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 Kazakh Middle star Gennady Golovkin to former Japanese world champion Takashi Uchiyama.
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-On May 6th 2006 Gennady Golovkin made his professional debut, beating Gabor Balogh inside a round in Dusseldorf. On the very same day Eagle Den Junlaphan retained the WBC Minimumweight title with a unanimous decision over Filipino challenger Rodel Mayol, over in Tokyo, to record his second defense of his second reign.
2-The talented Japanese based Thai born Eagle Den Junlaphan would go on to successfully make 2 more defenses of the WBC Minimumweight title after his win over Rodel Mayol. He then lost the belt in 2007 when he travelled over to Thailand to take on Oleydong Sithsamerchai in the 8th world title bout between two Thai's, otherwise known as a "Bloodline Battle".
3-Following his WBC title win Oleydong Sithsamerchai went on to make 6 successful defenses, which at the time put him third for the most defenses of the WBC Minimumweight title behind Ricardo Lopez and Jose Antonio Aguirre. Included in those 6 defenses was a draw against Pornsawan Popramook in 2010. This meant he was only the third WBC Minimumweight champion to retain with a draw, the first was Hirioki Ioka in 1988.
4-Japan's Hiroki Ioka is well known for being a 2-weight world champion, the youngest world champion in Japanese boxing history, the final student Eddie Townsend and the uncle of Kazuto Ioka. He was a genuinely big deal in the 1980's and 1990's. Interestingly his final bout came on December 19th 1998, that was the same day Floyd Mayweather Jr beat Angel Manfredy to record his first defense of the WBC Super Featherweight title.
5-At the 1996 Olympics Floyd Mayweather Jr won an Olympic bronze medal at Featherweight, losing in his semi-final to Serafim Todorov. The eventual gold medal winner in the division was Thailand's Kamsing Somluck, who defeated Todorov 8-5 in the final.
6-It wasn't just the Olympics that Kamsing Somluck had success at but he was actually a really,really successful amateur, winning medals across various international competitions and tournaments. Included in those was the 2002 King's Cup in Bangkok. On route to that win win Kamsing beat future WBA Super Featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama in the semi-final!
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).