It's rare we get to talk about "bigger" fighters from Japan but Mitsuro Tajima (0-0) is certainly a bigger man, at least for a Japanese boxer, but is also someone worth giving attention to ahead of his debut later this year. Unlike many "bigger" fighters in Japan he's a proven quality, following success in the amateurs, and looks likely to be moved quickly on the domestic scene over the coming year or two.
Tajima is a Japanese-Brazilian, like Cristiano Aoqui, and whilst we won't touch much on the politics of Japanese-Brazilians there is actually more of these than many would assume. In fact around 0.1% to 0.2% of the population of Japan are considered Japanese-Brazilians. Despite the number the Japanese-Brazilian's do still suffer from some prejudice, though thankfully it has become less prevalent than it once was.
In the amateurs Tajima made a big mark on the Japanese scene. He fought at 81KG's (around 178.5lbs) in the amateurs, and dominated many of the domestic competitions he entered. He would run up a very impressive 42-9 (20) amateur record and win a number of domestic titles whilst fighting as a university student. His university, the Chuo University, posted several times about his amateur success back in 2015, with Tajima winning the several national amateur titles.
As a student Tajima was studying at the faculty of Commerce and impressing in the ring until injury stalled his boxing career, due to a shoulder injury. Prior to turning professional he had been out of the ring since 2018, when accumulated injuries had seen him need to rest his body and recover.
Back in February Tajima took part in pro-test, and impressed. He spent his pro-test bout sparring with Yamato Fujinaka at the Kaneko gym in Tokyo. Through out the spar Tajima looked sharp, quick and easily out sped, out boxed, out though and out skilled Fujinaka, who had no answer to the jabs, angles and movement of Tajima.
Prior to turning professional Tajima had wanted to fight at the Olympics but it was clear those hopes weren't going to come to anything. Instead of wallowing in what could have been he looked at the offers and decided to turn professional with the Green gym, which has had two world champions and also has a track record, of sorts, with Heavyweights. It was, after all, the Green Gym that had success with Okello Peter, the only fighter to have fought for a world title whilst registered with a Japanese gym.
The gym wasn't just selected for it's track record though with Tajima admitting that he also needed one that was close to his mother. His mother isn't the most fluent Japanese speaker, but is his motivation, and he wanted to be close to her. Sadly Tajima's father died when he was young, and the fighter obviously wants to support his mother.
Interestingly Tajima expects to put on weight now he has turned professional. He was essentially a big Light Heavyweight, taking his amateur weight, and is going to be fighting as a Heavyweight in the professional ranks. Whether that works or not is yet to be seen, but given the competition in Japan at Heavyweight isn't too stiff we wouldn't be surprised at all if Tajima makes his mark on the domestic scene within just 5 or 6 fights.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces