The last few weeks have been hard ones for boxing and today we must report another death, that of former OPBF Super Featherweight champion Yukio Katsumata (54-18-4, 24), who passed away earlier today, July 28th.
The 84 year old former fighter was a staple of the Asian scene from 1956, when he debuted, to 1964 being a busy fighter from the start of his career to the end. Although not a huge name he was an active fighter, and then active as a Japanese gym owner, helping give several fighters their early breaks in the sport.
Katsumata debuted in early 1956 stopping Mamoru Kikuchi and would claim the OPBF title, for the first time, in 1961, when he beat Thai foe Kirisak Barbos. He would lose the belt in his first defense, then regain it, notching 2 defenses in his second reign.
During his career he would open his own gym, the Katsumata gym in Tokyo, which lead to a number of success stories following Yukio's career, including Hiroyuki Sakamoto who was the gym's most noteworthy fighter.
Yukio's death was sadly caused by multiple organ failures earlier today.
We would like to send out thoughts to Mr Katsumata's family and friends.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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