In May 1957 Noburu Kataoka defeated Yutaka Nakagoshi in what was the 4th bout between the two men in the space of just 2 months. That win saw Kataoka becoming the inaugural Japanese Heavyweight champion. Unfortunately the JBC scrapped the title the following year stating there wasn't enough Japanese fighters in the division to make the title worth while, especially not when you consider that Kataoka and Nakagoshi were essentially both Light Heavyweights and neither fought beyond their 4th bout.
It was more than 50 years later that the JBC changed their stance and "reactivated" the Japanese Heavyweight title which saw it's second champion being crowd in 2013 when Kyotaro Fujimoto defeated Okello Peter. It had taken more than 56 years for the second Japanese Heavyweight champion to be crowned.
Sadly our sources are suggesting that the belt may again disappear with Kyotaro apparently set to vacate the belt and fight international foes in an attempt to test himself against a more varied selection of opponents.
In fairness to Kyotaro he has defended the belt thrice, and holds a couple of wins against both Nobuhiro Ishida and Kotatsu Takehara. Essentially he has cleaned out the domestic competition, and is the clear #1, despite twice taking narrow wins over Ishida.
If Kyotaro does keep the title he'll be left either going over old ground with a third bout against either Ishida or Takehara, or waiting for a new contender to emerge as being a credible threat, something that may well take years. If he gives up the title and focuses on something more significant, for exampled the OPBF title, then his career really could go forward, or at very least he could potentially make a name for himself internationally and earn big bucks typically associated with the Heavyweight division.
Whilst the Kyotaro vacating the belt is only speculation at the moment our source has told us that it's very likely to happen and that the JBC will not be rushing to fill the void. It's an unfortunate way to leave the belt, but the hopefully it'll only be a few years until we see a new champion crowned, rather than another 50+ years.
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