Earlier today we were informed that former Japanese Super Featherweight champion Mamoru Hayashi had passed away, at the age of 76.
The fighter from Fujisawa in Kanagawa isn't a high profile fighter that many international fans will know of, but domestically he is a very significant fighter. As an amateur he was fantastic, running up a reported 101-10 (32) record and won several notable competitions, including a major national tournament in 1958.
Given his excellent amateur credentials he was tipped for big things as a professional and made his pro debut in 1963, at the age of 21. He would debut in August 1963 and ended the year 4-0 before suffering a shock loss in early 1964 to Atom Hatai. That loss showed up the biggest issue with Hayashi, his lack of toughness, with the technically skilled figher being stopped in 3 rounds. He would quickly put the loss behind him and move up in weight. The move up served him well and in December 1964 he would defeat Yasunobu Takada to become the second ever Japanese Super Featherweight champion.
He would defend the title once, with a win in a rematch with Takada, before losing the belt in 1965 to Hiroshi Mori. A rematch with Mori saw Hayashi become a 2-time champion his second reign would come to an end the following year at the ends of Yuji Amashima, who had stopped Hayashi in a none title bout before ripping the title away from him in a rematch.
Hayashi would retire following the second loss to Amashima, with a record of 13-4 (1). He would be the first ever champion from the Yonekura gym and help put them on the map, before they became one of the nations key gyms.
The cause of death has been put down to myocardial infarction.
RIP Mr Hayashi
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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