Earlier today the Japanese boxing world had the chance to say goodbye to former 2-time WBA Super Flyweight champion Kohei Kono (33-12-1, 14) [河野 公平], who took part in an emotional retirement ceremony at the Korakuen Hall.
The popular Kono spoke to the fans and admitted that not everything went perfectly through his career, but that he was happy to become a world champion twice, stated that it was best boxing life and thanked everyone who supported him. It was clear in his walk to the ring that he was shocked by how much fans loved him, and he did look like he was holding back tears.
Following his short speech he got 10 rings of the bell to before having photos taken with his family and team.
At the moment it's not clear what Kono tends to do in his post boxing career but we'd like to send out best wishes to Kono, no matter what he does next. He has given us so many great memories that it's hard not to have a lot of respect for the Watanabe gym fighter.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Japanese fighter Ryuji Hara (23-2, 14) [原隆二] was supposed to be set for a WBO Light Flyweight title fight against champion Angel Acosta (19-1, 19) in February, though according to Puerto Rican website "The Gondol" that bout is now off.
The once highly touted Hara had struggled with injuries over the last few years, injuries that had kept him out of the ring through 2018 and had forced other bouts of inactivity. The Gondol have reported that those injuries have forced his planned February bout to be cancelled, and made Hara to walk away from the sport and into retirement.
Hara had planned to face Acosta last year before injuries forced the bout to be cancelled. He recovered from those injuries but has apparently been injured again in training, just days after beginning his preparation to face Acosta.
Due to the cancellation of the bout Acosta is expected to have voluntary defense in early 2019, before a potential mandatory, with Filipino puncher Jonathan Taconing (28-3-1, 22) expected to be elevated to the #2 ranking in the new year.
The article from The Gondol can be read here, in Spanish.
(Image courtesy of the Ohashi Gym)
Earlier today popular Japanese warrior Katsunori Nagamine (15-2-1, 11) [長嶺克則] took to social media to post an update on his career, and sadly announced his retirement from the sport.
Nagamine revealed that he had suffered an eye injury in training and went to the hospital where he was diagnosed with an issue that has forced him to make his decision to retire from the sport.
Sadly Nagamine had suffered eye issues in the past, and had been advised to retire earlier in his career. He decided to continue with his fighting back then, but it now seems this new issues has made him realise that he may suffer permanent sight problems if he continues fighting.
In the same social media post he thanked fans, the fighters he had shared the ring with, the Manabe Boxing Gym and the gym president and to boxing in general. He made it clear this was his choice to retire, but it has certainly come down to the injury.
We'd like to thank Nagamine for the great action fights he has given us as a professional, especially his war with Kenya Yamashita, and wish him the best in his post boxing life.
For those who want to read Nagamine's social media post, that's available here on his ameblo.
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