As many fans will remember the 2012 Olympics was a major one for Japanese boxers. We all know that Ryota Murata became a star as he claimed a gold medal but it was also notable for the achievements of Satoshi Shimizu who claimed an Olympic Bronze medal and was actually the first Japanese fighter to claim an Olympic medal since 1968.
Unlike Murata we'v not seen Shimizu turned professional instead he has focussed on the 2016 Rio Olympics as he attempts to become the first Japanese boxer to claim medals in 2 Olympic games. Although not a "professional" Shimizu has signed up for the APB, the AIBA Pro Boxing, which allows fighters to continue to to compete at the Olympics.
In preparation for the up coming games Shimizu has made various changes to his life. The first of those notable changes was that he left the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force where he was employed.
Another of the changes was his trainer and he is now working alongside former professional fighter Masuaki Takeda. Takeda, who fought as a professional in the 1980's and 1990's and compiled a stellar record of 25 wins and 4 losses from 29 fights with 12KO's, twice challenged for world titles though came up short in both of those world title bouts.
Despite his professional career Takeda only actually began training fighters a few years ago though already seems to have gained a brilliant reputation simply by the fact Shimizu has agreed to work with him. Not only are they working together but it also appears that the two men have an excellent working relationship which should help Shimizu towards success in both the Olympics and the APB.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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