Yesterday the Ohashi Gym held an event with the gym supporters, of which around 500 attended. The end wasn't a massive one for those who just like to watch fights, but was a pretty interesting one for those who follow the Ohashi Gym and their fighters.
The gym chairman, Hideyuki Ohashi, stated that he was looking to mass produce world champions at the gym and it does seem like he's making positive signing to try and do that, with a host of top Japanese prospects currently fighting out of the gym.
Talking about world champions the event also saw WBA Bantamweight "regular" champion Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥] speak. The "Monster" stated that he wanted to no only win the WBSS and claim the prize money from the competition, but also wanted to to help develop the gym, and seemed to be clearly pushing for the gym to get a swimming pool, to help the fighters cool down after a hard summer work out.
Inoue stated that he will resume sparring next week as he begins to prepare for the WBSS, and there was also comments at yesterday's event that Inoue would like to face Nonito Donaire (38-5, 24) in the competition.
Notably Inoue is one of 2 fighters from the Ohashi gym to have won "world" titles at 3 weights and it does seem liek the gym are wanting to build on that success.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
We often get some peculiar stories in the world of boxing, and one that recently caught our eye is that the Ohashi Gym has recently opened a grilled meat restaurant in Yokohama.
The restaurant, the idea of former world champion Hideyuki Ohashi [大橋 秀行], opened today with the Ohashi Gym stable taking part in the opening of the restaurant. Part of that opening ceremony saw popular fighter Akira Yaegashi [八重樫東] serving Mr Ohashi and former world champion Katsushige Kawashima [川嶋勝重] some of the food.
The idea of the restaurant is to help give active fighters part-time jobs and retired fighters a job when they have left boxing, something that the JBC have been pushing in recent times with Tomonobu Shimizu [清水 智信] also talking about something similar, though his idea was to try and generate agricultural jobs for the former fighters.
Whether the restaurant will be a major success or not seems unclear but with famous fighters serving meal we suspect that the restaurant will become a popular attraction, with both fighters and fight fans and may well be one of the best places to meet fighters away from the ring.
Although the idea might seem silly it's a solid idea in a way and helps keep people busy, with jobs being relatively hard to find for some former fighters. If it is a success we suspect similar places will begin to open across the country with various promoters following in Ohashi's footsteps.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier this month saw an event held to help rally around and celebrate former WBA Middleweight champion Shinji Takehara, who very ill last year and suffering from cancer.
The event saw the now retired fighter, who now appears to have beaten the disease, being joined by a list of notable Japanese fighters including current world champions Takashi Uchiyama (22-0-1, 18), Naoya Inoue (8-0, 7) and and Naoko Fujioka (12-1, 6) and active fighters Akira Yaegashi (20-5, 10) as well as legends such as Yoko Gushiken, Hideyuki Ohashi and Guts Ishimatsu.
Although Mr Takehara has been cleared of cancer he is is still showing signs of the effects of the medication and although he is 43 he looks much older, thankfully however he does appear to be on the mend and was said to have been in good spirits at the end event.
Whilst Mr Takehara is long retired from fighter he is still a popular figure among the Japanese boxing community and acts as a promoter along his very close friend, and former 2-weight world champion, Takanori Hatakeyama
We want to wish Mr Takehara all the best in his recovery.
(Image-Top courtesy of Hideyuki Ohashi's blog, bottom due to Boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fans were treat to a spectacular day as Japanese boxers took part in a fan appreciation day to celebrate the sport, the fans and each other.
The highlight for the day, for many, was the appearance Iwao Hakamada who was handed an honorary WBC world title by Hideyuki Ohashi. Hakamada, who was wrongly convicted for a series several decades ago, was effectively the guest of honour at the show and is at the forefront of the picture opposite.
It wasn't all about Hakamada however and fans got to see a real celebration of the sport. This included an enthralling sparring session between WBC Light Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue and WBC Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi which ended with the two men being given a round of applause, a brilliant spar between Shingo Wake, the OPBF Super Bantamweight champion and Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa and also a spar between Satoshi Hosono and Hidenori Otake, both of whom are Japanese national champions.
As well as the sparring there was also mitt sessions which included work by Takashi Miura.
In total there were 29 active champions with the likes of Takashi Uchiyama and Naoko Fujioka both turning up as well as several notable non-champions, including Tomomi Takano who we believe did a talk for the fans in attendance.
The day was nothing short of sensational and we're hoping that other countries will follow suit and do similar events.
(All pictures courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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