Earlier today new broke that former Japanese Lightweight champion Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-6-1, 12) [西谷和宏] had retired at the age of 35, ending his career after 28 bouts.
The awkward and talented Nishitani debuted in 2009 and won his first 7 bouts before suffering back to back losses to Tetsuya Nishinaga and Yuhei Suzuki. He bounced back from those losses and reeled off 7 more wins before suffering back to back set backs once again, with a draw against Yushi Fujita and a loss to Yusuke Tsukada. He would also lose against soon afterwards when he came up short against Kota Tokunaga in a Japanese title fight in 2015.
Going from 14-2 to 15-4-1 Nishitani remained a top Japanese domestic contender and in 2017 got his second title shot, this time against the hard hitting Shuhei Tsuchiya. The bout saw Nishitani being dropped, before fighter back and stopping Tsuchiya in the 8th round to win the Japanese Lightweight title. Sadly though he decided to vacate the title, moving to 130lbs, his natural weight. Sadly he never landed another title fight, though did manage to secure some big fights to end his career, losing in 2020 to Kenichi Ogawa and in 2021 to Hironori Mishiro. Those losses are the final bouts of his career as he now hangs up his gloves.
We want to wish Nishitani all the best in his post boxing career.
Earlier today Misako Boxing Gym announced that former OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific champion Hiroaki Teshigawara (22-3-2, 15) [勅使河原 弘晶] had chosen to retire from professional boxing, ending his career at the age of 31.
The heavy handed and exciting "Teshi", turned professional in 2011 under the guidance of Koichi Wajima, and crafted a really solid career for himself. Despite never being a huge star outside of Japan, he managed to create a cult following at home, whilst notching notable wins over the likes of Keita Kurihara, Jetro Oabustan, Jason Canoy, Teiru Kinoshita, Shohei Omori and Shingo Kawamura. As with many fighters in East Japan he really made his home at Korakuen Hall and fought his first 26 fights at the "Holyland" of Japanese boxing.
Sadly however Teshigawara is best known outside of Japan for his final bout, which came last December in Carson California, in an IBF world title eliminator against Marlon Tapales, who stopped him in 2 rounds. That loss appears set to be etched in history as the final bout for Teshigwara.
According to sources in Japan Teshigawara had stated, after his 2016 loss to Ryo Akaho, that if he suffered another loss he was going to retire. Following that loss he went on an excellent run, going 10-0 (9), before running into Tapales, and suffering a loss. Keeping his promise to himself, that was the end.
Despite the fact his career is now over, Teshigawara stated that he had no regrets, and will focus on using what he learned in boxing to help in society. He also thanked Koichi Wajima, who he described as a "lifesaver" and someone who gave him an opportunity to turn his life around, and Takashi Misako, of Misako Gym, as well as fans.
As huge fans of Teshigawara, and his exciting style, and fun bouts, we are sad to see this be the end of his career, but we are glad we got to full so much of it, and enjoy some amazing bouts featuring him.
Earlier today former Japanese Featherweight champion Taiki Minamoto (17-7-1, 13) [源大輝] announced that he was calling time on his career, and retiring at the age of 31.
The hard hitting fighter, who won the Japanese Featherweight title in April 2018, explained that his title win was the highlight of his career, calling it a special day, especially given it was the anniversary of the death of his mother, "I still think she got her (belt) caught. It's a special day for me,"
Notable Minamoto built his career the hard way, having had no amateur experience before becoming a staple on the Japanese domestic scene winning the Featherweight title and scoring notable wins against the likes of Dai Iwai, Takenori Ohashi and Tatsuya Otsubo, as well as earning a draw with Reiya Abe.
It’s now expected that Minamoto will begin to work in the food industry, with a kitchen role expected for him following his boxing career. The restaurant industry is something his family are known for, and they run a restaurant in Beppu, Oita, which actually trained Taiki before he left Beppu to become a boxer in Tokyo, and made his debut in 2011.
Earlier today former IBF Atomweight champion Saemi Hanagata (16-7-5, 7) [田中冴美] took part in her retirement ceremony, as part of Victoriva 8.
The former world champion, who is now 37, spoke about her future, and also had her former promoter, Susumu Hanagata, talk about thee now retired fighter.
Susumu Hanagata, who isn't related to Saemi but gave his former student the "Hanagata" name, stated that before boxing the fighter was a person who gave up at the sight of a challenge. However thanks to boxing become stronger and developed into a world champion, bouncing back from various set backs along the way.
The fighter herself is now looking to become an elementary school teacher, and is expected to begin teaching next year. She stated that from now on, she was to become a teach and help make children smile.
We would lie to wish Hanagata all the best in her post-boxing life, and career.
Earlier today the EDION Arena Osaka, played host to a small, but notable, upset as fans saws hard hitting youngster Kyonosuke Kameda (7-3-1, 6) [亀田 京之介] fail in his first defense of the Japanese Youth Featherweight title, losing a decision to under-dog Hiroki Hanabusa (9-2-3, 3) [英洸貴].
Heading in to the bout it seemed like Kameda had all the moment. He had won the title in impressive fashion, stopping Tsubasa Narai, and and had looked like someone proving himself as a talented boxer himself, not just a man with a famous boxing famile. Hanabusa on the other hand had lost his last two bouts, and had done little to even deserve a shot here. In fact it looked like he had been hand selected as an easy first defense.
No one told Hanabusa he wasn't supposed to be there to win, or that he was supposed to make up the numbers however.
From the opening moments Hanabusa came out aggressively, closing the distance and taking the fight to Kameda, who looked to fight as a counter puncher and make the most of his heavier hands. Kameda had success at times with his counter shots, particularly in round 2, but he was always under pressure and Hanabusa responded to everything with more output, more pressure and more aggression.
The pressure and aggression of Hanabusa wasn't just winning him rounds, but also frustrating and stifling Kameda, who was deducted a point in round 6 for pushing Hanabusa away. A point that left him in a bit of a hole. Hanabusa knew he was away from home, on a show promoted by Kameda's promoter, Harada Gym, and knew that he couldn't give the judges a chance to deny him a victory, and kept the pressure up in the final rounds. Kameda tried to have a war in round 8, giving his all, but it was too little too late and he couldn't break the will or spirit of Hanabusa.
After 8 rounds the judges had this 77-75, and 76-75, twice, all in favour of Hanabusa who scored the biggest win of his career, and took home the Japanese Youth Featherweight title.
At the same event in Osaka we also had the retirement ceremony of Japanese veteran Tetsuya Hisada (34-11-2, 20) [久田 哲也], who officially hung up the gloves earlier this year. Hisada, who began his career in 2003, was emotional as he thanked the Harada a gym for their support, and the way they had helped him come back from defeats and continue to fight on and develop. He also teared up whilst reading a letter from his eldest daughter.
Hisada described Takeshi Harada, the chairman of the Harada gym, as being like a big brother and explained that he is now working as a video creator, doing advertising videos.
We would like to wish Hisada all the best in his post boxing career.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!