Seven Asian Boxers Not Named Pacquiao Who Could Be Stars
Manny "the Congress Man" Pacquiao is quite arguably the biggest star in boxing today and definitely the biggest Asian boxer name on the planet. But for the 4 billion plus Asians who are on this planet one may think there should be more than one Asian boxing super star to spread the love and representation instead of just one Asian super star.
We will take a journey into the magical world of the top Asian boxers who are fighting today and see who might be able to be worthy of carrying the torch once the Congress Man becomes full time politician and retires from the sport.
Just for the record for those of you who do not know the Ring Magazine AKA the Bible of Boxing currently ranks 3 Asian Fighters in their top 10 Pound For Pound list. So if you don't know now you know.......
Let's take that magical journey shall we boys and girls?
The only undefeated champion on our list, Chris John from Indonesia is highly regarded as the man to beat at featherweight. With an impressive 11 title defenses he is one of the very few fighters who defeated a prime great Juan Manuel Marquez.
After fighting most of his career in Indonesia he is now looking for the bigger better fights in America and to make his name well known as the best feather weight in the game right now.
He took on Rocky Juarez twice scoring a controversial draw in Rocky's hometown(Houston which is notorious for shady hometown decisions) and beating Rocky with much ease in the rematch in Las Vegas on the super mega fight undercard of the Floyd Mayweather vs Juan Manuel Marquez fight.
There are great fights to be made in the feather weight division for John against the likes of Lopez, Gamboa, ETC.) should he unify the belts in an impressive manner he will indeed become a big star in boxing.
Pongsaklek Wonjongkam 76(40)-3
Pongsaklek Wonjongkam 76(40)-3 has been ranked on the Ring Magazine's Pound for Pound list back in 2006. He held the impressive record for longest winning streak in the sport of boxing with 55 consecutive wins.
Currently he is ranked by the Ring Magazine at number 8 and is the Ring Magazine lineal champion at Flyweight as well as the WBC champion.
He is exciting to watch and holds the record for fastest KO at Flyweight against title holder Daisuke Naito in 34 seconds.
He also set the record for most title defenses at Flyweight with 16 title defenses with his unanimous decision over South African Mhikiza.
Pongsaklek Wonjongkam has often been criticized for not fighting outside of Asia and almost every single one of his fights have taken place in his native Thailand. However watching his fights is like watching a very entertaining early 1990's Jean Claude Van Damme flick.
Hozumi Hasegawa 28(12)-3
Hasegawa is currently the most famous boxer in Japan. He is a former WBC bantamweight champion and many consider him to be the number one fighter from Japan.
ESPN's Dan Rafael has stated that: "Hozumi Hasegawa might be the best fighter boxing fans haven't heard of."
In 2009 Hasegawa had one of the most impressive years of any bantamweight's career with three big title defenses in which he won all by knock out. A first round stoppage of Vusi Malinga a strong South African mandatory, who he knocked down three times. Then another first round knock out of Nestor Rocha whom he knocked down twice. Hasegawa then knocked out Nicaragua's Alvaro Perez in the fourth round of a very dominating fight.
Hasegawa then took on WBO champion Fernando Montiel 43(33)-2-2 in the biggest fight of both of their careers. Hasegawa who is more a precise skilled technician outboxed Montiel for the first three rounds of the fight until he got caught and stopped by Montiel in the 4th round. Had Hasegawa won this fight he would be now on the Ring Magazine Pound For Pound Top 10 ranking list but Montiel took his WBC belt and his place on the pound for pound rankings.
Hasegawa has his hard core fight fans who still admire and support him in the fight forums and because of his technical style and great skills he is the type of fighter who can come back and become a better fighter off of this loss.
Poonsawat Kratingaenggym 39(28)-1
Poonsawat Kratingaenggym 39(28)-1 is the number one ranked junior featherweight champion according to the Ring Magazine.
He is currently the WBA super bantamweight champion of the world and has good power in his hands. He has never been stopped and has a great chin.
Even though he often goes for the kill he still remains focused and disciplined without getting all wreckless.
YouTube his title winning fight against former Irish champion Bernard Dunne. You can watch that fight over and over again and never get tired of it.
Poonsawat Kratingaenggym has plenty of huge fights should he decide to go just one division lower or higher against some of the biggest names of the sport. Should he win against the likes of: Perez, Montiel, or even up in weight against Lopez, Gamboa, or Marquez he would definitely be a famous force to be reckoned with.
Ji Hoon Kim 21(18)-6
Ji Hoon Kim who goes by the moniker: Volcano, is what his nickname describes, he often all of a sudden erupts randomly in his fights to knock out his opponents with one punch.
Kim has been gaining fame by fighting on ESPN's Friday Night Fights and providing the fans with an exciting roller coaster ride of a fight. He has been known to lose full rounds and the majority of his fights up to the point where he decides to wake up and knock his opponent out.
Kim in all honesty unlike the other fighters on this slide show lacks the true fundamental skills and technique to hang with the most elite of his lightweight division. So why does he keep on winning for so many fights? It is really his power his heavy hands alone allow him to turn onesided fights where he is utterly getting dominated around into a knock out win.
Most recently Kim fought the biggest fight of his life against Miguel Vazquez on Fox Sports Net for the IBF lightweight championship of the world. Just as most of his exciting fights he lost the majority of the rounds and fight but this time he was not able to land that one punch knock out to win the fight.
Should Kim get a better trainer who can teach him how to use his legs and how to block and counter punch instead of just swinging randomly until his opponent gets caught then he could really be a monster in the division. He is always in top shape and conditioning and he has the heart of a true warrior who will not back down.
Beibut Shumenov 10(6)-1
Beibut Shumenov is definitely the sexiest fighter on this slide show. The man has it all: good looks, skills, power, heart, personality.
He holds the record for the fighter to win the lightheavyweight title in the least amount of fights. With only 11 fights he is already the WBA lightheavyweight champion of the world. He has already headline a main event on ESPN's Friday Night Fights.
He is a full time promoter, attorney, and philanthropist.
If you have not realized how much I am up on this fighter yet then read my article on him and you will see:
Nonito Donaire 24(16)-1
Nonito Donaire who goes by the nickname Filipino Flash is by far the best Asian boxer in the sport today. The 27 year old fighter fights like a veteran champion with exceptional ring intelligence and near perfect skills.
Basically he fights how Bernard Hopkins SHOULD fight given Hopkins is supposed to be this so called master guru of boxing.
If people think Manny Pacquiao gets ducked then Donaire gets ducked twice as bad for no one wants to dare step into the ring with him for they will get utterly schooled and eventually knocked out.
Due to the lack of competition and willingness of opponents Donaire has now moved up from flyweight to bantam weight and it has been said that he will keep going up in weight taking on all of the big names.
Donaire's claim to fame is still his monster knock out of a prime undefeated Showtime poster boy Vic Darchinyan.
Unlike the other fighters in this slide show Donaire is Asian American and speaks English fluently which is an obvious big plus in becoming a boxing super star.
I've hung out with Donaire at several of the Pacquiao super mega fights in Las Vegas and he is truly a humble guy who is likeable and very much able to become the next big Asian sensation in boxing.
Donaire must continue to fight on either Showtime or on the undercards of big super fights to help expose his fights. Unfortunately his last several fights have landed on obscure pay per views due to promoter conflicts and lack of willing big name opponents.
A fight on a Pacquiao undercard or a big title fight on Showtime against their potential bantam weight tournament will definitely be a step in the right direction.