We've all heard of Fighting Harada, arguably the greatest fighter out of Japan and one of boxing's all time greats. What you may not be aware of is that he wasn't the only boxer in the family and his brother was also a professional!
With that in mind, and with coronavirus still affecting the boxing schedule, we've decided to bring you 5 fights you probably didn't know about the Harada fighting family, in a bit of a spin off of our "10 facts you probably didn't know..." series.
For those curios there is a "10 facts you probably didn't know about...Fighting Harada" article coming in June.
For those who are unaware Fighting Harada's brother was Katsuhiro Harada, better known as Ushiwakamaru Harada. Ushiwakamaru was Fighting Harada's younger sibling, who was a solid fringe contender in the 1960's and 1970's. He was regarded as a genuine talent, but unfortunately cuts limited his success, and he's now pretty much a footnote to hardcore fans outside of Japan. Hopefully with that in mind you can enjoy this little bonus piece!
1-Whilst Fighting Harada is certainly the much more successful of the two brothers it's interesting to note that his brother was the only one of the two men to have won a Japanese title. Fighting Harada went on to win multiple world titles, making his mark at the top of the Flyweight and Bantamweight divisions, but he failed to pick up any lesser titles during his career. Ushiwakamaru Harada on the other hand was a 2-time Japanese Bantamweight and 1-time Japanese Featherweight champion.
2-Despite the Harada brothers both fighting over 60 times, and having careers that over-lapped for around 5 years, they only fought on the same card ONCE. That was was a show in August 1966 in Sapporo that saw Fighting Harada beat Dio Espinosa and Ushiwakamaru Harada defeat Yoshihiro Kawakami. Both Harada's scored their wins by decision.
3-On a similar theme the two brothers have only a couple of shared opponents.
One of those was Tsuyoshi Nakamura. Nakamura was beaten in 1961 by Fighting Harada but held Ushiwakamaru Harada to a draw in 1968. The other was Katsuo Saito, who Fighting Harada bet in a 12 round bout in 1965 whilst Ushiwakamaru Harada knocked him out in 2 rounds in 1967 to become the Japanese Bantamweight champion.
4-Rather surprisingly Ushiwakamaru Harada had a longer career. The younger of the two brothers had 70 fights over 11 years and 2 months accounting for 555 rounds. On the other hand Fighting Harada had 62 bouts over his 9 year and 11 month career, accounting for 501 rounds.
5-Both men were managed by the now often forgotten Takeshi Sasazaki, who was a former fighter himself. Sasazki went 73-27-11-3 (27) in his lengthy career that spanned from 1934 to to 1950. He managed both of the brothers out of the still functioning Sasazaki Gym in Tokyo.
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).