Earlier today it was announced, by the JBC, that Green Tsuda Gym Chairman Masaya Motoishi had won the 2020 Diamond Fist Award.
The award recognises social contributions made by those involved in the sport. In this particular case it recognises the large donation made by Mr Motoishi to the New Coronavirus Infectious Disease Control Support Fund in Hirakata City. A donation that was reported to have been ¥1,000,000.
There was also two special prize award winners named by the JBC.
One of those was former doctor Joji Otsuki, and the other was former WBC Super Bantamweight champion Royal Kobayashi. Sadly both of these men have passed away in recent months.
Over the last few months boxing has been on hold in Japan due to the on going situation, but fights are now being lined up for July and August and various promoters are now focusing on what their next steps are. One such promoter is Green Tsuda who were in the news today for a few reasons today.
The head of the gym, Masaya Motoishi, as well as former Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (19-6, 16) [矢田良太], visited the mayor of Hirataka City in Osaka, to make a donation of ¥1,000,000. The gym has been one of the more interesting gyms during the whole lockdown, and actually gave fighters additional funds to help them through the tough times that some were having when they were unable to fight, or take part in their day jobs.
As well as the donation Mr Motoishi also confirmed that their will be a Green Tsuda card in Hirataka City on August 9th. The details for the card are very scarce at the moment, though we do know that Yada will headlined the show. At the moment it seems like that card could be the first one in Osaka after the sport's restart in Japan.
Just moments ago Boxmob.jp reported that Masaya Motoishi, the chairman of Green Tsuda, had pledged to help all of his professional fighters with a subsidy to be paid out later this month.
From what we understand the gym will be paying ¥50,000 to it's 20 active fighters, to help them during this current circumstance. The plan is to pay the money, totally ¥1,000,000, at the end of the month. That's a payment 10 times more than the gym it's self has received Japanese Professional Boxing Associations, and 20 times more than what the gym got from the West Japan Boxing Association.
Boxmob quote Mr Motoishi as saying that he "wanted to do what I can", and given that fighters have gone on to lose their part time jobs outside of the sport this is a clear attempt to help them all out.
Given the gym isn't currently open a decision to refund fees would make a lot of sense, but this actually goes beyond that and makes it clear the gym are thinking about their fighters first, even if it will financially hurt the gym in the short term. The longer term aim is clear, and Mr Motoishi, explained "The top priority now is to protect the lives of athletes and staff".
We wouldn't be surprised to see more gyms, particularly some of the more successful and notable ones, following suit in the coming days. That's something that Mr Motoishi has called on gyms to do.
We already know that there will be no boxing in Japan until July and given the gyms are closed for the foreseeable future several other gyms may end up helping their fighters out in similar fashion to this. As far as we're aware however, they are the first gym to give a their fighters financial help during this time period.
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