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 world champion Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym to Kazuto Ioka.
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-Talented Thai former world champion Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym is a really interesting fighter who is perhaps best known in the west for failing a medical prior to facing Guillermo Rigondeaux. Despite that issue he had a great career that included wins against the likes of Ricardo Cordoba, Leo Gamez, Somsak Sithchatchawal, Bernard Dunne, Satoshi Hosono and Shoji Kimura. His debut came on a card that also featured Sornpichai Kratingdaenggym.
2-The talented Sornpichai Kratingdaenggym was another Thai world champion, though was a former world champion by the time he shared a card with Poonsawat. He had originally held the WBA Flyweight title, from 1999 to 2000. He lost the belt in 2000 to the controversial Eric Morel whilst seeking his second defense of the title.
3-Eric Morel is certainly a controversial figure, but we're not going to get into our views of Morel's out of the ring activities as we're here to speak about boxing. In regards to boxing one of Morel's most controversial wins was his robbery of Filipino fighter Gerry Penalosa in 2010, which was a terrible decision.
4-Sadly for Gerry Penalosa his loss to Eric Morel wasn't the only dodgy decision he suffered, in a career that was plagued with questionable judging and officiating. Despite the poor judging Penalosa actually had a brilliant career, scoring more than 50 wins in a career that ran from 1989 to 2010. One of his standout wins was his 2007 KO win over the big punching Mexican Jhonny Gonzalez for the WBO Bantamweight title.
5-Hard hitting Mexican Johnny Gonzalez has fought a number of Asian fighters, not just Penalosa. These include Toshiaki Nishioka, Hozumi Hasegawa, Ratanachai Sor Vorapin, Akihiko Katagiri, Kazuki Hashimoto, Hurricane Futa, Hirotsugu Yamamoto and Jessie Cris Rosales. Of those the most notable was his 2011 win over Hozumi Hasegawa at the World Memorial Hall in Kobe, in April 2011.
6-The World Memorial Hall hasn't been used too often as a venue for professional boxing, but it has hosted a number of big bouts and big fighters and big fighters. One of those fights was the February 2011 bout between Kazuto Ioka and Oleydong Sithsamerchai, which saw Ioka claim the WBC Minimumweight title with a 5th round win over the previously unbeaten Thai, announcing himself on the world stage!
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).