Earlier this week we brought you the incredibly sad news that Kaito Hattori had lost his battle with leukemia and that, aged just 17, he had passed away. Yesterday saw his wake and although boxing fans may not be fully aware of Kaito Hattori, or his battle, the closer knit boxing community certainly was well aware of Kaito.
The young man, who made his debut in the Philippines in late 2013, had more than 400 people turn up at his wake with a number of notable boxing personalities turning up to pay their respects to the young man.
Among the most famous was Katsunari Takayama who was said to have been doing his best to hold back tears. Takayama wasn't just turning to "show his face" so to speak but was someone who had sparred with Kaito and had visited Kaito numerous times whilst Kaito was in hospital, developing a close friendship with the young fighter. That friendship and respect is to be shown when Takayama returns to the ring in April with a special band being worn in memory of Kaito.
Another who attended was Kazuto Ioka whilst Kaito's mentor at the Taisei gym, Taisei Marumoto, placed an OPBF belt, that he had won, over the coffin of Kaito.
The youngster, who only fought once as a professional, has clearly touched the hearts of the boxing community. We know that he's not the biggest name but the sadness of those who knew him tells us a lot more than his boxing record. The young man, who was diagnosed with leukemia less than a year ago was taken from us far too soon.
Rest in peace Kaito.
(Image courtesy of Taisei Marumoto's blog)
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