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 modern day Thai icon Srisaket Sor Rungvisai to former 2-weight Korean world champion Hi Yong Choi.
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-We've all seen Srisaket Sor Rungvisai become a genuine international boxing star in recent years whilst facing some of the best Super Flyweights on the planet. Sadly much of his early career was badly handled, and he suffered a number of early when he was thrown in very deep very early on, but his development to become a multi-time world champion was incredible. As a professional he has fought out of the Nakornluang Boxing Camp and unsurprisingly he's not the only notable fighter out of the camp. Other notable fighters from the gym have included Napapol Sor Rungvisai, Suriyan Sor Rungvisai and most notably of all Veeraphol Sahaprom.
2-The career of "Death mask" Veeraphol Sahaprom was an amazing one. He was a 2-time Bantamweight champion, competed in 10 world title fights and scored notable wins over the likes of Daorung Chuwatana, Rolando Pascua, Joichiro Tatsuyoshi and Toshiaki Nishioka. Sadly for him his legendary reign as the WBC Bantamweight champion, which saw him rack up 14 defenses, came to an end in 2005 after he won the title in 1998. His conqueror was the then unheralded Hozumi Hasegawa.
3-At the time of his title win Hozumi Hasegawa seemed to have been a little bit lucky, taking a razor close decision over the legendary Thai. Following that title win however he established himself as a genuine legend of the lower weights and for Japanese boxing, becoming a 3 weight world champion and recording 10 defenses of the WBC Bantamweight title. One of his most notable defenses was his victory over South African fighter Simpiwe Vetyeka.
4-When Simpiwe Vetyeka fought Hozumi Hasegawa he was 16-0 and relatively unknown, but proved what he could do as he gave Hasegawa one of his toughest bouts. In the years that followed that bout Vetyeka would go on to become a thorn in the side of Indonesian boxing beating Daud Yordan and then later ending the long reign of Indonesian legend Chris John, stopping John in Australia to claim the WBA Featherweight title.
5-From 1998 to 2013 Chris John was pretty much the face of Indonesian boxing, and was regarded as the WBA's premier champion at Featherweight for a good chunk of his career, even if the WBA did make some very odd decisions during his reign. Interestingly John was only the third Asian fighter to hold the WBA Featherweight title, following Japan's Shozo Saijo and South Korea's Young Kyun Park.
6-The all action Young Kyun Park, dubbed the "Bulldozer" in Korea, was one of the most exciting fighters of the early to mid 1990's. He was never the most technical fighter but was always an entertaining warrior who came forward and looked to force a war on his opponents. Sadly for Park he lost the WBA Featherweight title on December 4th 1993, on a show that also featured former world champion Hi Yong Choi, who claimed his 15th win by stopping Nilo Anosa.
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).