Last week we reported that Susumu Hanagata [花形進] would be the next President of the East Japan Boxing Association, taking the reigns from Hitoshi Watanabe, with Nikkan Sports being the one to first break the news. Now that story has been confirmed, with Hanagata officially accepting the role, which he will take on from April 1st.
Technically he has to wait until February 28th to be sworn in, but it's a foregone issue and he will lead for 3 years. Apparently he was the only candidate, which likely explains the break between Nikkan Sports reporting the news last week and today's official confirmation.
Mr Hanagata is a former WBC Flyweight champion, who currently manages the Hanagata gym, which he set up. As a gym owner he has created a couple of world champions as well as setting up the Kanagawa Kenjyo, which is a group of gyms in Kanagawa who work together.
As a fighter Hanagata made his professional debut in 1963 and had an active career that ended in 1976. During that time he ran up an impressive record of 41-16-8 (8), scoring notable wins over the likes of Efren Torres, Masao Oba and Chartchai Chionoi. He isn't a legendary name among Western fans but is a key player in the Japanese boxing scene, and is very popular among those in the Kanagawa boxing scene.
Earlier today Nikkan Sports broke the news that Susumu Hanagata [花形進] would be the next President of the East Japan Boxing Association, taking the reigns from Hitoshi Watanabe.
Born in 1947 Hanagata made his professional debut in 1963 and had an active career that ended in 1976. During that time he ran up an impressive record of 41-16-8 (8), scoring notable wins over the likes of Efren Torres, Masao Oba and Chartchai Chionoi, winning the WBC title with his win against Chionoi. Since retiring he has run a gym, the Hanagata Gym, which has developed a number of notable fighters, including Keitaro Hoshino [星野敬太郎] who was the first Japanese world champion to be trained by a Japanese world champion.
It's unclear what Hanagata's aims as the president of the East Japan Boxing Association will be, and what he's going to be pushing, but development and growth seems to be key, as it has with the last few presidents, and it does seem like Hanagata will continue to try and develop the sport.
Interestingly Hanagata becomes the the third recent president to be a former world champion, following Hideyuki Ohashi and Fighting Harada.
(Image courtesy of the JPBA)
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