Earlier today the Japanese papers broke a notable, though likely hugely over-looked in the West, story in regards to Japanese fighter Shindo Go (16-3, 11) [真道ゴー].
According to Go the up coming bout against WBO female Bantamweight champion Naoko Fujioka (14-1, 6) [藤岡 奈穂子], on June 13th, will be the fighter's final one as a woman. Following the bout Go will head to Thailand where the fighter will under-go sex realignment surgery to become a man, ending years personal issues with sexual identity.
Go's issues with sexual identity have been well reported in the Japanese press with the fighter being open about those problems in the past. In fact Go has said gender identity disorder has caused problems throughout their life, and really got a lot worse from the age of 20 when thoughts began to turn towards having this surgery.
From the reports Go will be getting their eggs frozen before under-going the surgery so that kids are a possibility in the future along with a life that Go feels comfortable living and forwarding a long term relationship.
Talking to the press Go, who will go by the name Shindo Hashimoto following the transition, said "人生はこれから。同じように悩む人に勇気を与えたい" ["Jinsei wa korekara. Onajiyōni nayamu hito ni yūki o ataetai"], a paraphrased translation of which says "I want to give courage to those who suffer the same in the future".
Given the plans to have surgery, by the end of the year, the bout with Fujioka is expected to be Go's final contest as a female boxer. The JBC have have stated they will consider an application to have Go fight as a man, but that they will need a doctor to assess the situation. Go stated that she would like to fight as a man at least once, though again it will depend on what the JBC, with doctors advice, rule.
Of course Go won't be the only combat sport related figure to under-go sexual realignment surgery, following in the footsteps of British promoter Kelly Maloney and cage fighter Fallon Fox, however Go's story has been a public one in Japan and the surgery, potentially whilst holding a female world title, is somewhat unique given that Go was still recognised as a top level fighter before deciding to transition.
We would like to wish Go the best, whether the surgery goes ahead as planned or not.
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