Earlier today Nikkan Sports broke the news that Susumu Hanagata [花形進] would be the next President of the East Japan Boxing Association, taking the reigns from Hitoshi Watanabe.
Born in 1947 Hanagata made his professional debut in 1963 and had an active career that ended in 1976. During that time he ran up an impressive record of 41-16-8 (8), scoring notable wins over the likes of Efren Torres, Masao Oba and Chartchai Chionoi, winning the WBC title with his win against Chionoi. Since retiring he has run a gym, the Hanagata Gym, which has developed a number of notable fighters, including Keitaro Hoshino [星野敬太郎] who was the first Japanese world champion to be trained by a Japanese world champion.
It's unclear what Hanagata's aims as the president of the East Japan Boxing Association will be, and what he's going to be pushing, but development and growth seems to be key, as it has with the last few presidents, and it does seem like Hanagata will continue to try and develop the sport.
Interestingly Hanagata becomes the the third recent president to be a former world champion, following Hideyuki Ohashi and Fighting Harada.
(Image courtesy of the JPBA)
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