On August 21st we were expecting to see a new WBO Flyweight champion being crowned as Junto Nakatani and Giemel Magramo were supposed to face off for the vacant title in Tokyo. Sadly that bout is now off, but regardless we felt this was a great chance to cover that title in our "Did You Know" series.
-The first champion was called Elvis! That as Elvis Alvarez, a Colombian fighter who won the belt in March 1989 with a unanimous decision against Miguel Mercedes. Sadly Alvarez, when was murdered in 1995, vacated the belt before defending it doe to a lack of interest in the title, though would later go on to claim the WBA title.
-The bout between Alvarez and Mercedes is the only bout for the belt to be held in Colombia
-There was 17 months between the first and second bouts for the belt!
-The second champion was Isidro Perez, who won the belt in August 1990 with a TKO 12 victory over Angel Rosario. This was the first stoppage in a bout for the belt, and the only stoppage in a bout for the title in 1993.
-Perez was the first champion to defend the title, doing so twice, and his two wins against Alli Galvez were the first time two fighters have battled each other more than once for the title, something that has happened a fair few times since.
-Sadly Perez is also assumed to have died, having vanished in 2012.
-The first European champion was Scotland's often forgotten Pat Clinton, who had represented Great Britain at the 1984 Olympics before winning the WBO Flyweight title in 1992 with a win over Perez in Glasgow. This was actually the first time a champion had been dethroned.
-Following Clinton's title win the belt was then defended twice in Glasgow, making it the first city to host 3 WBO Flyweight title bouts.
-Pat Clinton's reign came to an end at the hands of South African Jacob Matlala, who was less than 4'11" tall!
-Matlala set a then record 3 defenses of the belt before losing it in 1995 to Alberto Jimenez, who set a then record 5 defenses of the belt
-Jimenez's 5 defenses included 2 in the US, which were the first two times the title was defending in the States.
-Jimenez's final successful defense came in 1996 when he fought to a draw with Carlos Salazar. Their draw was the first time a bout for the belt had ended in a draw.
-Although the first bout between Jimenez and Salazar ended in a draw Salazar would claim the title in a rematch.
-Salazar would tie the 5 defense record of Jimenez. He would also become the first man to be involved in two draws for the belt, fighting to a draw with Antonio Ruiz in their first bout before taking a win in a rematch just 2 months later.
-In 1999 Spanish fighter José Antonio López Bueno, the 8th man to hold the title, became the second European to hold the belt, winning it more than 6 years after Pat Clinton.
-José Antonio López Bueno wasn't just the second European to win the belt, but he was also the second fighter to vacate the belt, doing so 10 years after Elvis Alvarez had done it.
-Although he held the title for less than a year Fernando Montiel, the 10th champion, managed to defend the belt 3 times, with each defense taking place in a different country, Germany Mexico and the US. He was also the third fighter to vacate the title.
-Adonis Rivas was the 11th champion, winning the title that Montiel vacated. His reign is the shortest of any fighter to lose the belt, as opposed to vacating, and lasted from May 4th 2002 to July 13th 2002, just over 2 months.
-Rivas' incredibly short reign was followed by the longest reign in the title's history, with Omar Andres Narvaez holding the belt from for several years from his July 2002 win. His final defense came in June 2009, he vacated in May 2010 and the next champion wasn't crowned until June 2010. During his reign he ran up 16 successful defenses, that was the same as the top 4 champions before him, combined!
-Unsurprisingly Narvaez holds a lot of interesting records to go along with his lengthy reign. He defended the title in 4 countries in total, more than anyone else. He also made 5 defenses in Europe alone, a number that would have seen him tying the total defenses record, He defended the belt in Argentina, Italy, France and Spain.
-Narvaez was also the 4th man to vacate the title.
-The 12th champion was Julio Cesar Miranda who defended the belt 3 times. He lost to Brian Viloria who also defended the belt 3 times.
-Viloria's 2011 defense against Giovani Segura was the first time the title had been defended in Asia, and was followed up 5 months later by the second title defense in Asia, when Viloria beat Omar Nino Romero.
-Viloria is the only man to successfully unify the title, doing so when he stopped Hernan Marquez to unify the WBO and WBA titles.
-Juan Francisco Estrada became the first man to win the title in Asia, when he beat Brian Viloria in Macau.
-Since Zou Shiming won the title in 2016, beating Kwanpichit OnesongChaigym the title has only been fought for in Asia. It has twice been fought for in China and 5 times in Japan, with the first of those Japanese bouts coming in December 2017.
-When Sho Kimura stopped Zou Shiming to claim the belt he became the first Japanese fighter to win a world title on Chinese soil. He also became the first Japanese fighter to defend a world title in the Chinese mainland when he stopped Froilan Saludar in 2018.
-From December 2017 to March 2019 there was 4 bouts for the bout, 3 of which were all-Japanese bouts.
-Sho Kimura's title loss, to Kosei Tanaka, was the first bout that we streamed live to a global audience through a partnership with Japanese broadcaster CBC. It was also a bout that resulted in Tanaka tying the world record for fewest fights to become a 3-weight world champion, 12 bouts, tying with Vasyl Lomachenko.
Since Omar Narvaez vacated the title the 6 champions that followed have combined for 16 defenses, the same as Narvaez had by himself.
-There has never been an interim champion!
-From the 72 bouts for the title there have been 3 draws, to of which involed Carlos Salazar. The most recent was in 2003, when Omar Narvaez draw in Italy with Andrea Sarritzu
-Fernando Montiel's opening round blow out against Juan Domingo Cordoba is the only T/KO 1 in any bout for the title
-The title has only been fought for in 16 countries:
Argentina (17 times)
United Kingdom (5)
South Africa (3)
Puerto Rico (1)
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).