Yesterday saw the sad news that former Japanese Flyweight champion Yoshiaki Matsumoto passed away in a Tokyo hospital at the age of 71 years old.
The Tokyo man was born in February 1947 and debuted not long after his 17th birthday, in 1964. The first few years of his career were relatively uneventful, with real mixed success.
He would score his biggest victory in February 1982, when he took a razor thin win over Speedy Hayase to claim the Japanese Flyweight title. Sadly his reign as the Japanese champion was a short lived one, losing in his first defense, less than 4 months after winning the tittle, in a rematch against Hayase. Between the two bouts with Hayase, Matsumoto managed to score a big win over Ric Magram0.
After losing the Japanese title he would mix with top class opposition, fighting twice against Erbito Salavarria and losing to Masao Oba, as well as suffering a loss to Berkrerk Chartvanchai.
In total Matsumoto would run up a 26-13-11 (9) record before retiring in 1972. In retirement he set up up a store in Tokyo, selling meat, which he ran for over 40 years.
Sadly Matsumoto was diagnosed with ALS and spent the last few years suffering from the disease.
We'd like to send our best wishes to the Matsumoto family.
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