Back in 2013 Japan's Motoki Sasaki (40-10-1, 25) [佐々木基樹] retired from the sport. The veteran had had 50 fights and was heading towards his 38th birthday, he had also come up short in a couple of world title fights and had seemingly had enough of active competition.
That retirement lasted until this past Saturday with the now 40 year old Motoki returning to the ring over the weekend, and looking in great condition for a man who was almost 41 and had been out of the ring for a prolonged period.
Sasaki, on his return, faced off against Tatsuya Miyazaki (8-8-1, 8) [宮崎辰也], who at 31 is a relative Spring chicken to Sasaki. Despite the age gap Sasaki was simply too good and had too much for the younger man.
Sasaki's skills were the difference early on and as the bout progressed, and as Sasaki shook off some ring rust, the difference in ability became more and more apparently with Miyazaki's face quickly showing signs of damage.
Miyazaki was being beaten with ease by Sasaki, but the "old man" didn't want to just take a win but wanted to do it in style, and in the 6th round he dropped Miyazaki hard, forcing the towel in from his corner.
Following the bout Sasaki suggested that whilst he was likely never going to win a world title, given his age, he was still hoping to claim titles in his comeback, making it clear this wasn't a one off. He seems to view either a Japanese or Oriental title as his target and given his age either would be a real achievement, however the way he got into shape for this bout does show his determination and we'd not be shocked to see Teiken getting him some big achievements before he retires for good.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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