Last year, after one of the longest legal battles in history battle, Iwao Hakamada was released form a Japanese prison. The former fighter had spent more than 40 years on death row for a crime it seems, he couldn't have committed. His case is seen as one of the biggest mistakes against a single person in legal history and was so famous that amnesty international had a petition for his release, or retrial.
His release came after numerous people, ranging from the JPBA to the WBC to those with no real interest in boxing helped raise attention regarding his plight and eventually helped get Mr Hakamada acquitted on several cases of murder that he was said to have committed in the 1960's. Following his acquittal Mr Hakamada was honoured by both the WBC, who presented him with an honorary title, and by Japanese boxing who helped through a massive event in his honour.
Despite being released as a free man Mr Hakamada hasn't made a huge name for himself and has, on the whole, stayed out of the media. This week however the Japanese boxing media did pick up on a story involving the now frail 78 year old.
Mr Hakamada, who turns 79 on March 10th, will be at the Korakuen Hall on Thursday to watch the rematch between Japanese Featherweight champion Satoshi Hosono (26-2-1, 20) and Rikiya Fukuhara (30-7-1, 22). From the reports we've been sent this will be Hakamada's first show since he was released and he'll he a guest of honour at the Ohashi promoted card and will be the first time he's been part of any form of boxing activity since last year's Boxing Day event.
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