Following weeks of speculation it's now clear that we will not see big punching Japanese Super Featherweight Masao Nakamura (22-3, 21) [仲村 正男] challenge WBA Super Featherweight "super" champion Jezreel Corrales (22-1-0-1, 8). That's because of a shock announcement late last night where Nakamura announced that he would be retiring from boxing, at the age of just 28.
The popular and exciting power puncher was a former OPBF champion and was a man who had, just last year, scored the biggest win of his career, winning a 10 round FOTY contender with Daiki Kaneko. Despite that he seems to have suggest that his body isn't up to the life style of a boxer any more and that he feels his body is declining mentally and physically.
Whilst it's unclear what came first, Nakamura's decision to retire or the realisation that a bout with Corrales was going to be unlikely following a recent WBA announcement that the champion would have to fight in a mandatory defense, the timing does seem to be a peculiar one.
We wish Nakamura all the best in his post-boxing life, and it seems that he may be wanting to set up a gym of his own. Given his style however memories of him will live on with fights fans in Japan who saw him reel off 12 straight stoppage wins between 2006 and 2011 and score wins of note against not just Kaneko but also Ryota Kajiki, Allan Tanada and Fahsai Sakkreerin,
For those who haven't seen it, we've included footage of his war with Kaneko below.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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