When we talk about the greatest Japanese boxers of all time one man who is often over looked from the conversation is Hiroyuki Ebihara, who should make any top 10 of Japanese boxing. The hard hitting southpaw was a major force on the Flyweight scene in the 1960's and faced a genuine who's who. Among those he battled were Fighting Harada, Katsutoshi Aoki, Chartchai Chionoi, Pone Kingpetch, Efren Torres, Speedy Hayase, Horacio Accavallo, Jose Severino and Bernabe Villacampo.
Not only does Ebihara get massively over-looked in conversation about the greatest Japanese fighters of all time but he also seems to get forgotten in general. With that now said, lets look at 10 facts you probably didn't know about... Hiroyuki Ebihara.
1-On December 24th 1960 Ebihara clashed with Fighting Harada in the East Japan Rookie of the Year final. Ebihara was dropped twice and lost to Harada though the two men would go on to become incredibly close friends, and their careers would often inter-twine, despite this being the only bout between the two Japanese greats.
2-In December 1962 Ebihara beat Chartchai Chionoi in what was originally arranged and an OBF title fight. Chionoi missed weight, massively, and was punished by being forced to wear heavier gloves than Ebihara. As a result of Chionoi missising weight the title wasn't actually on the line, though the promoter seemed to try to convince people it was, causing some real issues at the time.
3-Ebihara was one of the champions trained by the legendary Eddie Townsend. The famed trainer stated that Ebihara had the most guts of the fighters he trained. Ebihara was actually the second champion trained by "Eddie".
4-In 1963 Ebihara blasted out Pone Kingpetch inside a round, to become the first world champion from the Kyoei gym. He was followed by the likes of Yoko Gushiken, Katsuya Onizuka Yuri Arbachakov and Koki Kameda, as the gym became one of the most significant in Japanese boxing.
5-Rather interestingly Ebihara was the Japanese world champion to recapture a title, whilst his friend Fighting Harada was the first to become a multi-weight world champion. The title that Ebihara reclaimed was the WBA Flyweight title.
6-Despite being tough as old boots Ebihara suffered a huge number of injuries during his career. Reports out of Japan are that he fractured his left hand 7 times, and also suffered a broken right hand among other injuries. Relating back to Eddie Townsend, the bout with Bernabe Villacampo, the final bout that Ebihara had, saw Ebihara suffer a number of injuries, but Eddie refused to throw in the towel, breaking a rule he had for himself, and explained it was the hardest bout he had seen.
7-Following his retirement Ebihara became a trainer at Kyoei Gym and a commentator for TV Tokyo.
8-Ebihara's daughter died in a traffic accident in 1986
9-In 1991 Ebihara passed away at the age of 51, suffering from liver issues due to heavy drinking. After his death Fighting Harada revealed that he cried at Ebihara's funeral, but didn't cry at that of his own parents. That was how close the two men had become during their lifetimes.
10-The Pokémon known as Hitmonchan in the west is known as "Ebiwalar" in Japan, after Ebihara.
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).