Yesterday Japanese fighter Masaaki Serie (27-9, 10) [芹江匡晋] took to his personal blog to announce that his boxing was over at the age of 33, having spent 13 years as an active fighter.
Although really unknown in the west Serie was a popular fighter in his homeland, where he achieved some notable success.
He debuted back in 2003 as a rookie and moved to 5-0 (1) over the following 23 months before having a poor streak that saw hum suffer 4 straight losses, one of which came in Thailand to Thepnimit Sor Chitpattana, in what was Serie's only bout outside of Japan. That bad run was followed be a great streak from Serie who strung together 16 straight wins, including 8 stoppages, to advance his record to 21-4 (9).
Not only did Serie advance his record during that 16 fight winning run, which lasted more than 6 years, but he also achieved his defining achievement, becoming the Japanese Super Bantamweight champion.
He achieved that feat on December 14th 2009, when he defeated future world title challenger Shoji Kimura. His reign lasted more than 2 years as he notched up 6 defenses beating the likes of Kento Matsushita, Mikihito Seto and Yutaka Ishimoto, before he vacated the tite to challenge the then unbeaten OPBF champion Yukinori Oguni. Sadly against Oguni we saw Serie made to look slow and clumsy with Oguni taking a very wide and clear win over the then 29 year old Serie.
Following the loss to Oguni we saw Serie carry on his career, albeit with mixed success winning 6 and losing 4. Despite the numbers not sounding impressive he did beat the then unbeaten Gabriel Altarejos and the once promising Yuki Ozawa, whilst suffering losses to the likes of Rikiya Fukuhara, Ryo Akaho and Kinshiro Usui.
Serie's final bout came this past May when he was upset by Keigo Soma, with that loss likely making Serie feel he had become a diminished fighter.
Through his career Serie was never stopped and his bouts were rarely dull.
In his retirement post he thanked his fans and supporters whilst also apologising for not becoming a world champion as he had promised. Despite failing to reach the heady heights of becoming a world champion Serie's popularity was huge for a Japanese domestic level fighter.
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