Earlier this year we reported that Katsunari Takayama [高山 勝成] had tried to make his way to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but had fallen short and had actually failed to even qualify for the Japanese championships.
There was however another former professional who was trying something similar, former Middleweight title challenger Koji Sato [佐藤 幸治]. Unlike Takayama we saw Sato progress beyond the regional qualifiers for the All Japan championships, which begin in November 21st. It's now been confirmed that he will indeed take his place in the tournament and will look to take his next step towards an Olympic place.
Sato is known for having a short, but exciting, professional career going 20-2 (18), winning the OPBF title and losing to Felix Sturm, in 2009, and Makoto Fuchigami in 2011. Prior to turning professional he had had a strong amateur career winning 5 All Japan amateur titles, from 1999 to 2003, and will be returning to competition for the first time in 16 years.
A win here would open the door for Sato to compete at the Asia-Oceania qualifying event in January and take a massive step towards an Olympic place and a truly remarkable career comeback at the age of 38!
(Image courtesy of Sponichi)
Former professional boxing world champion Katsunari Takayama [高山 勝成] saw his hopes of a 2020 Olympic place come to an end recently, and it now appears that he's going to be putting boxing behind him as he looks to continue his life, outside of the ring.
Earlier this month it was revealed a documentary about Takayama would be shown that tracks his career from 2011, when he began to chase the IBF around the globe, to his attempt at getting to the Olympics, with some exclusive footage in there, as well other events from his life.
For fans who don't speak English the documentary it's self might not be the most interesting in terms of Takayama's story, but the footage included is likely to be worth watching the 30 minute show for. For those who speak Japanese however the documentary is expected to be full of tidbits, looking at some hidden parts of his boxing career and the future he wants to have no he has hung up the gloves.
The documentary will be aired on both TV Osaka, in the Kansai region, and TV-Tokyo, in the Kanto region, later this month, and is a final farewell to Takayama and his thrilling, trend setting, boxing career.
The documentary is title「彷徨う拳 プロボクサー高山勝成の挑戦, which roughly translates as the "Challenge of the Wandering fist of Katsunari Takayama", will be shown on September 28th and we suggest all fans who are interested in the "Lightning Kid" try to give it a watch.
On Saturday former professional boxing world champion Katsunari Takayama [高山 勝成] took part in his latest amateur bout as he looked to take another step towards Olympic qualification for the 2020 Tokyo games. Sadly for him however his dream ended with a decision loss to Teru Utsu [宇津 輝], who took a 3-0 decision win over Takayama.
Following the bout Takayama stated that he was planning to have a break.What's unclear is whether it's a temporary break or a total clean break from the sport, though media in Japan is suggesting he's now going to retire all together from boxing to move into a career as a teacher.
As a professional Takayama was the first Japanese fighter to claim variations of the 4 major world titles, and was loved by hardcore fans due to his tenacity, toughness and thrilling style. Utsu's comments to the media also suggest he too was a fan, explaining how he had watched Takayama on TV, had felt pressure for today's fight and felt like he had gained valuable experience.
Utsu progresses to the next round of the local Japanese amateur, though is of course a long, long way from booking a place and could, in fact, run into Kosei Tanaka's older brother Ryomei Tanaka along the route to potential Olympic qualification.
Earlier today in Japan fans in Aichi had the chance to see former grandslam champion Katsunari Takayama fight in the second round a regional amateur tournament.
A loss would likely have ended his dream of competing at the 2020 Olympics very early, though thankfully for the popular former professional he managed to pick up a very close win.
The talented Takayama, now aged 36, was up against Mikiya Fujiwara, and it was clear that Fujiwara had come to win, after scouting Takayama's bout yesterday and stating that if he lost he would be retiring.
From the opening moments this was a compelling contest from the off and there was little to pick between the two fighters, who knew this was a major bout, with a lot on the line for both. That showed in great back and forth action that seemed to fly by.
After the 3 rounds were up the scores were read out with a score of 30-27 to Fujiwara and two scores of 29-28 to Takayama, giving him the win and advancing him one step closer to the All Japan tournament, where which will be the next big hurdle for the former professional champion.
(Image courtesyy of boxmob.jp)
Today at a gym at the Nagoya University of Technology college fans of amateur boxing, and the press, saw former professional world champion Katsunari Takayama [高山 勝成] take his next step towards a place the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The former grandslam champion was fighting in a regional qualification tournament bout for the All Japan Championships, and potentially a place on the Olympic team. It was a far cry from the big fights and big lights he had had in some of his world title fights.
The fight started slowly, with both men looking to get a read on the other, but it didn't take long for Takayama to increase the tempo and go on to take clear control of the bout and take the clear win.
Takayama will have to fight again later tomorrow to qualify for the national tournament, and a win tomorrow will see him take another huge step towards his dreams, though it should be noted that the upcoming fight is against someone who is expected to give the former world champion a much stiffer test.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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