We will admit, before we go any further, that today is a slow news day in the world of Asian boxing. A really slow news day, so please excuse us for this one!
Earlier today Japanese news site Chunichi.co.jp reported that former WBC Bantamweight champion Yasuei Yakushiji [薬師寺保栄] has announced that he will return to the sporting world in 2021 as an active competitor, more than 25 years after his last bout.
The 52 year old former fighter will, thankfully, bot be returning to the ring however, but is instead looking to become a champion in body building, and aims to win the All Japan Masters Championship next summer. in what is a rather remarkable change in career.
The fighter has revealed that he "wants to become a champion again", and obvious at 52, heading towards 53 by summer next year, he needed a new challenge.
He admitted that he had often been losing weight as a boxer, but this year he had been invited to a local bodybuilding gym and found a new challenge there, with a fire being lit inside him once again to compete.
As a body builder the plan is for Yakushiji to compete at 65KG's, a similar weight to boxing Welterweight division. The plan also sees him competing directly with his star boxing student Musashi Mori (11-0, 6) [森 武蔵], who is looking to become a world boxing champion next year, and it'll be interesting to see if the two do play up their rivalry in the boxing media.
It should be noted that Yakushiji is still a very fit man and does run the Yakushiji Boxing Gym, so whilst he has retired from boxing he is still very much involved in the sport, and in general fitness. He does weigh a lot more than he did during his career, but he's also a very healthy guy in general, and it's going to be interesting to see how he fares in his latest challenger.
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