Earlier today former Japanese Welterweight champion Suyon Takayama (24-2, 8) [高山 樹延] took to his social media account on Ameblo to announce his retirement from boxing, at the age of 30.
Takayama posted that he had decided to retire from active duty ending a 9 year career that saw him become the Japanese Welterweight champion and the OPBF "interim" champion as well as challenge for the OPBF title, whilst thanking fans and admitting that he felt his form had struggled in recent bouts.
Takayama debuted back in July 2007 and won his first 12 bouts before losing a split decision to Yuichi Ideta in February 2011. That loss was soon put behind him and Takayama would then run up another 12 fight winning run. During that second streak he claimed the Japanese Welterweight title, defeating Koshinmaru Saito for the vacant title in December 2012, and recorded 6 defenses of the belt before focusing his attention on the OPBF crown.
After vacating the Japanese title Takayama claimed the interim OPBF title, stopping Joel Dela Cruz in 6 rounds before facing Jack Brubaker for the full title this past July. Unfortunately Takayama was out boxed by Brubaker who retained his title with a split decision, despite being dropped late in the bout. That bout seemed to sum up a feeling in Takayama that he had slipped from what he had been and lead to today's retirement.
Whilst Takayama was scarcely known outside of Japan he was popular among those that frequent the Korakuen Hall, where he fought 25 of his 26 bouts, including wins against Saito, Moon Hyun Yun, Cobra Suwa, Tetsuya Suzuki and Nobuyuki Shindo.
Although it's not yet clear what Takayama will be doing post-retirement he didn't seem to suggest a clear cut break from boxing and we wouldn't be surprised to see him staying involved in the sport in some way, even if it is just as a fan.
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