Last year we saw the release of former Japanese fighters Iwao Hakamada, following his prolong stay on death row for murder. Unfortunately for the "Japanese Rubin Carter" his release wasn't an acceptance of his innocence but a release ahead of a retrail.
Today saw the fight for Hakamada's innocence continue as support groups tried to convince the Japanese court system that a retrial wasn't the right thing to do, considering that the evidence was flimsy in the first place.
Among those offering support to Hakamada today were current WBA Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi and former WBA Minimumweight and WBC Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi who were both at a support event in Tokyo.
Yaegashi, who has regularly been at these events, stated the battle for Hakamada wasn't yet over whilst Taguchi stated his belief that Hakamada was innocent.
There is some hope that the 79 year old Hakamada will not be forced back to court, though given his treatment over the last 50 years there is real fear that he will again find himself being locked up, despite failing health.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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