One of the fighters who has received some international attention without ever becoming anything close to a star is 2-time world title challenger Ryo Akaho (35-2-2, 23). The Japanese slugger has received quite a bit of attention in his homeland, but other than his 2 world title fights he really hasn't made much of a mark on the wider boxing scene.
Today we shine a light on Akaho and feature him in the latest 5 Midweek Facts series.
Before we get into the facts lets just have a little bit of an introduction to Ryo Akaho. He began his professional career in 2005 and began his career with a 21 fight unbeaten record, going 19-0-2 (12) before challenging the then WBC Super Flyweight champion Yota Sato. He came up short against Sato before reeling off 7 wins to earn a second world title fight, losing to Pungluang Sor Singyu in a WBO Bantamweight title fight. Since then he has bagged 9 more wins and knocked on the door of a third world title fight. Heading towards his 34th birthday as we write this it does seem unlikely he'll get another shot, but he certainly seems to be chasing one more shot at the top.
1-As an amateur boxer Akaho went 3-2 (1)
2-Akaho has often used Kyosuke Himuro's "Sleepless Night", as his ring walk music. We've included the official music video for this song at the bottom of this article. In fairness, this is one of the better Japanese songs used for ring walk music.
3-Among the many people who have trained Akaho over the years is Royal Kobayashi, who supposed help Akaho develop his left hook.
4-Akaho won his first title, the OPBF Super Flyweight title, just 11 days after the death of Kazunori Miyakawa, the chairman of the Yokohama Hikari Gym. Mr Miyakawa passed away due to myocardial infarction on May 7th with Akaho stopping Australian fighter Fred Mundraby 11 days later in one of his most impressive performances.
5After sharing a card with Nonito Donaire in 2015 Donaire gave him the nickname "Japanese Flash". The two are really close friends and in 2017 Donaire stayed in Japan and trained at the Yokohama Hikari Gym, that Akaho fights out of. Whilst there the two often sparred. Akaho has gone as far as to say that Donaire was his boxing idol.
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).