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
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).