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 Korean world champion Min Keun Oh to former 2-weight world champion Dodie Boy Penalosa of the Philippines
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-Korean fighter Min Keun Oh was moved quickly after turning professional and quickly won the IBF Featherweight title less than 4 years after his debut. Interestingly his debut, an 8 round decision win against Cesar Ligan, was on August 8th 1980. That was actually on a card that was headlined by the then OPBF Middleweight champion Chong Pal Park, who stopped Peter Piamonte to retained the OPBF title.
2-Following his OPBF title reign the big punching Chong Pal Park went on to make a mark at world level, and was one of the big stars of the Super Middleweight division. At Super Middleweight he had a very solid and notable reign as the IBF Super Middleweight champion, before later winning the WBA title. Another man who would later go on to win the IBF Super Middleweight title is American fighter Caleb Plant.
3-"Sweethands" Caleb Plant was born on July 8th 1992, on that very same day Chokchai Chockvivat was in action in Bangkok, where defeated Rojanadej Sor Thassanee to retain the Thai Flyweight title, for the first time. This win saw the then 24 year old Chokchai move to 14-1 (4) and it was an 11th straight win for the Thai Fly.
4-After defending the Thai title Chokchai Chockvivat went on to win the OPBF Flyweight title, taking the title in 1993. After defending it 8 times Chokchai travelled over to the Philippines to defend it against a then unknown 18 year old Manny Pacquiao, who completely decimated the then 29 year old Chokchai in 5 rounds, giving the Thai only his third career defeat, and his second stoppage loss. Interestingly Pacquiao would defend the title twice himself before travelling over to Thailand to win his first world title, the WBC Flyweight title, with an upset win over Chatchai Sasakul.
5-In the years that follow his OPBF title win Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao went from unknown to boxing sensation, and one of the most well known sporting talents of his generation. A hero to the Philippines and one of the most fan friendly fighters in recent years. A lot of his late career success was put down to Freddie Roach, who developed Pacquiao from a crude but physically impressive 1-handed young Filipino to becoming a whirling dervish in the ring and a true sensation. Of course Pacquiao isn't the only Filipino Roach has worked with, with another being the often under-rated Gerry Penalosa.
6-The incredibly skilled Gerry Penalosa was one of a number of talented fighters from the Penalosa family. Others included his father, Carl Penalosa, along with Gerry's two brothers Jon Penalosa and Dodie Boy Penalosa!
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).