On July 25th we're expecting to see a new OPBF Light Flyweight champion being crowned as veteran Kenichi Horikawa clashes with Daiki Tomita for the currently vacant title. With that bout coming up we thought it was a great time to look at the belt as part of our latest "Did You Know" series.
So with that said, here is did you know... the OPBF Light Flyweight title!
-The first champion was Thailand's Montsayarm Haw Mahachai. He defeated Filipino fighter Phil Tagupa to win the title in 1975.
-Sadly for Montsayarm Haw Mahachai his reign was a short one, consisting of just a single successful defense before losing the belt to Sang Il Jung in Korea in 1976.
-Sang Il Jung's first defense saw him fighting to a draw with future world champion Netrnoi Sor Vorasingh.
-Interestingly the first two champions, Montsayarm Haw Mahachai and Sung Il Jung, both lost in world title challenges against Yoko Gushiken.
-In 1977 Sang Il Jung's reign came to an end when he lost to future world champion Sung Jung Kim. Kim was the first man to win the OPBF Light Flyweight title and go on to win a world title.
-Like many early reigns of the title Sung Jung Kim's reign was a short one, losing the title in a rematch to Sang Il Jung, who became the first man to reclaim the title.
-Incidentally Sung Jun Kim's world title win came less than 3 months after he lost the OPBF title and saw him defeating the aforementioned Netrnoi Sor Vorasingh.
-Sang Il Jung's second reign came to an end at the hands of fellow Korean Yong Hyun Kim, who who managed a then record 3 defenses of the title, though lost the belt less than 2 years after winning it.
-The first Filipino to hold the title was Siony Carupo, who won the title from Yong Hyun Kim in 1981. Sadly for Carupo his reign is among the shortest, lasting less than 3 months.
-The man who beat Siony Carupo for the title was Sung Nam Kim, who held the belt from December 13th 1981 to March 18th 1983, though didn't make a successful defense of the title. Instead Kim lost the belt in his first defense, to Dodie Penalosa.
-The bout between Sun Nam Kim and Dodie Boy Penalosa was the first bout for the belt outside of South Korea and Thailand, which had staged the first 15 title bouts between them.
-Interestingly Dodie Boy Penalosa was the first man to vacate the title, after having recorded a single defense. That vacancy was filled by future divisional legend Myung Woo Yuh, who also vacated the title.
-After Myung Woo Yuh vacated we saw Cho Woon Park and Little Baguio fight to crown a new champion in 1986. Their first bout ended in a draw leaving the title vacant, with Park winning the rematch. Strangely a similar situation happened in 2017 when Edward Heno and Seita Ogido fought to a draw for the vacant title, with Heno winning the rematch to claim the previously vacant title.
-In 1989, more than 13 years after Montsayarm Haw Mahachai lost the title, Den Chuwatana won the belt, becoming only the second Thai to win it. Sadly his reign was a short one and he lost the title in his first defense
-The belt wasn't fought for in 1999, the only other year that happened was 1982
-Between December 1984 and October 1995 every bout for the belt was held in South Korea
-The most defenses of the title has been Nam-Hoon Cha, who made 6 defenses of the belt, between 1990 and 1993. Cha is also the only man to have held the title for more than 3 years.
-Katsuhiko Iezumi is the only man to have ever been crowned the interim champion, though he would go on to unify the interim and regular titles just 5 months later.
-The fighters who have won the title and gone on to win a world title are Sung Jung Kim, Dodie Boy Penalosa, Myung Woo Yuh, Yong Kang Kim, Yo Sam Choi, Sonny Boy Jaro, Ryo Miyazaki, Naoya Inoue and Kenshiro Teraji.
-There have been 5 draws for the title from a combined 92 bouts, with 91 of them being regular bouts and 1 being an interim title bout.
-The title has twice had bouts finish in the opening round. One of those saw Sung Yong Chung defend the belt against Azadin Anhar, in 1988, and the other saw Yong Soon Jang defend the belt against Roger Gamayot in 1994.
-There has only ever been 1 bout for the belt that has ended in the 9th round. That was Sung Yong Chung's title win against Sonny Vidal
-On a similar note there has never been a 12th round TKO/KO win for the belt. Every bout that has got into the final round has gone the distance
-To date 14 champions have come from South Korea, combining for 15 of the 36 reigns. The next highest is Japan, with 13, whilst 6 of the champions are from the Philippines and the remaining 2 are from Thailand
Tomorrow we'll see an OPBF Featherweight title fight, as Satoshi Shimizu defends the title against Kyohei Tonomoto. With that in mind we felt this was the perfect time to feature the title in our latest "Did you know..." article.
-The first champion was Filipino fighter Larry Bataan, who beat Akiyoshi Akanuma to claim the title in 1952. He defended the belt twice, beating Akanuma in a rematch to retain the title and then beating the legendary Flash Elorde in his second defense.
-Larry Bataan's reign was ended by Shigeji Kaneko, who stopped Bataan in 4 rounds. Interestingly Kaneko's reign, like that of Bataan, saw the new champion make his first defense against the man he beat for the belt, stopping Bataan in 5 rounds in their rematch.
-Shigeji Kaneko's reign saw him make 6 defenses of the belt. These included one against Flash Elorde in 1954, who he also beat in a none title fight in 1955. Kaneko was also the first champion to vacate the belt and the first to defend the belt on foreign soil, something he did against Emil Bill Tinde.
-The fourth champion was the wonderfully named Army Wonder Boy. Sadly his reign was a short one and saw him lose the belt in his first defense.
-Thailand's Veeranid Charoenmuang was the fifth champion. He was the first Thai to hold the belt, and the only Thai to hold the title.
-The record for most successful defenses in a single reign is 12, a record set by Mitsunori Seku between 1962 and 1969. His reign was the 6th
-The first reign by a Korean fight was the 8th reign, which was by Hubert Kang. Kang held the title from September 1968 to March 1970. Kang was also the first man to defend the belt in Korea, doing so against Rey Miller in 1969.
-In 1972 Hyun Kim, the 10th man to hold the title, featured in the first draw, defending the belt with a draw against Ernie Cruz. This was also the first, and so far only, bout for the belt to be held in Guam.
-Just 2 months before Kim's draw with Cruz he became the first fighter to defend the belt with a KO1, stopping Tad Okamoto in their second bout. Strangely their first bout had gone the 12 round distance.
-Royal Kobayashi was the first former world champion to win the title, doing so 17 months after losing the WBC Super Bantamweight title to Dong Kyun Yum.
-Royal Kobayashi also hold the distinction as being the first man to lost the belt in the first round, losing the title in 1981 to Jung Han Hwang whilst looking to record his 8th defense.
-After Hwang's win over Kobayashi the following 20 bouts for the title all took place in South Korea! Those 20 bouts, or 21 if we include Hwang's win, covered the entire of 1982-1988
-According to boxrec Filipino Davino Inocian had a record of 9-10 before winning the title in 1983, to move to 10-10. His career tally was 13-13 after his final recorded bout.
-The first time the bout was fought for in Indonesia came in 1991, when Cris Saguid beat Robby Rahangmetang for the belt.
-Chris Saguid was also the first man to reclaim the title, and is the only man to be a 3-time champion
-The only other man to reclaim the title has been Samuel Duran.
-The first Australian to win the belt was Tony Wehbee
-Fighters who have won the title and then gone on to win world titles are Min Keun Oh, Hwan Kil Yuh, Ki Young Chung, Young Kyun Park, Takashi Koshimoto and Ryol Li Lee
-The title has never had an interim champion
-We have had 156 bouts for the belt so far, with Shimizu Vs Tonomoto set to be the 157th. These have include 6 draws.
-There have so far been 48 reigns shared by 45 champions
-Coming into Shimizu Vs Tonomoto only 1 of the last 14 bouts has gone the distance!
-Since 1952 the bout has been fougth for every year, except for 2019!
We return with the latest in our "Did You Know" series as we look at some random facts concerning the OPBF Light Middleweight title!
The belt has been around since 1960 and whilst it's certainly not the most prestigious of titles it's an interesting one all the same, so let ups bring you "Did you know... The OPBF Light Middleweight title"
-The first man to hold the title was Se Chul Kang, who won the belt in November 1960. Entering the title bout he had a reported record of 9-8-1 (4) and was 34 years old. Interestingly he managed to defend the best once before losing it the following November.
-The first 3 champions were all crowned at home! These were Kang, as mentioned, Keowan Yontrakit, who won the belt in Thailand, and Shigemasa Kawakami, who won the belt in Japan.
-The first champion to be crowned outside of their country of birth was Ansano Lee, a Korean fighter who won the vacant title in Japan in 1966. His title win was also the first time a new champion was crowned by a decision, with the previous 3 champions all claiming the title by T/KO.
-Hideo Kanazawa has the longest single reign in terms of defenses, 8, and length of reign, holding the belt for over 5 years. Kanazawa wwas also the first man to score a KO1 win in a bout for the belt. Kanazawa actually won the belt with a KO1 against Ansano Lee and then defended it against Napp Flores with a KO1.
-Whilst Kanazawa did mange a lengthy reign he did lose a number of non-title fights, including losses to future world champion Koichi Wajima and Jae Doo Yuh.
-The first draw in a bout for the title came in 1978, when Ho Joo defended the beat against Tsutomu Hagusa in their third bout bout, second for the title.
-Tadashi Mihara was the first man to won the belt then go on to win a world title.
-Mihara was actually followed by In Chul Baek, who also won a world title, though Baek won his world title at 168lbs, not 154lbs.
-On the subject of In Chul Bak he has the longest combined reign, with 13 defenses over his two combined reigns as the champion, which stretch for well over 6 years. He was stripped in the summer of 1984 then won title back, giving him the 12th and 13th reigns with the belt.
-Carlos Elliot was the first American to win the title, winning it in 1987. Elliot would go on to be a 2-time champion. Charlie Ota, or Charles Bellamy, would become the second American to win the belt when he win it in 2010.
-In 1988 Francisco Lisboa became the first Indonesian to win the title, upsetting Carlos
Elliot to win the title. Elliot would avenge this loss to reclaim the title just 5 months later.
-It took until Christmas day 1993 for a Filipino to hold the title, with Armand Picar becoming the first Pinoy to win the belt.
-Picar's title win saw him getting revenger over Young Kil Jung, who had beaten him in two previous bouts.
-Ernie Artango was the first of 3 Australian fighters to win the belt. He has since been followed by Nader Haman and Daniel Geale, who won the interim title.
-Chang Tae Kim's 1997bout with Jun Castillo saw Castillo ripping one of his shoes, and fighting with out a show.
-The title has had 4 interim champions. From those 4 men all but one has managed to win the full version of the title. The one exception was Daniel Geale, who managed to unify world titles!
-In 1960, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1972, 1974, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2015 the title was only fought for once per year.
-The title wasn't fought for at all in 1962, 1967, 1990, 1998, 2012 or 2018.
We continue looking over a bunch of titles during this series as we look at the OPBF Middleweight title, as we bring you "Did you know...the OPBF Middleweight title".
-The inaugural title fight saw Hachiro Tatsumi defeat Tony Aldeguer. Amazingly the men had a staggering different in experience, if we take Boxrec's records as being complete. It was Tatsumi's 75th bout and Aldeguer's 5th. This bout was when the title was still known as the OBF title.
-We mentioned the difference in experience between Tatsumi and Aldeguer a moment ago. If we accept boxrec's records as complete, which they admit they aren't, then Tatsumi's title bout against Sema Klasuk has an even crazier gulf in experience. It was Tatsumi's 84th bout...and Klasuk's debut! On a similar note Tatsumi, who was then 63-21-5 (19) lost the title in 1957 to the then 1-0 (1) Daothong Singhpallop...who had fought just 3 recorded rounds before beating Tatsumi.
-Hachiro Tatsumi is not only the first OPBF Middleweight champion but is also one of two 3-time champion. Sadly though his 3 combined reigns only saw him making 2 successful defenses. He also managed to unify the OPBF and Japanese titles in the 1950's!
-The only other 3-time champion, for those who are curios, is Fumio Kaizu who managed 6 defenses in total, including one over Tatsumi.
-When Somdej Yontarakit defeated Hachiro Tatsumi in 1955 he became the first 2-weight OPBF champion, holding the OPBF Welterweight and Middleweight titles.
-Jae Doo Yuh holds the record for most defenses, at 21. Interestignly Boxrec has credited him with an extra defense. It appears his second but with Nobuyoshi Ozaki, in March 1975, wasn't actually an OPBF title fight defense.
-Yuh is one of just two men with more than 10 defenses, the other is Chong Pal Pak, with 15 defenses of the title.
-Indonesian Suwarno had a reported 1-6 record when he won the title...in his fourth attempt at the belt.
-An impressive 6 OPBF Middleweight champions have won world titles! These are Ki Soo Kim, who won the lineal Light Middleweight title, Jae Doo Yuh, who won the WBA Light Middleweight title, Chong Pal Park, who won the IBF and WBA Super Middleweight titles, In Chul Baek, who also won the WBA Super Middleweight title, Shinji Takehara, who won the WBA Middleweight title, Sam Soliman, who won the IBF Middleweight title, Sakio Bika, who won the WBC Super Middleweight title.
-In March 1988 two former OPBF Middleweight champions clashed in a WBA Super Middleweight title bout! That was won by Chong Pal Park, who stopped Polly Pasireron in 5 rounds.
-Daothong Singhpallop was stripped of the title in May 1959, then won the title back in July that year to become a 2-time champion.
Last week we looked at the PABA Heavyweight title, as part of this series, and we took the piss a little bit by poking fun at how rarely it's been held by Asian fighters and how it has seemingly been fought for all over the globe. In the interest of fairness we only felt it apt to look at the OPBF Heavyweight title, and see how that compared with the PABA belt as give you "Did you know.... the OPBF Heavyweight title".
-The first ever OPBF Heavyweight champion was Tongan Maile Haumona, who won the title in November 1982. Going into that title bout Haumona had a reported record of 11-12-1 (9). Haumona would only win bout after his title win and retire 13-18-1 (11)
-Haumona won the title by stopping a Samoan fighter with an amazing name, Prince Larry Tattoo. Tattoo bizarrely never saw the final round of any bout he was in, going 3-4-1 (3), with his draw coming from a technical draw!
-The second champion, Steve Aczel, was born in Hungary whilst the third champion and fourth champions Dave Russell and Dean Waters, were both from the UK.
-None of the first 7 champions managed to score a successful defense.
-The first champion to record a successful defense was Jimmy Thunder.
Rather interestingly his defense was in Fiji, and only the second outside of Australia.
-Toakipa Tasefa beat Justin Fortune for the vacant title in Japan, in what was the bout's first contest in Asia, rather than the Pacific region. Interestingly Fortune lost the PABA title due to this loss, though the belt wasn't on the line
-Colin Wilson was the first 2-time champion
-There has only been one draw in a title bout, that was the 1995 bout between James Grima and Bob Mirovic
-At the time off writing the title has been featured in 41 bouts, of which 18 have taken place in Australia and 18 have taken place in Japan. The other countries to host title bouts are New Zealand (4) and Fiji (1).
-With 9 title bouts Koarakuan Hall holds the record for the most title bouts held.
-The most defenses of the title is 9, by Okello Peter, who held the title from March 2001 to September 2006. This gives the big Japanese based Ugandan the most defenses and the longest reign, in terms of time.
We continue our Did You Know... series by moving through the weights and looking at the OPBF Super Middleweight title. Given the the fact the title has been around for over 30 years we would expect some interesting facts, and there are some...some which genuinely shocked us.
-There have only been 42 OPBF Super Middleweight title bouts, including interim title bouts, since the title was inaugurated in 1988 with 18 reigns of the regular title, and 2 interim title reigns. Australian Rod Carr was in the first 4 bouts for the title, Yuzo Kiyota has been in 12 of those and Yoshinori Nishizawa has been in 9.
-Most of the title reigns have been by Australians. In fact 9 Australian's have held the title, for a combined 10 reigns of the belt.
-Only 1 OPBF Super Middleweight champion has won a world title, with that being Danny Green. Several have however fought for world titles
-Yoshiaki Tajima was the first Japanese fighter to challenge for a Super Middleweight world title title, losing in 7 rounds to In Chul Baek. He's the only Japanese world title challenger at the weight to have never won the OPBF Super Middleweight title, though he did win the OPBF Middleweight title. Both Yoshinori Nishizawa and Yuzo Kiyota have both won the OPBF title, multiple times, and challenged at world level. None of the three men managed to win their world title bouts though.
-The OPBF Super Middleweight title has been held by two Korean fighters. The first was Byung-In Kang, who won the title in 1993 and defended it twice before losing to Australian Darren Obah and retiring with a 12-1 (7) record. The second was Yong Suk Choi, who actually took the belt from Obah in 1996, in just his third bout and also retired with 1 loss, ending his career in 2009 with an 11-1 (5) record.
-Yoshinori Nishizawa is the only 3-time champion. Rod Carr and Yuzo Kiyota both had 2 reigns. Interestingly Carr and Kiyota ended their first reigns by vacating, and won the title they themselves had vacated before anyone else had won it. This gives Carr the first and second reigns and Kiyota the 15th and 16th reigns.
-At the time of writing, the last bout for the belt was way back in September 2018, as Jayde Mitchell made his second defense of the belt
-Although not related to the OPBF title directly Korean fighters are the only Asian fighters to win world titles at Super Middleweight, with Chong Pal Park and In Chul Baek both holding world titles. Park was the first, holding the IBF title from 1984 to 1987 and the the WBA title from 1987 to 1988, and then Baek followed holding the WBA title from 1989 to 1990.
At the time of writing the OPBF Minimumweight title hasn't been fought for since Lito Dante shocked Tsubasa Koura in March 2019, despite that we thought it was an interesting title to look at for our latest "Did You Know" feature...
-The first ever OPBF Minimumweight champion was Samuth Sithnaruepol, who was in the final ever 15 round world title bout. Samuth would defend the OPBF title 4 times before winning the IBF Minimumweight title, defending it twice. Interestingly he lost the IBF title to Nico Thomas, who later went on to win the OPBF Minimumweight title as well!
-Samuth and Thomas aren't the only 2 OPBF Minimumeight champions to win world titles. Others include Hi Yong Choi, Rodel Mayol, Akira Yaegashi, Merlito Sabillo, Kosei Tanaka, Ryuya Yamanaka and Hiroto Yamanaka. Interesting Thomas wasn't the only man to win a world title before winning the OPBF title, with Xiong Zhao Zhong doing the same, winning the WBC title before taking the OPBF belt
-As mentioned Samuth Sithnaruepol was the first champion and he made 4 defenses of the belt. That 4 defenses record is actually a record for the most defenses of the title title. Samuth is also the only Thai to have won the title.
-The title has been held by fighters from Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Philippines and China. Whilst that might not seem something worthy to mention it is actually the only OPBF title to be held to be held by fighters from those 5 particular countries. In fact it's the only one to have ever been won by a Chinese fighter!
-The first 4 champions, and 16 of the combined 22 title reigns to date, have ended with a champion vacating the title!
-Given the title has changed hands 5 times, rather than being won from a vacancy as it has been 17 times, it's interesting to note that it's only been won from a reigning champion ONCE by unanimous decision. This unique result saw Yasutaka Kuroki defeat Toshikazu Waga on November 16th 2008.
-From the 53 title bouts 3 have ended in a draw, including 1 technical draw. Amazingly the most recent of those was more than a decade ago!
-There wasn't an OPBF Minimumweight title bout in 2013, 2001, 1997, 1996 and 1994
-Incidentally the longest reign of a fighter was 3 years and 11 days, from February 11th 1995 to February 22nd 1998, by Nico Thomas. It is worth noting however that for more than 24 months of his reign he didn't actually defend the belt.
To go along with our regular Sunday feature, "10 facts you probably didn't know about..." we've decided to try a similar feature here looking at something a little bit different. The OPBF. Here bring you "10 facts you probably didn't know about... the OPBF"
1-The OPBF was originally founded in 1952 as the OBF, the Oriental Boxing Federation, which it continued to be called until November 1977. It wasn't related to the previous Oriental Boxing Federation (OBF), which had existed before World War 2. It changed it's name after Australia and New Zealand were approved to join, necessitating the addition of "Pacific" to it's name.
2-It was set up by Japan, Thailand and the Philippines, with Korea joining in 1957
3-The OPBF themselves recognise the first OBF champion as Filipino legend Gabriel "Flash" Elorde for his October 18th win over Hiroshi Horiguchi, for the OBF Bantamweight title. In total Elorde fought in 23 OPB title bouts during his legendary career, and he actually fought against the second ever OBF champion, when he challenged Larry Bataan in May 1953 for the OBF Featherweight title. Elorde is also the first OBF champion as recognised by the WBC, who are the world title body associated with the OBF/OPBF.
4-Interestingly Boxrec lists the first OBF champion as Chamroen Songkitrat, who they say won the OBF title Lightweight title on October 13th 1952 with a win over Speedy Cabanela on October 13th 1952. From what we can find Chamroen's reign wasn't officially recognised until March 1953, when he stopped Masashi Akiyama, making him the fourth OBF champion, not the first.
5-The 21 defenses of the OPBF Middleweight title by Jae-Doo Yuh, from 1971 when he beat Cassius Naito to when he retired in 1978, is the most of any champion. Strangely Boxrec list him as having 22 defenses of the belt. The confusion with boxrec here is that the March 30th1975 bout against Nobuyoshi Ozaki, the second bout between the two men, isn't regarded as an official title defense. Regardless of the confusion he's the only fighter to have had 20 or more defenses of an OBF/OPBF title.
6-The "Gentle Giant" Rev Santillan, a Filipino who fought from 1995 to 2010, is the only man to be hold an OPBF title 4 times. He managed to win, and lose, the OPBF Welterweight title 4 times between 2001 and 2008. Interestingly he would fight numerous rematches during that time frame and went 1-1-1 with Hiroshi Watanabe, losing the belt and reclaiming it from Watanabe, losing the belt and regaining it from Kazuhiko Hidaka and losing twice to Motoki Sasaki
7-The OPBF began to recognise women's boxing in 2009, and had no connection to the OPFBA. Despite only being official recognised in 2009 they did recognise Susie Ramadan's 2008 victory over Michelle Preston as the first OPBF female title bout, and when the two rematched in 2009 Ramandan did record the first ever OPBF female title defense.Despite recognising female boxing there are only 11 weight classes recognised, from Atom to Welterweight excluding Light Welterweight.
8-Roman Kovalchuk, who won the OPBF Cruiserweight title in 2000 and defended it once, is the only European fighter to have won an OPBF title. He was from Ukraine.
9-On a similar note Xiong Zhao Zhong is the only Chinese fighter to have held an OPBF title, having won the OPBF title in 2015 with a win over Crison Omayao. Strangely he never defended the title.
10-Several reigning OPBF champions have been beaten by debutants. These include Akio Shibata, who was stopped by Ryota Murata, and Sae Chul Kang, who was beaten over 10 rounds by Ki Soo Kim
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).