Itís Time for Asians to be Inducted into the Boxing Hall Of Fame
By Ted Sares - Fall seven times, stand up eight óJapanese proverb.
Article posted on 30.10.2008
I have written about this subject on numerous occasions and now, since the Iinternational Boxing Hall of Fame inductees for 2009 soon will be announced, it is timely to stress that there is a notable paucity of boxers from Asian countries represented in Hall. And note, the word "International" is in the name..
Maybe itís because the writers who vote for the Inductees are too young to recall some of these greats; maybe itís because the fighters received little, if any, global attention; or maybe itís because they fought at the lower weights. The answer likely is a combination of all three factors.
Sure, Pancho Villa, Flash Elorde, Khaosai Galaxy, and Masahiko "Fighting" Harrada are in, but to have no South Korean inductees is mind boggling (at least to me it is). Perhaps the following list can jog some memories, but if even one voter has to ask "who are these guys," the problem goes much, much deeper. Incidentally, that I have listed these fighters doesn't necessarily mean I think they all belong; I simply set forth a list for consideration.
In-Chul Baek - 1980-1990
Jung-Koo "The Korean Hawk" Chang -1980-1991
In-Jin Chi -1991-2006
Soo-Hwan Hong - 1969-1980
Ki-Soo Kim- 1961-1969 (South Korea's first world boxing champion)
Chong-Pal Park- 1977-1988
Myung-Woo "Sonagi" Yuh - 1983-1992
Yuri Arbachakov -1990-1997 (alias Yuri Ebihara) Russian born but fought out of Japan and was the first Russian professional boxing champion)
Hiroyuki Ebihara- 1959-1969
Yoko "Fierce Eagle" Gushiken- 1974-1981
Hiroshi Kobayashi - 1962-1971
Masao "The Eternal Champion" Ohba - 1966-1973 (killed in car accident in 1973)
Yoshio Shirai- 1943-1952
Masamori Tokuyama -1994-2006 (North Korean born but fought out of Japan)
Jiro Watanabe- 1979-1986
Sot Chitalada - 1983-1992
Chartchai Chionoi- 1960-1975
Pone Kingpetch - 1954-1966
Muangchai "J-Okay" Kittikasem- 1988-1999
Samart Payakaroon-1982-1994 (Also a legend of Muay Thai boxing)
Luisito "Golden Boy" Espinosa -1984-2005
Rolando "Bad Boy from Dadiangas" Navarrete- 1973-1991
Jesus "The Hawaiian Punch" Salud-1983-2002 (Born in Philippines)
Ben Villaflor - 1966-1976
Ceferino "Pedro" Garcia -1923-1945 (Was first Filipino-American World Middleweight Boxing Champion inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame)
My top picks for 2009
Though Iíd be happy with just about any Asian inductee, here are my top picks:
Jung Koo Chang - 38-4
Yoko Gushiken - 23-1
Masao Ohba - 35-2-1
Chartchai Chionoi- 61-18-3
Ceferino Garcia- 102-28-12 (He was inducted into the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1977 and the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1989)*
* For Old Timer Section
The real issue with exclusion is that each year a potential inductee is passed over, it becomes that much easier to neglect him again. This is particularly so when only one or two fighters are inducted such as was the case in 2008.
No more hesistation; no more neglectóletís just get it right this time around.
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