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 champion Den Junlaphan to former multi-weight champion Daiki Kameda.
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-Between 2000 and 20007 Thailand's Den Junlaphan made his name as one of the best Minimumweights in the sport. He began his career in Thailand, move to Japan early in his career and became a 2-time WBC Minimumweight champion, before ending his career with an 18-2 (6) professional record. Another Thai who once held the WBC Minimumweight title was Napa Kiatwanchai, who was the second man to hold the title way back in the 1980's.
2-As mentioned Napa Kiatwanchai was the second man to hold the WBC Minimumweight title. The man he belt for the belt, on November 13th 1988, was Japanese star Hiroki Ioka, who lost the belt in his third defense.
3-The Ioka name is one of the most notable in Japanese boxing. That is, in part, due to Hiroki Ioka, who would become a 2-weight champion during his career, and in part to his nephew, and modern day Japanese star, Kazuto Ioka, who has exceeded the achievements of his uncle and become a 4-weight world champion.
4-As an amateur Kazuto Ioka was only the third man in Japan to win 6 high school titles, following in the footsteps of Takahiro Ao and the little known Ryo Osaka, who dominated the Middleweight division back in his days as a high school fighter.
5-Despite being a fantastic young talent Ryo Osaka never amounted to much as a professional, fighting just 3 times from 2006 to 2007, though did manage to go 3-0 (2) in the paid ranks. Sadly he never faced anyone of note though his second bout did come on a show that was headlined by a world title fight, in fact it was a show that saw Takefumi Sakata finally become a world champion, winning the WBA Flyweight title!
6-Although rarely spoken about now a days Takefumi Sakata was a notable name in Japan between 1998 and 2010. He was a popular fighter, involved in some great fights and memorable events. His trilogy with Lorenzo Parra was great, his two bouts with Roberto Vasquez were hotly contested, as were his two bouts with Trash Nakanuma. He was also in some very notable bouts with Daisuke Naito and Denkaosan Kaovichit. In his final bout he lost a decision to the then WBA Flyweight champion Daiki Kameda!
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).