sa Ket. That's 3 things he has in common with Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
5-Wisaksil Wangek, better known as Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, is a 2-time WBC Super Flyweight champion best known for his wins over Roman Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada. The Thai really developed a killer instinct as his career developed, becoming a genuine monster in the ring. Early on however he struggled, badly, losing 3 of his first 5 bouts, at least from what we've been able to confirm. These included a debut TKO3 defeat to Akira Yaegashi. That loss to Yaegashi puts Srisaket in a small group of Asian world champions to have been stopped on debut, along with Sho Kimura, Tae Shik Kim and Manny Melchor.
6-Filipino fight Manny Melchor was stopped in 3 rounds by Roque Villanueva on his debut, in fact he lost his first 3 bouts, but rebuilt over the years to pick up the IBF Minimumweight title, and score a decent number of upsets. One of those came in 1992, when he upset Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr to become the IBF champion, and another came in 1996 when he beat future world champion Masamori Tokuyama, taking the unbeaten record of Tokuyama in the process! What make this win all the more surprising was that Melchor had lost his previous 3, and wouldn't score another win for well over 2 years!
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).