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 world title challenger Z Gorres to former world champion Ji won Kim.
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 extremely talented and popular Z Gorres was tipped for big things when he turned professional. "The Dream" was highly skilled, had a good boxing brain and unlike some other ALA Gym prospects he was a boxer first, rather than a puncher like AJ Banal and Rey Bautista. Gorres made his professional debut all the way back on March 31st 2001, in Cebu City. That very same day a Mexican fighter by the name of Daniel Ponce De Leon made his debut in Chihuahua, Mexico.
2-During his career Daniel Ponce De Leon managed to have remarkable success despite being technically rather limited. Despite not being a smooth, polished boxer he had a trait that could bail him out at a moment's notice. That was his frightening power. Ponce De Leon showed that power in impressive fashion in his second bout against Sod Kokietgym, when he scored a terrifying KO of the Thai fighter.
3-Sadly for Thailand's Sod Kokietgym it wasn't just Ponce De Leon that stopped him but also frustrating Cuban genius Guillermo Rigondeaux, who gave Sod his third and final loss in Macao in 2014. That would end up being Sod's third and final shot at a world title, and he would only fight once more after this loss, a decision win in Thailand, before retiring.
4-As we all know Guillermo Rigondeaux was a brilliant amateur boxer before turning professional. The talented Cuban's style was exceptional in the amateur ranks where he went on to claim numerous titles and medals. They included gold medals at two Olympics, joining a very small number of fighters to have achieved that feat. One of those golds came at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Another man who won a gold medal at those same games was tragic Kazakh Bekzat Sattarkhanov.
5-On his route to winning gold at the Sydney games Bekzat Sattarkhanov defeated a number of notable names. They included American Rocky Juarez, in the final and South African Jeffrey Mathebula, in the round of 16.
6-Despite failing to win a medal at the 2000 Olympics Jeffrey Mathebula did have success in the professional ranks, using his long and gangly frame to great effect. As a professional the highlight of his career was winning the IBF Super Bantamweight title, which he won in 2012. Another former IBF Super Bantamweight champion was Korean fighter Ji Won Kim, who was the third fighter to hold that belt back in the 1980's.
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).