One thing we don't cover in much depth here is amateur boxing, though we certainly have a passing interest in the unpaid ranks, and we do follow what goes on, as that's where the champions of tomorrow are often developed.
Sadly with that in mind we were sad to learn today this year's All Japan Boxing Championships and the have now been cancelled.
Earlier today the Japan Amateur Boxing Federation announced that it would be impossible to run the tournament safely and as a result have cancelled both the male and female tournaments, which were supposed to be held in November.
The official statement released stated:
"We have decided to cancel in consideration of the safety of athletes, leaders, and tournament management staff. Unfortunately, we would like to ask for your understanding in consideration of the current severe situation."
Earlier today news broke that popular former Japanese amateur fighter, turned successful actor, Hidekazu Akai has been appointed for a role with the Japan Amateur Boxing Federation.
The "Rocky of Nanaiwa" will be part of an online press conference on Friday to speak about the role, though the role seems to be about promoting the sport, with the role coming as part of the promotion committee.
Although not that well known outside of Japan Akai was a huge star in Osaka, where his exciting and aggressive style and heavy hand earned him a place as a fan favourite. Internationally he is best known for his 1983 bout with Bruce Curry, for the WBC Light Welterweight title, in which he was stopped in the 7th round. Sadly his in ring career came to an end less than 2 years later, when he suffered a brain hemmorhage after a bout with Masaharu Owada. He was given little chance to live, but battled back and has become a genuinely notable actor in his homeland, in fact some will know him more as an actor than a fighter.
His appointment within the Japan Amateur Boxing Federation seems to have been a really smart one. He's popular, he's well known, he's a former boxer himself and should work as a a brilliant way to promote the sport through Japan.
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