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 Nobuo Nashiro to Akinobu Hiranaka.
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-The teak tough Nobuo Nashiro was a 2-time WBA Super Flyweight champion, winning the title in 2006 and then gain in 2008. Of course he wasn't the first Japanese fighter to win this particular title, in fact that honour belongs to the legendary, and hugely controversial, Jiro Watanabe, who won the belt in 1982.
2-In his first world title fight, for the WBC Super Flyweight title, Jiro Watanabe lost a decision in South Korea to Chul Ho Kim, who actually made his first defense with his win against Watanabe, in what was a razor close bout.
3-Sadly the talented Chul Ho Kim rarely comes up in the conversation about Korean greats, but he is regarded in Korea very highly, and was sadly one of the many fighters who burned out. He won the WBC super Flyweight title when he was just 19, before making 5 defenses in 18 months and the losing the title, a few months later. His career was essentially over in 1983, before he had even his his physical prime. His final career bout was a loss to Prayurasak Muangsurin on a show that also featured Ju Do Chun defending the South Korean Super Flyweight title.
4-Following his reign as the Korean national champion Ju Do Chun go on to become the first ever IBF Super Flyweight champion, winning the vacant title in 1983 and recording 5 defenses before he was beaten by Indonesian puncher Elly Pical in 1985. The only other Korean fighter to win the IBF Super Flyweight title was Tae Il Chang.
5- During his career Tae Il Chang fought a number of notable fighters, including Elly Pical, Khaosai Galaxy and Soon Chun Kwon in a career that saw him win the Korean, OPBF and IBF titles. Interestingly he debuted on the same show that also featured the final bout of Royal Kobayashi's career, in 1981.
6-Royal Kobayashi was the first Japanese Olympian to also go on to win a professional world title, something that very few have managed to do. The next Japanese fighter to do that was the heavy handed Akinobu Hiranaka!
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).