When it comes to modern day legends Japan has few greater than Hozumi Hasegawa (36-5, 16) [長谷川 穂積], a multi-time Japanese boxer of the year, a very long reigning champion at Bantamweight and a man who moved up to claim titles at Featherweight and Super Bantamweight.
Today that legendary career has come to an end with Hasegawa announcing that is retiring from the sport of boxing, whilst at the top and holding the WBC Super Bantamweight title, his third world title.
Hasegawa stated that he had nothing to prove to himself in the soport having achieved his long term goal of becoming a 3-weight world champion, becoming only the 5th Japanese fighter to achieve that feat, and although he felt physically he could continue in the sport there was nothing there mentally to challenge him.
Hasegawa has long been one of the stars of the Japanese boxing scene and since debuting in 1999 has has had a brilliant career. He won the OPBF Bantamweight title in 2003, claiming the belt with a win over "Japanese-Killer" Jess Maca, he would later add the WBC Bantamweight title by beating Veeraphol Sahaprom in 2005, who had been unbeaten in his previous 44 bouts. As the WBC Bantamweight champion Hasegawa ran up 10 defenses, including a stoppage over Sahaprom and victories over Simpiwe Vetyeka and Vusi Malinga. In 2010 he claimed the WBC Featherweigth title, over-coming the then unbeaten Juan Carlos Burgos, before becoming a 3 weight champion this past September with an upset victory over Hugo Ruizto claim the WBC Super Bantamweight title.
Although now retired Hasegawa will attend the upcoming WBC general assembly to officially vacate the title.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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