Earlier this week it was reported that former Japanese fighter and promoter Osamu Watanabe had died, back in August, at the age of 82.
Although not the biggest name in the sport Watanabe was a popular figure within the Japanese boxing world, and had been for years.
Born in 1937 Watanabe had began a boxing career himself in 1958, at the age of 21. Although he was never a major star he did have a very credible record of 26-13-7 (4). During that in ring career he had challenged for both the Japanese Featherweight and Lightweight titles, but had come up short in both attempts. Though did end his career with a title, surprisingly winning the Japanese Welterweight title in 1964, when he beat Makoto Watanabe, in what turned out to be his penultimate bout.
Another notable result on his record was a draw with former Lightweight world champion Lauro Salas in 1960.
Following his in retirement in the mid 1960's Watanabe set up the Osamu gym which managed to leave a decent mark on the sport, despite never being one of the biggest name gyms out there.
Despite not being one of the big behind the scenes figures of Japanese boxing Osamu was a recognisable man, often wearing his trademark cowboy hat, and bringing strange ideas to the boxing media. He was certainly a character, and helped draw attention to the local boxing scene.
The news broke on the same day that it was announced the Osamu gym had appointed Hisashi Nakatomi as the new chairman and the gym will be relocating to Koshigaya, Saitama.
Our thouights are with Mr Watanabe's family and friends.
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