"Joe", a former multi-time world champion, was one of the most popular Japanese fighters in history and his success, personality and style helped to reignite the sport in Japan. He was an inspiration to a generation of fighters and been regarded as one of the most significant figures in repopularising the sport in Japan in the 1990's and 00's. With out him we would likely not have had the likes of Hozumi Hasegawa or Takashi Miura who have both said they were inspired or influenced by Joe.
From what we under the 18 year old Juiki Tatsuyoshi will be fighting under the guidance of Osaka Teiken, the same gym that managed his father. If just half the magic of his father has been passed down to him then there is every chance the youngster will become a world champion. Hopefully however he won't have copied too many bad habits of his father who was happy to fight with his hands down and now pays for it, sadly, with notably slurred speech.
The youngster has been training at Osaka Teiken since last year though we hadn't expected him to do his public pro-test bout so early. Saying that his debut as a professional won't be until next year allowing him to continue to work on his boxing before making his debut.
The eagle eyed among you may have unknowingly seen the youngster and his already this year. Juiki was sat with his dad in attendance for the world title double header at the Osaka Castle Hall featuring Shinsuke Yamanaka and Hozumi Hasegawa. Of course it was at the same venue that Joichiro scored his magnificent win over Sirimongkol Singwancha, a win that saw him becoming a 3-time WBC champion. Nobody is suggesting that Juiki will achieve the same in the ring, but it will be great to see the "Tatsuyoshi" name returning to boxing.
At the moment no partner for the test has been named nor have we been informed of any other details, though hopefully we will have more on this closer to the date.
(Image courtesy of http://www.daily.co.jp)