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 Japanese world champion Toshiaki Nishioka to... former Korean world champion Ji Won Kim.
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-Japanese fighter Toshiaki Nishioka began his professional career in 1994, after a 12 fighter amateur career. At the time he was regarded as a promising fighter and would later make a name for himself as talented sparring partner. His debut fight was on December 11th 1994 in Himeji and although he won on debut he actually lost in his second bout, which was on February 4th 1995. Another man losing on that card was Korean fighter Hee Youn Kwon, who dropped a split decision to Yuichi Kasai, and lost the OPBF Super Bantamweight title with that defeat.
2-Whilst rather forgotten now Hee Youn Kwon did have a small but notable career that saw him fighting 7 times from 1992 to 1997. Whilst his OPBF win, which saw him title in Jakarta and losing it in Japan, was the most notable aspect of his career he did also take on notable Mongolian Choi Tseveenpurev in what would be Kwon's final bout, and Choi's second professional bout.
3-Although best known for his career in the UK Choi Tseveenpurev did actually fight quite a few times in Asia, fighting his first 8 fights in Asia and covering 5 different countries. During that 8 fight streak Choi went 6-2, losing to Veeraphol Sahaprom and the little known Bulan Bugiarso, who beat Choi to defend the PABA Super Bantamweight title.
4-The PABA Super Bantamweight title, which has now no longer in service with due to issues between the PABA and the WBA, was once regarded as a secondary regional title. It was the WBA's answer to the OPBF. The man that beat Bulan Bugiarso for the title was future world champion Damrong Kongsuk from Thailand.
5-On April 2nd 2000 Damrong Kongsuk suffered the first mark on his record, fighting to am draw with Filipino veteran Jess Maca. That same show in April 2000 also featured the penultimate bout for Thai former world champion Pichit Sithbanprachan, who defeated Marlon Arlos with a 10 round decision. This was Pichit's second bout since vacating the IBF Flyweight title back in 1994.
6-Pichit Sithbanprachan is one of just 2 Asian world champions to have retired unbeaten. The other is Korean Ji Won Kim, who held the IBF Super Bantamweight title from January 1995 to June 1986, retiring after his 4th world title defense.
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).