Usually when we look at upsets in this series we focus on upsets where the Asian fighter walked away with the win. Today however we are going to look at a bout where the Asian fighter was on the wrong end of a notable, and often forgotten, upset. The bout is a brutal and one sided one, that saw history being set, and deserves to be more than just a footnote in boxing annals, though is sadly very much a forgotten bout.
Hideki Todaka (17-2-1, 8) Vs Leo Gamez (32-7-1, 24) I
In one corner was WBA Super Flyweight champion Hideki Todaka. Aged 27 he was supposed in his prime and was in great form. Despite having 2 losses against his name he had avoided defeat in his last 14 bouts, going unbeaten for more than 5 years, after a 4-2 start to his pro career. During his unbeaten run he had claimed the Japanese Light Flyweight title, in 1996, and gone on to fill out his frame and take the WBA Super Flyweight title in 1999.
Although not amazingly well remembered now a days Todaka was regarded as one of the faces of Japanese boxing at this time and a notable star in Nagoya, where he was based. After winning the WBA Super Flyweight title, beating Jesus Rojas in their second bout, following a technical draw, he had made successful defenses against Akihiko Nago and Yokthai Sithoar whilst proving his ability and building his profile.
At the start of the year 2000 Todaka was ranked #3 by Ring Magazine and just months into the year he solidified his ranking with a win over Yokthai, who had began the year ranked #6. He was legitimately regarded as one of the very best in the division behind only In Joo Cho and Mark Johnson. In October 2000 he returned to the ring for his third defense.
In the opposite corner to Todaka was 37 year old Venezuelan veteran Leo Gamez. Although Gamez was a solid name at this point he was seen as being well past his best and it seemed like he had been brought over to Japan to be an easy defense for Todaka. "Torito", as he was known, hadn't fought in over a year, with his previous bout being a KO loss to Sornpichai Kratingdaenggym 13 months earlier. Not only had he been inactive but he had lost 3 of his previous 6 and had gone 5-4 since 1995.
Despite being regarded as a faded force Gamez had been a major player in his prime. He had been very closely associated with the WBA and had won the WBA Minimumweight title in 1988, before adding the WBA Light Flyweight and Flyweight titles to his collection. Despite his haul of world titles Gamez had been quite smart in how he had gone about his title bouts. He had been the first WBA Minimumweight champion, he had won the vacant WBA Light Flyweight title and had won the WBA Flyweight title from the rather limited Hugo Rafael Soto, who was making his first defense. Notably none of his reigns had lasted long, and he had never really been the best in any division.
Given his age, inactivity and form few gave Gamez any chance against Todaka in Nagoya.
In the early moments Todaka looked bigger, younger, stronger and more powerful than Gamez. The challenger was forced backwards pretty much every time Todaka landed and it looked like the pre-fight perceptions were right, Gamez was over-matched. Despite that Gamez was finding some very clean, accurate shots, boxing well off his jab and using the ring well whilst making Todaka land on the arms and fall short.
Sadly for Todaka his successes in round 1 were quickly forgotten, with round 2 being a nightmare for him as he struggled to defend against anything Gamez threw his way. Time and time again Gamez would land clean shots and make Todaka miss. It was a testament to Todaka's spirit that he shrugged off some of the shots that Games was starting to landing, such as the big right hands Gamez began landing at will mid way through the round. Todaka was trying to come forward but was eating a lot of leather.
The punishment from Gamez intensified in round 3, as he continued hammering Todaka with huge shots, likely realising that Todaka was having some sort of problems, which we'll get on to a little later. The punishment added up by the end of round 4 Todaka was bleeding from the mouth, a tell tale sign of a broken jaw. Given the shots he was taking it was little wonder, and Games could certainly smell blood.
Todaka came out for round 5 busy, active, throwing a lot of jabs and trying to turn the bout around. He was hungry and brave, and putting in a great effort, despite being clearly a damaged fighter. This was his best round since the opening stanza, and he gave everything, likely knowing his title was slipping away. Gamez took it, defended himself well when he needed to and continued to target Todaka's head with hooks and uppercuts on the inside and big right hands at range. Towards the end of the round it seemed clear that Gamez had seen out the worst of the storm from Todaka.
Gamez resumed control in round 6, landing big shots with both hands. Todaka continued to grit his teeth and fight hard, but repeatedly missed, and walked into huge shots. Round after round he was taking massive uppercuts, being countered and having his already damaged jaw tagged clear, over and over. Every time Todaka built some momentum Gamez took the play away with head shots and punished Todaka, with interest.
In round 7 Gamez put his foot on the gas and hurt Todaka who stumbled. Todaka responded by yelling at Gamez, who followed up by hammering Todaka with sustained head shots until Todaka hit the canvas.
Todaka was done and he knew it, staying down a broken, beaten man.
With the win Gamez became the first fighter to win world titles at 105, 108, 112 and 115lbs. That's a feat that even now, more than 20 years on, has only been done by 3 other fighters.
It was a massive shock, not just that Gamez had won but how bad Todaka had looked. The rising star of Japan had looked like a brave but out classed fighter by someone most assumed was on the slide, big time. It was later revealed that Todaka had gone into the bout suffering from Ophthalmoplegia, an issue that caused him to see 2, or even 3, Gamez's. It was why he struggled to defend against Gamez's shots and why he struggled to land his own.
Sadly for Gamez his reign was a short one, losing in his first defense to Celes Kobayashi. He would then lose 4 of his 6 subsequent bouts, including a rematch with Todaka in 2003 for the WBA "interim" Bantamweight title. He would retire after a 2005 loss to Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, whilst the wrong side of 40.
After this loss Todaka took close to 17 months away from the ring. That gave him time to heal his jaw and rest his body, which was in desperate need of a break. He picked up 3 low level wins in 2002 before beating Gamez in a rematch, then losing to Julio Zarate in 2004 and retired at the age of 30.
In 2011 we got a number of upsets and if we're being honest the Super Flyweight division played host to a lot of them. Today we going to look at one of the most forgotten and over-looked upsets from the division that year. It was a bout that saw a man not even ranked by Ring Magazine beating the man they had at #1. It was an under-dog who few had given much of a chance to, and was reportedly a 4/1 betting under-dog. It was supposed to be the next defense by a man who already 4 under his belt. But instead we got a notable shock!
Tomonobu Shimizu (18-3-1, 9) Vs Hugo Fidel Cazares (35-6-2, 25)
Now a days we don't see much mention of Tomonobu Shimizu, even on Japanese sites, but when he turned professional there was big expectations on his shoulders after a solid amateur career. Sadly however an opening round stoppage in just his second professional bout, a huge upset in it's self to Kaennakorn Klongpajol, slowed his climb through the rankings. Despite that speed bump he managed to get a world title fight just over 3 years after debuting, and was stopped by Pongsaklek Wonjongkam.
A year after his loss to Wonjongkam we saw Shimizu claim his first title, the Japanese Flyweight title, with a narrow win over Kenji Yoshida. Just 3 months later he was again stopped in a world title bout, this time by Daisuke Naito in the 10th round whilst leading on the cards. He would then go on to defend the Japanese Flyweight title 4 times, defending against the likes of Toshiyuki Igarashi and Shigetaka Ikehara, before vacating in 2011 as he began the search for a third title bout. That saw him moving up in weight to take on Hugo Fidel Cazares.
At this point in time Hugo Fidel Cazares was the WBA champion and was widely recognised as either the #1 or #2 in the division. He had held the WBA title since claiming it in May 2010 with a win in Japan against Nobuo Nashiro, in their second bout, and had defended it 4 times. They included some defenses against poor competition, such as Everardo Morales, but also a win in Japan against Hiroyuki Kudaka, who then fought as Hiroyuki Hisataka.
Prior to winning the WBA Super Flyweight title Cazares had been a notable player at Light Flyweight, some how shrinking his huge frame down to 108lbs. It was at the lower weight that he ha won the WBO title and made 5 defenses before losing to Ivan Calderon. A rematch to Calderon saw Cazares lose again before leaving the division and making his move to Super Flyweight, where he had quickly made a name for himself with a win over Roberto Vasquez, and his two bouts with Nashiro.
Although he had 6 losses to his name Cazares had only lost twice in 11 years, both close decisions to the brilliant Ivan Calderon. He had been a world traveller and was dubbed "El Increible". He was the clear betting favourite against the 4/1 Shimizu who was ranked #7 by the WBA and given little chance to over-come the Mexican, especially given his issues with durability at Flyweight, never mind Super Flyweight.
Despite being the under-dog Shimizu employed a smart game plan against Cazares. The Mexican champion was a notoriously slow started and Shimizu used that to his advantage, racking up the early rounds, taking the fight Cazares early on and using his speed brilliantly well. The Mexican looked the bigger, stronger, more powerful fighter but the Japanese fighter was putting down the early marker by using his speed and skills.
After two good rounds for Shimizu we began to see Cazares get going and by the end of round 3 he was working his way in to the contest, putting his foot on the gas and coming forward. The new pressure form Cazares made the round much more compelling than the two before it and began a charge from champion who came on strong over the middle rounds.
By round 7 it was as if Shimzu's good start had been turned back, and that Cazares was now in the ascendency. His work rate, power, and physical strength was showing and he was the one bossing the fight, pressing and pressuring Shimizu who was being forced to dig deep. To his credit however Shimizu was fighting back, gritting his teeth and not rolling over for the champion, despite Cazares's success.
The big surge from Cazares had seen him sneak in the lead on the judges cards, whilst giving us a genuinely fantastic bout, but it hadn't seen him dent the desire of Shimizu who refused to go away. In fact it made Shimizu dig deep and turn the tables in rounds 8 and 9, as his body shots began to slow down Cazares, and he even seemed to hurt the Mexican at one point, with Cazares being on the retreat mid-way through round 8 after a brutal flurry to his mid-section. Cazares was again looking hurt in round 9, this time to the head as we got another fantastic round.
The big effort from Shimizu in rounds 8 and 9 weren't able to be sustained and Cazares came back well in round 10 as both men realised this was close. Despite this being close both men were beginning to slow a little, with both feeling the pace. Round 11, whilst still exciting, was a much slower round than many that had come before it, with both men just taking a bit more time to get things off. This suited Shimizu who managed to create space and work at range, taking the final two rounds. Cazares was still hungry but his speed and energy had dropped off and he was regularly eating counters when he rushed in, and was picked off at range as Shimizu fought a smart final round.
After 12 rounds it was clear we had had a close bout and that was reflected on the score-cards with scores of 115-113, twice, and 114-115. Thankfully for the local man the two 115-113 cards both went his was, whilst the third card narrowly favoured Cazares.
The cards, as close as they were, had seen the clear under-dog pick up a career defining victory.
Sadly for Shimizu his reign was a short one, losing in his first defense 8 months later to Tepparith Singwancha. His reign was notable however as he would become Champion in Recess for much of his reign due to an injury he suffered in this bout, and the bout with Tepparith was a unification of the "Recess" and "Regular" titles.
As for Cazares he fought on until 2016, and remained a notable figure in the sport. Sadly he finished his career at Featherweight, where his size and and physicality really didn't work.
We're back with another Shocker this week and it's an interesting one that often goes overlooked by fans just a decade on, yet at the time it was a huge surprise and gave one the top Flyweights of the modern era a second chance to shine at the top of the division. It was, at the time, one of the most surprising results, and is still a huge shock when we look back at the results from 2010.
March 27th 2010
Ariake Colosseum, Tokyo, Japan
Koki Kameda (22-0, 14) Vs Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (74-3-1, 38)
Going back just over a decade now the Kameda brothers were the big story in Japanese boxing. Daiki Kameda and Koki Kameda were two of the biggest names in Japanese boxing and their younger brother, Tomoki, was starting to generate some buzz as a fighter in Mexico. The trio were regarded as the future of Japanese boxing and Koki was really looking like a star. He was a man who had strong support in Japan and also had enough haters in the country to have fans wanting to see him get beat. He was un-Japanese in many ways. He wasn't humble and respectful, but instead a loud mouth and someone who seemingly got his attitude from professional wrestling, rather than the roots of Japanese boxing culture. At this point he was 23 years old and had seemingly found his weight, having put in a solid, if dramaless, performance to beat Daisuke Naito for the WBC Flyweight title. A title he was expected to hold until he eventually out grew the weight.
Kameda's first challenge as the champion was a mandatory defense against Thai veteran Pongsaklek Wonjongkam. The Thai veteran was a legendary fighter by this point, but was assumed to be past his best. In fact at 33 and with almost 80 bouts to his name it was though he was losing to father time. He had lost the WBC title in July 2007 to Daisuke Naito and had failed to recapture the title in a rematch, their 4th bout, when the bout ended in a split decision draw. That loss to Naito had come almost 3 years before this bout and in the interim his only win of Note was an "interim"title fight against Julio Cesar Miranda. At his best Wonjongkam was something special. He was an under-rated puncher, as Malcolm Tunacao and Daisuke Naito would attest to, but also a talented boxer, who knew how to use the ring, he was smart and well schooled. At 33 years old however he was ancient for a Flyweight, and was the clear under-dog against the rising star of Japan.
Not only was Wonjongkam seen as old but was also up against things, travelling to Japan for the bout. Whilst judging in Japan for bouts like is done, typically, by neutral judges, it was still assumed that the atmosphere and occasion would still sway the judges to favour the unbeaten Japanese champion. Afterall, it had happened in the past, when Kameda beat Juan Jose Landaeta for the WBA Light Flyweight title in 2006.
From the off Wonjongkam pressed forward, taking center ring and being the aggressor whilst Kameda got on the back foot, circled on the outside of the ring and didn't really let his hands go much. When Kameda did open up he looked much quicker, but for much of the round seemed happy to be very conservative and negative, rather than making his youth count. There was very few in and out raids and he looked to be more focused on making Wonjongkam miss, rather than landing anything himself. The same pattern also seemed to be seen in round 2, though Kameda was certainly caught cleaner in the second than he had in the opening round and seemed to be holding on after a good single shot.
Kameda seemed to be off to a bad start and he really struggled to get things going. He was much quicker, but much more timid than Wonjongkam, who was doing enough to wins rounds, without doing a lot. His 33 year old legs weren't being forced to work hard, he wasn't needing to mov through the gears nor was he ever being backed up by Kameda who used a tactic that would become rather a regular thing with him. Ultra negativity. In round 5 however Kameda did get a break, as the WBC's accidental foul rule saw Wonjongkam being deducted a point after a head clash. It was however scant consolation for Kameda who still seemed like he hadn't woken up or realised he was being out boxed by a 33 year old who seemed to be fighting a reserved fight himself.
Thankfully after being cut, by the headclash in round 5, Kameda seemed to finally come awake. It was as if he was pissed off by feeling blood trickling down his face. Unfortunately Kameda really didn't keep his foot on the gas for long, and by the end of the round it was hard to give it to the local star. Kameda did however show more ambition in the middle portion of the fight, and made a legitimate attempt to swing things in his favour in rounds 7, 8 and 9. His best rounds.
Amazingly after 8 rounds one of the judges some how had Kameda leading, 76-75. The other two judges had it 77-75 and 77-74 to Wonjongkam.
After having a few solid rounds it seemed like Kameda was turning the bout around and, at last, making Wonjongkam work at an uncomfortable tempo. He was starting to push around the old man, who had gotten off to an early lead but was going to have to see out the second half of the bout. Amazingly however Kameda let the momentum slip away from him. Rather than keeping up the work rate he had shown after the midway point, and fighting in short but eye catching bursts, he went back to being negative and let the play slip away. It was similar to what we would become accustomed to over the years that followed from Kameda, who showed touches of genius, but lacked a champions mentality.
Instead of Kameda keeping the charge going and trying to pull the bout his way, he got negative again, waiting to counter punch Wonjongkam, who because of his own low output gave Kameda very few opportunities. Kameda managed to have moments, but there was nothing sustained and a good shot from Kameda was never followed up, with Wonjongkam managed to occasionally string his shots together. Even when it was very clear Kameda needed to do a lot more, he didn't. He made no effort to turn the bout around in the championship rounds. He was happy cruising, in the hope that the judges would some how find a way to score the rounds his way. It wasn't to be.
After 12 rounds we went to the scorecards. 114-114, 115-112 and 116-112. A majority decision...that went to Wonjongkam. It was the right call, even if Predrag Aleksic's even scorecard was one that left much to the imagination. The bout was never one that could have been scored even.
After this bout Wonjongkam went on a solid but short second reign, beating Suriyan Sor Rungvisai, Takuya Kogawa, and Edgar Sosa before losing to Sonny Boy Jaro in 2012 before retiring in 2013. Kameda on the other hand would win WBA secondary honours at Bantamweight, becoming a "3 weight world champion" in the process, and later clash with Kohei Kono in a bout for the WBA Super Flyweight title, before retiring in 2015.
Remarkably in 2018 these two men got back in ring together for an exhibition which saw Kameda beat up the then 40 year old Wonjongkam in a bout the JBC refused to sanction as a professional bout. By then however it was clear Kameda just wanted a swansong to retire for good on, whilst Wonjongkam was likely happy for an extra payday as part of an exhibition event, even if he did get knocked out.
For this edition of "What a Shock!" we're looking at a relatively recent bout between two men who both had genuinely notable careers, and are both active at the time of writing. This upset wasn't a massive one, but was certainly a surprise, especially with the bookies who saw one man as the very clear favourite, and the eventual winner as the clear under-dog.
May 7th 2014
Bodymaker Colosseum, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
Kazuto Ioka (14-0, 9) Vs Amnat Ruenroeng (12-0, 5)
At the time of this bout Japanese fighter Kazuto Ioka was a real star of the lower weights. He had won his first world title in just his 7th professional bout, before unifying the WBC and WBA Minimumweight titles and then winning the WBA Light Flyweight title. In just 14 bouts he had already beaten Oleydong Sithsamerchai, Juan Hernandez, Akira Yaegashi and Felix Alvarado. Aged 25 he was seen as being in his pomp, and was out growing the Light Flyweight division.
With his body maturing and growing Ioka then looked to become a 3-weight world champion, doing what his uncle Hiroki tried to do during his career, and moved up to the Flyweight division. In his first bout at Flyweight he challenged the tricky and slippery IBF champion Amnat Ruenroeng, who had actually beaten Ioka in the amateurs.
At this point in time Amnat wasn't particularly well known as a professional fighter. He had won the world title a few months earlier, beating Rocky Fuentes for the vacant title, but that was his only win of any note. Not only was he untested at the highest level but he was also 34 years old, an age that is ancient for a Flyweight, and this was set to be his first bout outside of Thailand. In fact he was travelling not just out of Thailand for the first time but was heading to Ioka's backyard, with this being Ioka's 13th bout at the Bodymaker Colosseum, which was previously known as the Prefectural Gymnasium in Osaka.
Given his age, his lack of top tier experience and travelling for the bout the odds were stacked against against Amnat. The bookies knew that things were stacked against Amnat, and the British ones made him a 3/1 under-dog for the bout whilst Ioka was a 2/9 favourite. Even with the move up in weight Ioka was expected to be too good for Amnat, who was taking a massive step up in class.
To begin the bout both men looked to find the range with their jab, and it quickly became apparent that Amnat was the crisper fighter, with the longer arms and the quicker handspeed. He seemed to manage to control the distance well for large portions of the opening round. When he was backed up, later in the round he looked very composed under Ioka's pressure and also looked the more physically imposing man, pushing Ioka around when he needed to. Despite looking the more skilled and quicker man, Ioka was the one coming forward and being the aggressor.
Ioka continued to press forward in round 2, but he was regularly tasting jabs on his way in, pressing with limited success, and having no real answers when Amnat let his hands go in short but crisp combinations. As the rounds went on the handspeed, reach and combinations of Amnat continued to score at ease against Ioka. Ioka was struggling to get close, was struggling to get his shots off and struggling to make his pressure count for much. He had moments but struggled round after round to have any sustained success.
In the middle rounds Ioka tried to turn the bout around, and had more success than he had earlier on, but still struggled to build moment. When he won rounds he seemed to win competitive ones, and rarely stamped his foot on the fight, with Amnat always responding. Even when he pinned Amnat on the ropes, as he did for many of the middle rounds, Ioka was still being caught by clean counter shots and having his aggression used against him. He looked the aggressor, and the man putting so much effort into everything he did, but the relaxed, calm counter punching of Amnat really caught the eye of the judges, with his uppercuts being fantastic.
In round 10 Amnat was deducted a point, as he hit on the break. This was one of the first times we had seen some of the sneaky, dirty tricks that Amnat had in arsenal which he would later become well known for. Despite the deduction he looked the more relaxed fighter whilst Ioka looked like he was the one chasing the bout, as if he knew he had to do more. He may have been at home but that didn't assure him of victory, like it might in some countries, with 3 neutral judges scoring this bout.
The desire to turn the tables from Ioka was clear in round 11, when he raced at Amnat to begin the round, again forcing the Thai backwards, but again taking clean, accurate counter shots as he came forward. It was clear that the strength, power and physicality that Ioka had at the lower weights wasn't helping him here. Instead Amnat was able to tie him up when he wanted, which he did repeatedly in round 11, further frustrating the Osaka local.
Ioka seemed to know he needed a knockout at the end of round 11, and came out for the final round with aggression in mind, landing a nice body shot early and pressing hard through the round. He knew he needed to get inside, and get to work up close, neutralising the reach of Amnat. Sadly for Ioka Amnat also seemed to know that, and tied him up when he got close, stifling Ioka's aggression.
After 12 rounds it seemed like a close bout, but one where Amnat had fiddled his way to victory, even with the point deduction. It wasn't pretty, but the clean punching of Amnat early on, and the counters in the middle of the bout had put him in the lead early on. A lead that he protected with some ugly tactics late on. It was a performance that he seemed confident was enough to earn him a victory, whilst Ioka looked less confident in his corner. In fact Ioka looked like he knew he hadn't quite done enough.
Then we got the scorecards. The first went to Ioka 114-13, and got a roar from the crowd. The second went to Amnat, 115-1112. Then we had the third score, 119-109, a completely bizarre score either way. There was then had a pause, before the announcer confirmed that the title was staying with Amnat.
Amnat would later go on to record 4 more defenses of the title before losing it to John Riel Casimero in 2016. In the years that followed he would compete at the Olympics and in Kickboxing whilst also becoming a high class gatekeeper in Thailand, where he is still an active fighter.
As for Ioka he would later go on to win the WBA Flyweight title and the WBO Super Flyweight title, becoming the first Japanese man to become a 4-weight world champion, and despite this loss has remained one of the most significant figures in Japanese boxing.
Note - Fight begins about 11 minutes into the video below.
When we talk about great upsets and shocking results one thing we need to avoid is to remember what was thought at time, rather than our view looking back on the bout years later. Today's "What a Shock" is one such bout that, on review, doesn't look like an upset, but at the time it was. In fact people were scared about the under-dog going into the bout, thinking he was going to be too small and could, potentially, get badly hurt. In the end however the bigger man was a spent man, and looked beyond shot. In fact the older, bigger, naturally stronger man was the one risking his health.
December 6th 2008
MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Manny Pacquiao (47-3-2, 35) Vs Oscar De La Hoya (39-5, 30)
For today's bout we are looking at the 2008 clash between Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao and American star Oscar De La Hoya, the Pacman Vs The Golden Boy.
The bout, dubbed the "Dream Match" was, on paper, interesting with so many sub stories and different threads going into it. It was 2 of the biggest in the sport at the time, though it was also two men who were fighting 3 weight classes apart before the bout, and were both legends in the sport.
In the years before the bout Pacquiao had moved through the weights, from winning his first world title at Flyweight to winning a belt at Lightweight just 6 months before this bout. De La Hoya on the other hand had won his first world title at Super Featherweight before going on to win a title at Middleweight. Just over a year and a half before this bout De La Hoya had given Floyd Mayweather a competitive bout at Light Middleweight. With that in mind they had to find a weight class to agree on, and that turned out to be 147lbs, a weight class that, on paper, suited the bigger De La Hoya.
Whilst weight was one issue the two men differed on so to was age. At the time of this bout De La Hoya was 36. He was seen as being past his best, by some way, but few expected him to be completely shot to pieces. He was seen as a faded star, but still expected to have a decent performance in his body. Pacquiao on the other hand was pretty much in his prime, he was 29 years old and had looked near untouchable in his 2008 win over David Diaz.
Despite the fact De La Hoya was the much older man, and was coming down in weight, he was still widely favoured to be too big, too strong and too powerful for Pacquiao.
In the days before the fight De La Hoya was the clear favourite, priced at -180 (around a 1/2 favourite for those using UK odds), whilst Pacquiao was +150 (3/2). The odds don't suggest a massive mismatch, but Pacquiao was the clear under-dog. The bout led some, including an article on Bleacherreport, to suggest it was going to be Pacquiao who would need saving. In fact one article on Bleacherreport states:
"...let De La Hoya knock Pacquiao out like a good old fashion fight. Don't stop the fight because De La Hoya is putting on a “clinic.” Just let him do his thing. Does Pacquiao have a chance? If he does, it is but small."
Many of our good friends over at Boxingscene also predicted a stoppage win for De La Hoya (with their prediction article here). Some were genuinely scared that this would be the end for Pacquiao.
Despite many thinking Pacquiao was in tough he and his trainer, Freddie Roach, were confident that Oscar was beyond his best and Roach, a former De La Hoya trainer, repeatedly stated that the "Golden Boy" couldn't pull the trigger any more. What we ended up seeing was Roach being spot on.
From the opening bell Pacquiao looked so much smaller than De La Hoya, and De La Hoya did throw the first punch of note. Pacquiao used his feet well, maintained plenty of distance and tried to figure out the reach and size of De La Hoya. Within a minute of the fight starting we saw the speed of Pacquiao being a factor as he landed an eye catching short left hand. As the round went on De La Hoya really did look like he couldn't pull the trigger, he was pushing his shots, he looked flat footed, whilst Pacquiao looked razor sharp. By the end of the round De La Hoya was looking marked up and despite trying to press Pacquiao backwards it wasn't a good round for the American who struggled with the speed and movement of Pacquiao, who repeatedly made De La Hoya miss.
Whilst the first round wasn't a complete domination it was a clear Pacquiao round. The second round however saw Pacquiao begin to dominate. He started the round quickly and was landing at will, with the Pacquiao left hand getting through time and time again. Sadly for De La Hoya he was struggling to land anything, and when he did land something he was tagged back almost immediately and his shots had nothing on them.
As the rounds went on the beating Pacquiao began to hand out was increasing. Rounds 3 and 4 saw De La Hoya take a number of big shots whilst beginning to wilt, and despite Pacquiao being backed onto the ropes a few times he still looked in total control.
By round 6 De La Hoya was looking like he was getting beaten up, and Pacquiao began to hold his feet more, pressing more, and forcing De La Hoya backwards. It was as if De La Hoya knew he was unable to hold his own. He had nothing to offer and was starting to need a KO to win, despite only being half way through the fight. A KO that didn't just look unlikely, but essentially impossible as he wasn't able to land anything hurtful.
Things went from bad to worse for De La Hoya in round 7 as Pacquiao clearly hurt him, and sent him to the ropes, where he unloaded. Were it not for De La Hoya's solid chin and reputation there's a good chance the bout would have been stopped as Pacquiao took shot after shot in the final 90 seconds of the round. His left eye was swelling, his heart breaking, and his desire being smashed to pieces. Despite that he was sent out for round 8 and, when perhaps his team should have said enough was enough.
Whilst the 7th round was a painful one for De La Hoya the punishment he took in round 8 was just as bad as Pacquiao continued to give him a beating, pinning him against the ropes and in the corner. De La Hoya had absolutely no answer, he was just taking a beating and giving almost nothing in return. He was very much looking like a done fighter and even when he threw shots they look incredibly laboured and tired.
After seeing their man take a beating for 8 rounds De La Hoya was finally saved from himself. Referee Tony Weeks made it clear he was going to stop it if the bout continued , but he never got the chance as De La Hoya's pulled him from the bout.
Following this bout, which was described as a "huge upset" by commentator Colonel Bob Sheridan on the international feed of the fight, De La Hoya would retire. The loss essentially sent him out of the ring, and saw him focus on promoting. As for Pacquiao he would further enhance his legacy, winning titles at Light Welterweight, Welterweight and Light Middleweight and putting on some of his best performance after this bout, including wins over Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton Keith Thurman, Timothy Bradley and Antonio Margarito. He proved, after this bout, that he was a world class Welterweight and would continue to do so over the following.
Sadly 2020 was not a year to remember. It saw a pandemic being the major story of the year, fires in the US and Australia and swathes of Locusts. Sadly for those looking to sport to escape the world we were living in there was a massive hiatus in pretty much every sport, including boxing. One of the final Asian shows before that hiatus had an often forgotten upset taking place in Thailand, as TL Promotions saw one of their biggest hopefuls getting destroyed by an unheralded Filipino puncher. For today's What a Shock we are going to look at that upset, and try to draw attention to an upset that few noticed at the time, but is well worthy of a watch back.
Sarawut Thawornkham (21-2, 16) vs Jeny Boy Boca (13-6, 11)
Thailand's Sarawut Thawornkham, who has fought as both Dennapa Kiatniwat and Dennapa Trabaihor among other names, was once regarded as a very promising Thai hopeful. He lost on his debut, in 2014 to Masato Morisaki in Japan, but bounced back from that loss with 20 straight wins. Those wins lead him to getting a WBA world title fight in 2019, against Artem Dalakian. Although he came up short against the tricky Ukrainian, he did manage to last in to round 10 with Dalakian.
Following that loss to Dalakian we had seen the Thai fight once, claiming a minor regional title at Super Flyweight before dropping to Flyweight in early 2020. The hope was for him to re-establish himself as a Flyweight contender and work with TL Boxing Promotions to help him get back to world level.
In the opposite corner to the former world title challenger was Filipino fighter Jeny Boy Buca, a 25 year old who was sporting a 13-6 (11) record. Whilst that's not an awful record he had gone 1-3 in his previous 4 bouts, and had been beaten by some fairly average domestic level fighters, including Adrian Lerasan and Lony Cadayday. Not only had Boca struggled in his previous 4 bouts but he was 5-5 in his last 10 and had been stopped 3 times heading into this bout.
Whilst Boca's form was poor he had also lost in his only previous bout outside of the Philippines and had only beaten 4 opponents with more wins than losses, and all 4 of those had 6 or fewer wins. He had nothing at all on his record to suggest he stood a chance with the Thai. He was there to pad up the local man's record.
It was clear what this bout was about. Get the local man a win, help him rebuild some momentum and begin his pursuit of a second world title bout. Sadly for TL Promotions no one told Boca that he was supposed to lose.
Instead of turning up to play his role as the loser Boca started well, taking the fight to the local man, coming forward and trying to get Dennapa's respect almost immediately. The Thai looked like he was taking pressure well for the first minute but then Boca began to put his foot on the gas and was landing pretty frequently to the head and body of the local man. By the end of the round Dennapa began to try and fight fire with fire, giving us a thrilling end to the round.
With Dennapa seemingly building his confidence at the end of round 1 Boca didn't take look to put the Thai back in his place in round 2 as he again took the fight to the local and landed heavy leather. A gallant fight back from Dennapa gave us some exciting action but the Thai was still eating some wild left hands.
The power of Boca finally played it's role in round 3, when he dropped Dennapa in the early seconds, with a huge, sweeping right hand. This was as close to a round house punch as we could see, and it landed clean, putting the Thai down. Following the knockdown Boca went all out, looking for the finish. To his credit Dennapa tried to battle back of the ropes but couldn't avoid the shots of Boca, who put a huge effort in. Some how Dennapa survived the storm, as Boca seemed to punch himself out. By the end of round 3 it seemed like the bout might be turning against the Filipino who was looking like was running out of gas.
Unfortunately for local fans Boca still had something in the tank, and in round 4 he began to pick shots more carefully whilst Dennapa put his foot on the gas. The big effort from Dennapa made it seem like he had a chance to turn things around but then Boca turned the table and dropped Dennapa for a second time. Dennapa got back to his feet but he was about spent himself and Boca began unloading huge head shots forcing the referee to jump in.
Whilst not a massive shock that will go down in the history books as something big, this was certainly a big surprise and a major set back for Dennapa, who's hopes of getting a second world title fight in the near future were dashed, big time. Sadly however Boca struggled to build on the result, with boxing being shut down for months afterwards, preventing him from building any momentum on the back of this career best win.
This week's "What a Shock" is one from an historical bout that was a genuinely thrilling bout, but saw the bookies get it very, very wrong... along with a referee who wanted to play his part in an historic occasion.
Kohei Kono (30-8-1, 13) Vs Koki Kameda (33-1, 18)
In 2015 we saw the first ever All-Japanese world title fight to take place in the US, as WBA Super Flyweight champion Kohei Kono travelled over to Chicago to take on mandatory challenger Koki Kameda. The bout was a politically confusing mess, due to the fact Kameda was banned in Japan due to a licensing situation with the Japan Boxing Commission, but was able to box away from home. As a result Kono went on the road, for his first bout away from home.
Coming in to this Kameda was the clear betting favourite, priced at 1/9 to win and become the new champion. He was already a former world champion at Light Flyweight, Flyweight and Bantamweight, albeit only the WBA "regular" champion at Bantamweight. He had been a huge name in Japan, and along with his brothers Daiki and Tomoki the Kameda's had been stars at home. Controversial stars, admittedly, but still big names.
Although he was the favourite Kameda really hadn't looked good in recent bouts. At Bantamweight his struggled against pretty much anyone. His power wasn't enough to keep fighters honest and his work rate lacked. It was however assumed that Super Flyweight was going to be a weight well suited to him, and against Kono it seemed that Kameda had a lot of advantages. Kameda was 28, he was naturally quicker than Kono, he was a southpaw and he was fighting outside of Japan for the 5th time.
Kono on the other hand was a 34 year old dubbed the "Tough Boy", technically Kono was never an outstanding boxer. He was however an excellent fighter, who rugged, had a great work rate and always came to fight. Against movers he struggled, and he could be out boxed, but few were going to win in a rough house fight against him. On paper his style was made for Kameda, who was a good mover with fast hands and a tight guard. Although Kono had 8 losses to his name they had, typically, been at world level and 7 of his 8 losses had come before he had won a world title.
Although he was a gutsy, brave, aggressive fighter, Kono's limitations had long been known about. If you moved, used your feet, and had good speed you should be able to beat him. If you tried to have a tear up with him it was going to be a toss up.
Amazingly Kameda selected to have a war with Kono. From the opening stages the bout was being fought at close quarters and this was a very different type of fight to many of Kameda's bouts at 118lbs, where he sat back. This worked well in the opening round with Kameda's aggression and speed being far too much for Kono through the first 3 minutes. In round 2 however it began to turn around with Kono having the success in a rather dramatic and action packed round. The round saw Kameda land a number of low blows, with Kono going down from a series of them, and being given time to recover. Only seconds after the bout resumed Kono dropped Kameda with a straight right hand down the pipe.
From there on the bout became an all action war, with Kono's pressure forcing the action and dragging Kameda into a brawl. Kameda was deducted 2 points in round 3 for repeated low blows whilst the action continued to heat up due to Kono's pressure.
Referee Celestino Ruiz was really involving himself in the action, but that didn't really change the tempo of the fight, which was dictated by Kono. Not only was he dictating the action but by the start of round 4 Kono was already in a comfortably lead, thanks to the knockdown and the two deductions from Kameda. The momentum of Kono continued to press and pressure and force the fight with Kameda left to try and respond, despite being in a hole.
Round 5 was a really good back and forth round as the two fighters traded shots on the inside. It was a much better round for Kameda than the previous 3, and began a good rally from the Osaka, who also seemed to do enough to take round 6. He had began to find his rhythm, used his hand speed well, tightened his guard and countered well, forcing Kono back at times.
The momentum then swung backward to Kono who won rounds 7 and 8 before being deducted a point himself in round 9 for pushing Kameda down. By then it seemed immaterial to the scoring, Kono was in a comfortable lead and Kameda, who had scored 1 stoppage in his last 6, needed a KO...against a man who had never been stopped. Instead of Kameda going for the stoppage we actually saw Kono dominate after his deduction in round 9, our working, out punching and out battling Kameda in the championship rounds.
With the bout going the distance Kono ended up taking a unanimous decision, with scores of 116-108, 115-109 and 113-111, a score that is truly appalling.
With the win Kono not only retained the WBA Super Flyweight title, scoring the second of 3 successful defenses during the ring, scored a major betting upset, and also sent Kameda into retirement. Kameda did continue to be involved in the sport, and held some exhibition style events including one against Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, but never again fought as a professional.
As for Kono he went 2-4 after this bout, losing to the likes of Naoya Inoue, who stopped him in 6, Rex Tso, in an under-rated classic, and Jason Moloney, before retiring with a 33-12-1 (14) record.
The bout, although a fantastic 12 round battle fought at an excellent pace on the inside, was marred by a referee who didn't speak the same language as either fighter. He also tried to over-control the fight, which probably actually needed a Japanese referee, for both language issues and styles issue with Japanese fighters typically allowing more inside work than Western referees. Despite that no one can take away a career defining for Kono and a bout that was a massive upset.
It's fair to say that 2014 was the year of the upset with a huge number of upsets taking place all over the place. Whilst it maybe lacked in terms of title changing upsets, with a relatively low number of those, there was a lot of shockers in the sport among contenders and hopefuls.
Due to the sheer number of upsets in 2014 there are some that don't seem to get mentioned on any list of biggest shocks of the year. Today we look at one of those that really was a massive surprise, even if it didn't get much attention at all outside of the Philippines. This was one where going in the bout was seen as nothing more than a easy confidence builder for a former world champion, who was expected to get back into the title mix. Instead it turned out to be a massive, and bloody, shocker.
Ellias Nggenggo (8-7-3, 2) Vs Merlito Sabillo (23-1-1, 12)
In March 2013 Merlito Sabillo, known as the "Tiger", travelled to Colombia and stopped Luis de la Rose to win the "interim" WBO Minimumweight title, before being upgraded to full champion soon afterwards and he ended the year with two defenses of the title to his name. By the end of the year he was in the Ring Magazine top 10, and had shown himself to be a solid fighter. Sadly though he had lost the WBO title in early 2014 when he ran into the then unheralded Francisco Rodriguez Jr, and was smashed in 10 rounds by the talented Mexican.
In Sabillo's first bout after the loss to Rodriguez Jr the Filipino moved up in weight and took on Indonesian journeyman Ellias Nggenggo. Sporting a record of 8-7-3 (2) Nggenggo was given no chance against Sabillo, and was expected to just take the former champion some rounds.
Although not a great fighter Nggenggo had proven his toughness and had recently gone the distance with Ryuji Hara and Paipharob Kokietgym, losing pretty much every round against the two contenders.
On paper this had UD8 Sabillo written all over it going in to the bout. The champion was going to get some rounds, rebuild his confidence and begin a second charge to a world title fight. That however didn't happen. In fact it never even came close to happening.
Sabillo looked confident at the start of the bout, he looked in good shape, despite moving up in weight, and crisp. Nggenggo on the other hand looked crude, wild and rugged, like many of the Indonesian journeymen of the time. There was a lack of skills behind Nggenggo's offensive, with hayemakers being the preferred to jabs from the Indonesian.
The first round went as expected, as with Sabillo in almost complete control, landing bombs at the end of the round. Having found his range in the opening round Sabillo turned up the heat in round 2, taking some shots in return but easily out landing Nggenggo, who looked clumsy, slow and defensive poor. It looked like a mismatch, despite Nggenggo having some success until the final seconds of round 2, when Nggenggo began to have his first sustained success.
It was suddenly becoming clear that Nggenggo wasn't there to make up the numbers, despite the fact that Sabillo was a former champion and in round 3 Nggenggo began to actually out box Sabillo, who was coming forward but having limited success. By the end of the round Sabillo was being chin-checked by the Indonesian, who had been landing some really good counters. It seemed Sabillo was winning, but having a much, much tougher time of things than anyone had anticipated.
Although Nggenggo was exceeding expectations he was still almost certainly behind as we entered round 4.
Early in round 4 Sabillo was left with a nasty cut on his right eye. The cut had come from a punch, and immediately the referee took Sabillo to the ringside doctor to take a look. Sabillo, knowing the cut was a bad one, stepped up his aggression, knowing he had very limited time to stop Nggenggo if he was going to win.
The Filipino crowd were getting behind their man as he went looking for a finish. Despite the effort the cut wasn't going away, and in fact was just worsening. The local favourite was taken to the doctor for the second time, with around 1 minute of the round left, with blood smearing down his face. This time doctor had no option but to wave off the contest.
The crowd, who just seconds earlier were cheering on their man, were left silent.
On replays it was clear it was clear the cut had been caused by a left hand from Nggenggo, that had sliced the face of Sabillo.
Sadly for Nggenggo he would only score one more win, a decision at home over Jack Amisa, before losing 7 in a row. As for Sabillo his career never really recovered and he was never again in the mix for a world title, losing 6 of his next 10.
This was a massive shock and ended Sabillo's hopes of returning to the world level, and yet rarely gets a mention. A genuinely forgotten upset, from a crazy, crazy year of professional boxing.
For today's upset we travel all the way to Puebla in Mexico for a truly surprising result between someone who doesn't spoke about much at all any more and a man who later went on to fight for a world title. The bout was a WBC "Youth" title bout at Super Featherweight, despite the fact the challenger was 30 year old, and saw a really unexpected outcome.
December 10th 2011
Centro de Expositores, Puebla, Puebla, Mexico
Kyohei Tamakoshi (27-7-6, 10) Vs Dante Jardon (19-1, 17)
If we mention the name Kyohei Tamakoshi we expect some pretty blank looks from boxing fans. Japanese fans are likely to recognise the name, but those outside of Japan are unlikely to know anything about him. Well other than the fans who saw this bout. He had made his professional in 1999 and had had mixed success on the Japanese domestic scene. He had a few notable domestic wins, such as a victory over Nobuto Ikehara, but had failed to secure wins in bouts for Japanese and OPBF titles, including a loss to Mikihito Seto for the "interim" Japanese Super Bantamweight title just 8 months earlier.
Aged 30 by the time he had this fight Tamakoshi was seen as little more than a battle tested veteran. He had 40 bouts to his name and had carved his career at Bantamweight and Super Bantamweight, where he had failed to win any of his title bouts. Although he was no world beater he had proven to be tough, and hadn't been stopped since his 4th professional bout, when he was blasted out by Hideki Yokuda. Despite having 40 bouts to his name he had never previous fought outside of Japan before travelling off to Mexico to take on Dante "Crazy" Jardon.
The then 23 year old Jardon was a rising Mexican star. He was the then WBC Youth Super Featherweight champion who had won 18 in a row, following a loss in his second professional bout. He had a staggering 85% KO rate and had beaten the likes of Rene Gonzalez, and Ricky Sismundo and was very much a man tipped for the top. He was aggressive, destructive, heavy handed, exciting and rampaging through regional competition. His previous 4 bouts had lasted a total of 13 rounds and only 2 of his opponents had lasted more than 5 rounds, with only Rene Gonzalez managing to last the distance with him.
On paper this was just the next step forward for Jardon and he had all the advantages a fighter could want. He was the younger man, the man in great form, the naturally bigger man, the bigger puncher and the man at home, in a really small ring suited to his style. He seemed to have the deck well and truly stacked in his favour.
From the off Jardon took center ring, he was aggressive, coming forward and pressuring Tamakoshi. The Japanese fighter looked focused but was on the back foot and struggling to get any respect from Jardon who looked the boss through the first round, as many had expected. He didn't manage to land too many power shots, but he looked dangerous and like he'd take Tamakoshi out if one of his big over hand right's landed clean.
Tamakoshi, to his credit, used his experience to neutralise much of the pressure from Jardon, but didn't land much of note himself, paying more focus on not getting hurt than attacking Jardon in the first round.
In the second round we saw a bit more ambition from Tamakoshi, but he was made to pay and Jardon landed some solid bombs on the visitor when Tamakoshi opened up. It seemed we were beginning to see the start of the end as Jardon was finding some very clean head shots on Tamakoshi. Although Tamakoshi had proven his toughness during his career it was still assumed that his toughness wouldn't carry up Super Featherweight, against a puncher like Jardon.
Things all changed with about 10 seconds of round 2 left. Things changed in a moment as Tamakoshi landed a long straight right hand out of the blue that dropped Jardon to the seat of his pants. There was only seconds of the round left when Jardon hit the canvas, and he managed to beat the count, getting a minute to recover. Had the shot landed only moments earlier there's a good chance Tamakoshi would have jumped on him and closed the show there and then.
Heading into round 3 the big question was whether Jardon had had enough time to clear his head and recover. He started the round aggressively and looked fine but about 35 seconds into the round Tamakoshi landed another huge over hand right which which shook Jardon, who dropped moments later. Again Jardon got up, but this time Tamakoshi had more than 2 minutes to close the show.
The visitor smelled blood and went hunting, landing another right and dropped Jardon for a third time. To his credit there was no quit in Jardon, who again got to his feet. He was however up on instinct, rather than awareness and was dropped again. This time the referee had seen enough and waved off the contest.
Although not remembered much now a days this was a massive upset for Tamakoshi, who few gave any sort of a chance to. Sadly he failed to really build on it, and when he returned to Japan he ended up picking up 3 rather low key wins whilst getting used to fighting at Super Featherweight. In the years that followed he would have 3 Japanese title bouts at 130lbs, and lose all 3.
Despite the set back Jardon bounced back, and just over 2 years later he challenged the then WBC world champion Takashi Miura, losing in 9 rounds to "Bomber Left". From there on his career never really recovered and although he remained in the title mix for a while he wouldn't get a second shot at the top.
When we think about great upsets we tend to think of the big shocks and some times over-look how great the bouts themselves are. Today we get to show an amazing upset, that came in a sensational bout way back in 1997. The bout was among the very best bouts of the year, and is something every fight fan should have seen by now. But if you haven't, then there really is no better time than now!
November 22nd 1997
Osaka-Jo Hall, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
Sirimongkol Singwancha (16-0, 6) Vs Joichiro Tatsuyoshi (14-4-1, 11)
Today's upset is a bout that really deserves to be mentioned at one of the best of 1997, and one of the best to ever give us an upset.
In one corner was unbeaten Thai Sirimongkol Singwanchan, the then WBC Bantamweight champion who was just 20 years old but looked like he was going to be one of the major faces of Thai of boxing. He had debuted in 1994 and had won the WBC "interim" Bantamweight title in 1996 before being upgraded in 1997 when Wayne McCullough left the division. He had made 3 defenses of the title, including one against veteran Victor Rabanales. He looked like a long term champion in the making, he was young, talented, tough and skilled, with under-rated power that he was still developing.
In the early 1990's the enigmatic Joichiro Tatsuyoshi was among the most popular Japanese fighters out there. He was charismatic, unique, a huge fan favourite, but also a fighter who often relied on his chin rather than his skills. As a result he took a lot of punishment very early in his career and his eyes were damaged by the wars that he was involved in. By 1997 he was widely regarded as being a done fighter, battled against the likes of Victor Rabanales, Yasuei Yakushiji and Daniel Zaragoza had taken their toll on him. He was "only" 27, but an old 27 who hadn't scored a win of note in well over 4 years and had had to comeback from a detached retina.
Before the bout Tatsuyoshi seemed to suggest that if he lost he had no where left to go in the sport, and would retire. He was the under-dog. He was at home, but was up against a fighter who looked like an emerging star.
Early on the bout had gone the way many had expected. The unbeaten Thai looked confident, calm, quick and accurate, he fought behind his jab and repeatedly tagged Tatsuyoshi up top through the first rounds. The Japanese local had moments, but was putting in a lot more effort than the Thai champion, who looked very composed and comfortable despite the crowd being well behind Tatsuyoshi.
The first few rounds saw Tatsuyoshi working hard too close the distance, but struggling with the jab and intelligent boxing of the Thai, who limited Tatsuyoshi's success to just a shot or two at a time. It was smart work from the young champion, who was trying to take the fight out of Tatsuyoshi, pick his moments and neutralise the fans. Tatsuyoshi however wasn't having it, and kept coming forward.
In round 4 and 5 we finally saw Tatsuyoshi get up close and force a higher tempo whilst the Thai began to look like some one who had struggled to make weight, or maybe over-looked his Japanese foe. Those rounds saw the bout turn in favour of Tatsuyoshi and the excitement level grew, the belief that we were seeing one great final performance from the popular "Joe of Naniwa".
It seemed like Tatsuyoshi was going to break the unbeaten Thai champion. That we were going to see the the damaged and battle worn warrior claim a remarkable win.
Then Tatsuyoshi began to look like he was feeling the pace. His effort and drive through the 4th and 5th round came at a cost whilst Sirimongkol appeared to be getting a chance to recover. Things were heading back to the way people had expected.
Tatsuyoshi however wasn't willing to give up his dream of continuing, of proving he wasn't shot. That he wasn't done, and some how, despite being hurt early in the round, he pulled out a thunderbolt, landing a brutal body shot that sent the Thai on to the canvas. Sirimongkol beat the count but couldn't survive the follow up attack, which forced the referee to step ip.
The man most thought was shot, was damaged goods and heading to retirement had pulled it out. He had put in one of the best performances of his career, dug deep and repaid the fans who shown him so much love.
Surprisingly Tatsuyoshi would then make two subsequent defenses of the title, before losing the belt in 1998 to Veeraphol Sahaprom, who went on to have the type of reign some had expected of Sirimongkol.
As for Sirimongkol he would bounce back well, and move up through the weights, claiming the WBC Super Featherweight title in 2002 and was still fighting more than 20 years after this loss, having a rather amazing career. The loss was a big set back, but was certainly not the end for the Thai.
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).