Former Japanese and OPBF Middleweight champion Tetsuya Suzuki (29-12, 17) [鈴木哲也氏] has been awarded a "Child Youth Support Award" by the Japanese cabinet due to his out of the ring activities, which have seen him working with youth in his local area with the Yao District BBS Society.
Mr Suzuki began working with people following his career, wanting to give back to the people who had supported him during his fighting career. Apparently there are now around 215 people who are registered with Mr Suzuki and take part in the boxing activities he puts on.
He's not just doing boxing activities but also, along with the members who join him, pick up litter in the local and generally help with the support and assistance of juvenile delinquents as well as children's activities and a canteen for the local kids.
We want to congratulate Mr Suzuki on his recognition and wish him the best in continuing his good work.
We've got word from our Japanese sources that recent Japanese Welterweight title challenger Tetsuya Suzuki (29-12, 17) is set to retire.
The 31 year old Suzuki fought Suyon Takayama this past Monday for the Japanese Welterweight title and put up a stirring effort though was narrowly beaten on the cards. It seems that this was Takayama putting all of his effort in and it sounds like he has said to himself "I gave it my best shot and I'm not quite good enough to beat the top guys in Japan any more".
Prior to his fight with Takayama this week Suzuki had actually been a 2-time Japanese Middleweight champion and a former OPBF champion so does have a very credible career to retire with despite his "record" looking less than flattering.
Although this story has yet to be confirmed we're expecting to see more reports about it coming out later this week. If it's confirmed then we hope Suzuki will be happy with what he's achieved in the sport and that he has a great retirement, he's earned it.
(Photo courtesy of Mushima boxing gym)
Japanese Welterweight champion Suyon Takayama (20-1, 7) might be "world ranked" by the WBA, #14, though few would class him as a world class fighter. The reasons for that were shown earlier today as he got ran incredibly closely by the experienced but limited Tetsuya Suzuki (29-12, 17).
Suzuki, a former 2-time Japanese Middleweight champion, was written off as a relative no hoper here though he really got to Takayama and forced his fight, his strength and pressure to force the champion into countering.
Takayama had to dig incredibly deep in a really tough fight to grind out a 96-94 decision win though few will feel that the champion is the best 147lbder in the land. In fact many would feel that Yoshiro Kamegai should be chasing the Japanese title and on Takayama's performance here their is every chance Kamegai would beat him.
Having mentioned a possible Kamegai/Takayama fight that really does seem like the bout that needs making here and a bout that every fan would love to see. Especially considering it would unify the Japanese and OPBF titles as well as be fight with significance on the world rankings. Come on guys lets get this one sorted!
(Photo courtesy of www.boxingnews.jp)
The Japanese Champions Carnival has had a number of fights around for 2014. The "Carnival", which sees the Japanese national champions fighting their mandatory challengers is an annual thing and this years looks like a genuinely exciting one with a number of fantastic looking contests.
The first, which is scheduled to take place on January 17th is for the vacant Japanese Minimumweight title as Go Odaira (8-3-3, 1) takes on Masashi Tada (11-3-1, 7). This bout, at the Korakuen Hall, headlines what is already looking like a very interesting cad.
We get the second of the title fights on February 1st when Yu Kimura (12-2-1, 2) battles the experienced Kenichi Horikawa (25-12-1, 4) for the vacant Light Flyweight title. Like the Minimumweight bout this is to be held in the Korakuen Hall, though unfortunately no card has really been really been arranged around it.
The vacant Super Featherweight title will be fought for on February 10th as Rikki Naito (8-0, 4) fights Hiroyasu Matsuzaki (22-6-2, 11). This bout, also at the Korakuen Hall, is a genuinely tough match up for the unbeaten Naito and could well be his toughest test so far.
On March 1st we get arguably the best of the bouts as Japanese Middleweight champion Daisuke Nakagawa (22-3-2, 17) fights OPBF Middleweight champion Akio Shibata (21-8-1, 9). This bout is not only a unification bout but also a rematch from 2012 when Shibata narrowly beat Nakagawa for the Japanese Light Middleweight title. This one has all the ingredients of a great fight.
Just days after the Middleweight clash we expect the Light Middleweight clash as Tadashi Yuba (45-8-2, 32), pictured above, fights against Takayuki Hosokawa (24-10-3, 8). This bout, on March 4th, looks like a mismatch on paper but Yuba will be 37 by the time this fight comes around.
March 17th will see Welterweight action as champion Suyon Takayama (19-1, 7) defends his belt against Tetsuya Suzuki (29-11, 17). This will be Takayama's 3rd defense of the belt and Suzuki's first title fight since losing the Japanese Middleweight title to Makoto Fuchigami in October 2010.
A week after the Welterweight title fight we will see Super Bantamweight Hidenori Otake (21-1-3, 9) fighting against Takafumi Nakajima (22-6-1, 9). This will see Otake looking for his 4th title defence whilst Nakajima will be looking for revenge over the man who beat him to it back in August 2012.
On March 30th the highly promising Yohei Tobe (7-1-1, 4) challenges Teiru Kinoshita (19-0-1, 3) for the Super Flyweight title. This will be Kinoshita's 6th title defense whilst Tobe, who has been unsuccessful in an OPBF title fight, wil be fighting in his first Japanese national title bout.
There are 4 other have been arranged in principle though no date has been set for either. These bouts will see Suguru Muranaka defending his newly acquired Flyweight title against former champion Masayuki Kuroda and Kentaro Masuda fighting Yu Kawaguchi for the vacant Bantamweight title. This second bout however does depend on Masuda winning his fight on December 11th. The third will see Suzuki Yuhei facing Yoshitaka Kato, if Kato defeats Masayoshi Nakatani on January 11th. We also believe that Satoshi Hosono will be fighting Yuki Ogata for the vacant Featherweight title.
As well as the bouts which have been agreed in principle their are 2 champions that don't yet have a challenger. These are Light Welterweight champion Keita Obara and Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto. Fujimoto's bout however is expected to be on March 30
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