[yt]4MbmgwTSLMs[/yt] Both men were born in the Far East, both were pushed into the ring at early ages by their overbearing fathers, and both would become multiple time world champions hoisting the fabled green belt of the WBC. There, however, the similarities grind to a halt. Iamthuam - who, in addition to his in-ring accolades, has made national headlines for being a gay porno magazine pinup model (yes, this is true) as well as tried & convicted dealer of crystal meth (also true) - was the 11th WBC titlist specifically from Thailand, and the country's twenty-third recognized world champion in Western style boxing overall (narrowed to include only the "Big 4" sanctioning bodies). He would later embark on a remarkable 13½ year consecutive victorious streak encompassing his late twenties and entire thirties, rattling off a record of 51-0 (36) between his losses to Jesús Gabriel Sandoval Chávez in 2003 and Azizbek Abdumuxtar Ogli Abdugofurov in 2017. Tatsuyoshi - an overachieving national work ethic icon who literally became a comic book character and has sponsored anti-bullying campaigns - conversely, would, incredibly, never achieve a run of more than 5 wins in a row over his 20 year career (which really encompassed just a single decade, the 90's, plus a couple of brief abortive comeback attempts following layoffs of three and five years respectively). "Naniwa Joe" averaged just 1.4 matches annually compared with Iamthuam's four per year over what has now been a quarter century and counting of near-contiguous activity (although we are nearing the anniversary of his last bout, and with it his inevitable dropping from the rankings...so we can most likely presume that at 42 years old, having exited on a high note kayoing a tomato can, we have seen the last of the Jade Angel lacing up the gloves) Iamthuam started off this third defense of the WBC bantamweight title with a swagger befitting a 16-0 wunderkind champion, barnstorming Osaka behind a long pike of a jab and sneering down at hapless 14-4-1 challenger, who just months earlier had been thwarted for a second time in a little over a year by Daniel Zaragoza in bids for his WBC title up at super bantamweight. Never mind that Tatsuyoshi was himself a former titlist (having defeated Greg "The Flea" Richardson back in '91)...he was kayoed in just his first defense by Victor Manuel Rabanales, the same man that Iamthuam had just made his most recent defense against by near-shutout. This was, in the young Siam prodigy's mind, sure to be another bit of relatively easy work, turning a less guileful competitor's aggression upon them as he took his pick of either choosing to pot shot and outbox them over 12, or swoop in for the kill if they showed any signs of fatigue. Lazy thinking, if you were in any way cognizant of what kind of fighter Joe was...but then, Iamthuam was sort of a lazy, shortcut taking sort from the get-go...having originally not even liked combat sports, and needing to be hoodwinked into participating when his dad signed him up to "do some chores" for a temple hosting Muay Thai competitions, and having to defend himself on the fly and then split the hundred baht* pot with his pops. (*roughly three bucks in 2019) Yeah, don't ever start feeling relaxed or complacent with Jōichirō in the other corner. He'll go full-on John Henry on you and hammer a hole straight through you...which is, essentially, what he started doing to Iamthuam's vital organs, with a body attack that sputtered along the runway for a few rounds before really taking off. Eschewing prettiness for long-game payoff, Tatsuyoshi was happy to dig himself a points hole if that meant gambling on his ability to sap the champion's strength enough to ultimately level the playing field. Even in the first round or two red flags ought to have been flaring in the Jade Angel's brain, yet he stayed the course with his rinse & repeat pattern of jabbing and then grabbing-and-tossing. He didn't realize the hull damage Tatsuyoshi's depth charge uppercuts had already started to accumulate, thus his look of mild dissociated shock when, in the fifth, a Tatsuyoshi 1-2 aimed for his nose made only partial contact - and that with the 1 (that is, the jab), and yet sending him careening onto his buttocks. Iamthuam actually recovered quite well and rallied to regain control in the sixth, and the first half of the seventh ...but the stain on his - as well as his ability to soak up those shots on his increasingly tender midsection - was indelible. Tatsuyoshi would finish him off cleanly in the seventh, having lost arguably every completed round save the one in which he scored the knockdown. Really a microcosm of their campaigns - one man having greater quantities and longer periods of success, albeit of a milquetoast variety (potshot jab & grab in the context of this fight, and long unbeaten runs against schmoes unfit to carry the jockstrap of a Joe in the broader view) and the other a meteoric, ephemeral flash of light that leaves an imprint on the horizon, much like his nation's flag symbol of the rising sun.