Between 1996 and 2014 Japanese slugger Tadashi Yuba [湯場 忠志] ran up a 46-10-2 (33) record claiming Japanese national titles at Lightweight, Light Welterweight, Welterweight, Light Middleweight and Middleweight, securing a legendary status at home. Not only was he the first Japanese fight to win titles across 5 weights but did some in an exciting fashion whilst scoring some really notable wins, including victories over Yoshinori Takenaka, Akinori Watanabe, Takayuki Hosokawa, Tomohiro Ebisu, Carlos Linares and Yosuke Kirima.
Now it seems like the Yuba name will live on with a story from Japan emerging that Tadashi's son Kaiju Yuba [海樹 湯場] is set to turn professional in early 2017, with the youngster expected to take his pro-test in the near future, with the aim of passing a B license test.
If he passes the test then the plan is to have him debut in Tokyo and given how he's looked as an amateur there is some real excitement about his potential professional career, with some suggesting he could fight at a higher level than his father, who fought for OPBF titles during his long career.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
The name Tadashi Yuba may not be a major one outside of Japan but inside his homeland the Japanese fighter is a local legend having been the first Japanese fighter to win 5 divisional titles at the domestic level.
Last year Yuba fought for the last time, suffering a stoppage loss to Dennis Laurente in an OPBF title bout. Following that loss the veteran, who ran up an incredible 46-10-2 (33) record, announced his retirement just weeks before his 38th birthday, As part of his retirement he was going to open a gym in his home town and try to help grow boxing in the local community.
Yesterday that gym, the YUVAX Boxing and Fitness Gym, opened it's doors to the public with the intention of training anybody wanting to learn to box, though the focus is said to be on high school students in the local community.
As Yuba is a veteran of the sport he seems to be wanting to pass on his knowledge to those willing to learn and whilst he may not have been a truly world class star he did manage to achieve more than most fighters. His accomplishments earned him a chance to fight in televised bouts and he'll be hoping to help fighters replicate his success. At the moment however his focus does seem to be on amateur fighters as opposed to professionals. We suspect that if a fighter was wanting to turn professional he's have the contacts to push them in the right direction.
(Image courtesy of Tadashi Yuba's blog)
We are sad to report that former 5-weight Japanese national champion Tadashi Yuba (46-10-2, 33) has announced his retirement from the sport of boxing, aged 37.
Yuba made the announcement over his personal blog and has indicated that he will take part in a retirement ceremony set for February 10th at the Korakuen Hall, though no sparring opponent has yet been named for the ceremony.
This announcement comes just a few weeks after Yuba was beaten by Filipino fighter Dennis Laurente in an OPBF Light Middleweight title fight. It seems that that loss was the end for the popular fighter who has been involved in some thrillers through out his long career, which began back in 1996.
(Image courtesy of Tadashi Yuba's blog)
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fans got the chance to see "Dangan 118". The show had several notable bouts on it thought the stand out contest, by far, was the main event which pitted two highly regarded fights against each for OPBF title glory. One of those men was former 5-weight Japanese national champion Tadashi Yuba (46-10-2, 33) who, despite his success nationally, had never previously won an OPBF title. Yuba was hoping it would be 3rd time lucky. The other man was Filipino veteran Dennis Laurente (49-5-5, 30), a former OPBF and PABA champion at Lightweight, who was looking to score his 6th straight stoppage.
On paper it was an excellent match up. Not only were both veterans with impressive records but both were highly ranked by the OPBF who had Yuba at #4 and Laurenta at #1. Even with out the title it would have been a bout of real value, though one that would likely have sent the loser into retirement. Sadly for Yuba he was the one who came up short.
Laurente went on to the offensive quickly and seemed to be able to force Yuba on to the back foot at will. Those who have seen Yuba will likely be aware that when he's not got space to work he really struggles and Laurente wasn't going to allow him to have the space he needed to get his powerful straights into the bout. Laurente's aggressiveness allowed him to easily neutralise the 4" height advantage that Yuba had and get shots off on the inside where Yuba really couldn't work. It didn't help that Yuba himself looked heavy legged from early on making life even easier for the Filipino.
With Laurente looking in charge it seemed like Yuba would need something special. Today however wasn't his day and a barrage from Laurente in round 6, punctuated by a clean uppercut and a spiteful right hook, sent down the Japanese fighter down. The referee had immediately seen enough and stopped it there and then.
Sadly for Yuba this was almost certainly his best, and final, chance to become an OPBF champion. For Laurente however this seems him winning his second OPBF title more than 13 years after he won his first, defeating Yosuke Otsuka in November 2001 for the Lightweight title.
We're hopign that Laurente will be defending his belt in the new year and, there are several interesting opponents out there for him, such as Charlie Ota, Yuki Nonaka and Akinori Watanabe. Then again Laurente is 37 and may well be thinking about either retirement or chasing a big fighter in the US, and who can blame if an opportunity opens up for him.
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