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 Young Kyun Park and Takanori Hatakeyama.
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-Dubbed the "Bulldoxer" Young Kyun Park was one of the real exciting Korean fighters from the early 1990's and a very solid WBA Featherweight champion. Sadly he's not as well remembered as he should have been, and whilst he burned very brightly at one point his prime was very short, with a world title reign that lasted less than 3 years. When he reign ended it came to Eloy Rojas.
2-Eloy Rojas' WBA Featherweight title win over Park came in 1993, and what is often forgotten about the Venezuelan is that he was a Teiken managed fighter at one point. In fact he is one of several Teiken managed Venezuelan fighters to win a world title, along with Edwin Valero and Jorge Linares.
3-Jorge Linares may not have been the toughest boxer out there but there is no doubting his skills, and he is widely regarded as one of the most naturally boxers on the planet. His blinding hand speed and skills are through the roof and he is one of the most exciting fighters to watch. What often goes over-looked is that Linares' brother, Carlos Linares, as also a notable fighter, albeit significantly less successful than Jorge.
4-Whilst Carlos Linares is a bit of a forgotten name as a boxer, though is now distinguishing himself as a trainer at the Teiken gym, he was a really exciting fighter to watch. He lacked the well developed skills and boxing brain of his brother but made up for that with nasty power, scoring 8KO's in his 9 professional wins. His final bout came in 2007 when he lost to Tadashi Yuba, in a Japanese Middleweight title bout.
5-As a fan outside of Japan who Tadashi Yuba was and they will likely look confused. In Japan however he was a 5-weight national champion who fought close to 60 bouts. More than half of his career bouts took place at Korakuen Hall in a career that spanned form 1996 to 2014! In 1999 he fought Rick Yoshimura, with the two men fighting to a draw in a really under-rated bout for the Japanese Lightweight title.
6-Rick Yoshimura's only other draw, along with the Yuba one, came 4 fights later when he challenged WBA Lightweight champion Takanori Hatakeyama, in a barn burning thriller of a world title bout. For those who haven't seen that bout it's well worth a watch!
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).