Every so often when we do some other article we stumble on a fighter that ends up interesting us. Recently one such fighter was former Japanese champion and former world title challenger Hiroaki Yokota (30-5-2, 16) who fought between 1979 and 2007.
Although not a big name, by any stretch, he is a genuine interesting fighter who achieved a significant amount during his career and set a number of records whilst also being involved in some thrilling bouts.
With that said let us bring you five Mid week Facts about Hiroaki Yokota
1-Yokota began his professional career in 1979 as a 17 year old and retired that same year, after losing to Yoshiyuki Uchikoshi. At that point he was 3-1 (1). He would, however, return to the sport in 1987 and begin a much, much more successful run in the sport, which included winning the Japanese Super Bantamweight title and fighting for the WBA Super Bantamweight title.
2-During his return from his first retirement Yokota worked as a branch manage of a company called ARTNATURE. Despite the name suggesting the company did something to do with nature or artwork, they are actually a company who manufacture and sell wigs!
3-That world title fight, which saw Yokota lose a very competitive decision to Wilfredo Vazquez, saw Yokota set a then record as the oldest Japanese fight to challenge for a world title. At the time he was just 32 years old and was younger than the 33 year old champion!
4-In 1995 Yakota retired for the second time, and in 1996 he opened up the Yokota Sports Gym, with the intention of teaching the younger generation. This second retirement didn't last long, and he was fighting again in 1998, before retiring for the third time at the age of 37, due to the JBC rules. He would then petition the JBC, asking for them to revise their retirement age rules and was finally allowed to fight again in 2004, at the age of 43. He would then fight for the final time in 2007, at the age of 45.
Unsurprisingly he set records such as the oldest Japanese fighter to win a bout, score a KO and to take part in a bout during this late career run of his.
5-During Yokota's late career run the Yokota Boxing gym was essentially owned by Yokota's brother due to the JBC rules on a fighter not being allowed to have other boxing licenses. Despite that Yokota himself was the de facto manager of the gym.
Bonus fact - According to the amazing Boxinglib.com run by the fantastic Seki-chan, there is a mistake on Yokota's boxrec. His second bout with Shigeru Okabe was only an 8 rounder and not a 10 rounder as shown on Boxrec!
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).