Prior to his release Mr Hakamada had spent more than 40 years on death row for the murder of 4 people. The case however was fraught with controversy which had included the police beating a confession out of the former fighter and was the subject of an amnesty international campaign, as well as a campaign from the WBC and the JPBA, all of whom tried to get a retrial. The retrial was eventually ordered with Mr Hakamada eventually being released last year.
Upon his release he was honoured with a WBC honourary title, he was the guest of honour at the 2014 Boxing Day event and was also the man responsible for a review in to how Japanese police conducted their interviews and the legal system in Japan, including the death sentence.
Mr Hakamada was joined at ringside by his sister and current world champion Takashi Uchiyama and was also invited into the ring prior to the main event, which saw Satoshi Hosono successfully defend his Japanese Featherweight title against Rikiya Fukuhara.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)