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 the legendary Manny Pacquiao to Katsunari Takayama
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-Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao has had one of the greatest careers of any fighter. He has had success in terms of world titles, and success in terms of beating top names. During his long career, which has seen him holding world titles in 4 different decades, as well as minor titles. One of those minor titles was the WBC International Super Bantamweight title.
2-Another fighter to have held the WBC International Super Bantamweight title was Joe Hiyas, an unheralded Filipino fighter who fought from 1980 to 1995. Although not star Hiyas fought a very impressive 94 times, going 51-28-15 (10) during his career. Interestingly he had a nickname that is popular with many other fighters, "Sugar".
3-Another fighter with the "Sugar" nickname was former WBA Super Bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda. Shimoda held the WBA title at 122lbs for just over 5 months, holding it from late January 2011 to early July, when he was knocked out by Rico Ramos. Shimoda's final bout came on December 31st 2016 at the Memorial Center in Gifu.
4-Another fighter who was in action December 31st 2016 at the Memorial Center in Gifu was Kosei Tanaka, who became a 2-weight world champion when he stopped Moises Fuentes in 5 rounds to claim the WBO Light Flyweight title. The win was a big one for Tanaka, who had struggled a year earlier when he had to dig deep to over-come Vic Saludar to retain the WBO Minimumweight title.
5-Kosei Tanaka has had his career guided by former world champion Kiyoshi Hatanaka, who was a successful fighter back in the last 1980's and early 1990's, winning the WBC Super Bantamweight title and the Japanese Super Flyweight title.
6-As well as his title victories Kiyoshi Hatanaka also won Rookie of the Year at Super Flyweight. Another Rookie of the Year winner was the hugely exciting Katsunari Takayama, who won Rookie of the year years after Hatanaka.
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).