From 1994 to 2010 Japanese fighter Hindenobu Honda (33-8, 15) was regarded as one of the best technical fighters in Japan. Although highly skilled Honda never managed to win a world world title though he did have a successful career that saw him winning a Japanese title, twice fighting for world titles and challenging for an OPBF title.
During his 41 fight career Honda managed to face a genuine who's who of the lower weights. These included bouts with Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, Alexander Munoz, Nobuo Nashiro, Alexander Bakhtin, Daigo Nakahiro, Konosuke Tomiyama and Malcolm Tunacao.
In just his 10th bout Honda beat Ryuji Muramatsu for the Japanese Light Flyweight title. He would later go to make 7 defenses before moving on to his first world title fight in 2002, challenging Wonjongkam. A year later he would get his second world title fight, losing to Munoz. Following that loss Honda was never quite the same and went 7-5 (1) in his last 12 bouts, after beginning his career 26-3 (14). Soon after his 8th loss he retired, ending his career aged 35.
With that small introduction out of the way, let us bring you 5 Midweek facts about Hidenobu Honda!
1-As an amateur boxer Honda ran up a record of 11-6 (1) and was the captain of his high school boxing team, at the Nissho Gakuen High School in Miyazaki City. Despite his short amateur career he managed to earn a #10 domestic ranking on the junior scene at Light Flyweight. Interestingly he also competed in Shaolin Karate whilst at high school.
2-Going back to the Nissho Gakuen High School, Honda was the second Japanese champion from the school. He had followed in the foot steps of Takeyuki Akagi, who had won the Japanese Super Featherweight title 3 times in the 1980's and 1990's. Since Honda's reign as the Japanese Flyweigth champion only one other fighter from the high school has become a Japanese champion, and that was Daishi Nagata.
3-Honda's nickname was the "Defense Master", due to his high level of defensive skills and the slippery nature of his boxing. Surprisingly he didn't have this nickname when he started the sport, but instead adopted this nickname in the late 1990's, whilst climbing up through the world rankings of both the WBA and WBC.
4-On December 23rd 2010 Honda took part in his retirement ceremony which included a spar with Malcolm Tunacao, the man who had beaten Honda in what was Honda's final professional bout. This took place on the under-card of the WBA Super Flyweight title bout between Hugo Fidel Cazares and Hiroyuki Kudaka. Rather interestingly there was a lot of big Japanese boxing names in the crowd for this, including Hiroki Ioka, Masamori Tokuyama, Nobuhiro Ishida and Ismael Salas.
5-In 2015 Honda became the Chairman of the Kanagawa Atsumi Boxing Gym, in Kanagawa.
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).