One thing we don't want to do too often in this series is share an incomplete round, however every so often we feel it's just and fair, and that's the case here with a round from a truly sensational war from 1995. It was a bout that everyone should make time to see, but if they can then we suggest you plonk yourself down, grab a biscuit and enjoy the brilliant, though incomplete, round 7 from a true classic.
Saman Sorjaturong (26-2-1, 21) vs Humberto Gonzalez (43-2, 30)
To set the stage we need to realise what we had in the ring here. In one corner was unified Light Flyweight champion Humberto "Chiquita" Gonzalez, one the best little men in history. He was like a mini Tyson with power, aggression and tenacity. Although he had 45 bouts to his name he was only 29 years old coming into this fight and had looked sensation in his previous 7, avenging one of his two losses, twice!
In the other corner was little known Thai Saman Sorjaturong. The Thai had fought for a world title once before, and found himself being demolished by the legendary Ricardo Lopez in 2 rounds. Saman was dropped in round and twice in round 2 by "Finito" as his hopes of becoming a world champion were dashed. At least for the time. Some 11 wins later he was then given a shot at Gonzalez.
From the open bell the bout was sensational and it had seen tremendous action almost immediately. That action quickly turned into drama, with Gonzalez being dropped in round 2 before starting to break down the Thai, who was dropped in rounds 5 and 6.
Heading into round 7 it seemed like the pressure, power and experience of Gonzalez was going to be too much for the Thai. And then we got into the round.
Just seconds into round 7 they were trading with Saman forced to fight with his back on the ropes, he managed to turn the tables and quickly dropped Gonzalez, who got up with blood smeared all over his face. Gonzalez tried to take the fight back to Saman but the Thai was buoyed by the knockdown and by seeing the crimson mask on Gonzalez. From there the bout was his as he just unloaded, forcing Lou Filippo to step in.
If you've never seen this minute of carnage you really should treat yourself, no matter how busy your day is!
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 champions Saman Sorjaturong and Khaosai Galaxy!
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 Saman Sorjaturong will never be forgotten by hardcore fight fans thanks to his sensational bout with Humberto Gonzalez in 1995, a bout that was named the Ring Magazine Fight of the Year. That was one of only two bouts featuring a Thai to be named Fight of the Year by Ring, with the other being Somsak Sithchatchawal's war with Mahyar Monshipour. That leaves us with Saman and Somsak being the only Thai's involved in Ring's Fights of the Year.
2-Whilst Somsak Sithchatchawal is best known for his sensational war with Monshipour that wasn't his only bout of note. He also fought the likes of Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, Ratanachai Sor Vorapin and Celestino Caballero.
3-Panama's Celestino Caballero might not be an Asian fighter but he did mix with Asian fighters several times during his successful in ring career, including Daud Yordan and Satoshi Hosono. That Hosono fight actually occurred in Japan on December 31st 2011 at the Bunka Gym in Kanagawa on a card that also featured the then debuting Ryo Matsumoto.
4-Whilst Ryo Matsumoto is yet to reach the heights expected of him the Ohashi fighter is only 26 years old and still has time on his side to become a world champion in the future. Interestingly Ryo is one of 3 "Matsumoto's" at the Ohashi gym along with fellow fighter Keisuke Matsumoto and former fighter, nor a current trainer, Koji Matsumoto*.
5-During the 1990's Koji Matsumoto was a 3-time world title challenger. The talented former Japanese fighter may never have won a world title but was a talented, entertaining and skilled fighter who managed to win domestic and regional honours during his often over-looked career. In his debut Matsumoto shared a card with Shunichi Nakajima, who retained the Japanese Flyweight title in the show's main event.
6-Shunichi Nakajima was another of the Japanese fighters who managed success on the domestic scene but failed when it came to world level. He not only lost twice to future world champion Katsuya Onizuka but he also lost in his sole world title fight, being stopped in 8 rounds by Khaosai Galaxy in June 1990, in what was Galaxy's 14th defense of the WBA Super Flyweight title.
*Just to add Koji is Keisuke's father, neither is actually related to Ryo.
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).