One of the most popular Japanese warriors of recent years if former 3-weight world champion Akira Yaegashi. The popular action fight from the Ohashi Gym has wowed fans in Japan for years and build a legitimate cult following among international fans for his thrilling battles and blood and guts mentality. Whilst he was never really close to being a top 10 fight in terms of pound-for-pound ranking he had long been in the top 10 most exciting fighters to watch. Win or lose Yaegashi was always a fan favourite.
Whilst we know fans love watching Yaegashi, there are a lot of details regarding the warrior that fans likely aren't aware of. So with that in mind here are 10 facts you probably didn't know about...Akira Yaegashi
1-When Yaegashi beat Pornsawan Porpramook for the WBA Minimumweight title he became the first world champion from Iwate Prefecture
2-As an amateur Yaegashi went 56-14 (15), winning 2000 Inter-High school tournament, at Mosquitoweight, and the 2002 National Sport tournament, at Light Flyweight. Interestingly 4 of his losses came to the same man, Toshiyuki Igarashi, who Yaegashi would later beat in the professional ranks for the WBC world title.
3-Yaegashi has won a number of awards at the annual Japanese awards ceremony, including the New Comer award (2006), the Fighting Spirit award (2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015), Best Fight (2012 Vs Kazuto Ioka) and Excellent Fighter (2016)
4-Yaegashi's entrance music, for a number of fights including his bout with Roman Gonzalez, has been "Move on" by Japanese musician AK69. Incidentally AK69 has done a live walk out performance for Yaegashi's former opponent Kazuto Ioka. Something the fighters share in common, other than their great bout, is being fans of AK69.
5-When Yaegashi won the OPBF Minimumweight title, in his 5th professional bout, he tied the Japanese record for fewest fights to win the title. He tied the then record of Tadashi Mihara and Eiji Kojima. Interestingly the record was also tied by Yaegashi's stable mate Naoya Inoue. That record has since been broken, by Kosei Tanaka who won the title in his 4th professional bout in 2014.
6-His nicknames in Japan have translated as "Sonic Fist" and "Fighting King"
7-Yaegashi has the unfortunate record of losing in the shortest Light Flyweight world title bout. His opening round loss to Milan Melindo, in 165 seconds, is the shortest world title bout in the division's history.
8-Yaegashi got married in 2010 and has two children
9-Having just mentioned that Yaegashi is married it's worth adding that Mr and Mrs Yaegashi actually own a cafe together, called the Count8. The Cafe and bar is in Yokohama, not far from the south exit of the Seya Station, and Yaegashi works there on a frequent basis and there's memorabilia from his career exhibited there.
10-In 2013 Yaegashi completed the Iwate Kitakami Marathon, completing the marathon in 4 hours and 6 minutes.
Extra Fact - From Yaegashi's 7 losses he suffered 6 in world title fights, the only defeat he had away from world level was in a 2008 bout to Masatate Tsuji in a 6 rounder. Yaegashi was one of 3 Japanese champions that Tsuji would get a successive wins over, with Tsuji also beating Norhito Tanaka and Kenichi Horikawa. Earlier in his career Tsuji had also beaten Yasutaka Kuroki, giving him 4 wins over men who held Japanese titles.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).