Last week we looked at Akira Ohigashi in our 5 Midweek Facts series and we mentioned the name of Hitoshi Kamiyama during that article. Today we thought we'd follow up the Ohigashi piece by looking at Kamiyama himself.
For those who go into these articles looking to just learn things, Hitoshi Kamiyama (32-2-1, 20) was a Japanese Light Middleweight who fought between 1986 and 1995. He's best known internationally for his 1992 loss to Julio Cesar Vasquez in Argentina, in a WBA world title fight but domestically he dominated. Kamiyama went unbeaten in 24 straight bouts in Japan, and went 32-1-1 in fights at home!
With that said let us bring you 5 Midweek Facts about Hitoshi Kamiyama!
1-Rather amazingly Kamiyama was the first man to be crowned a Japanese champion in the Heisei era of Japanese history. The era began on January 8th 1989, following the end of the Showa era, and saw Kamiyama stopping Eiju Otake for the Japanese Light Middleweight title. The bout was one of 3 title bouts to take place on the day, with Eiji Kikuzaki and Yoshifumi Kitajima fighting to a draw for the vacant Japanese Light Middleweight title and Takeyuki Akagi beating Masahiro Takagi in the main event, for the Japanese Super Featherweight title.
2-Rather oddly Kamiyama's rivalry with Hiroyuki Yoshino finished with the men going 1-1-1. They drew in the 1986 Rookie of the Year, Yoshino won the second bout the men had with a 3rd round KO to retain the Japanese Welterweight title whilst Kamiyama would score a 7th round TKO over over Yoshino in their 1991 bout.
Interestingly the third bout saw the two men entering as Japanese champions. At the time Kamiyama was enjoying his legendary Japanese Light Middleweight title reign whilst Yoshino was the Japanese Welterweight champion. Neither title was on the line as the men fought above the Light Middleweight limit, at a contracted 155lbs. This was the first time in 7 years that two Japanese champions faced off in a non-title bout.
3-During his career Kamiyama set a then Japanese record of 20 defenses of a national title, a record that ran until it was beaten in 2000 by Rick Yoshimura, who recorded 22 defenses of the Japanese Lightweight title. Kamiyama's record still stands as the most defenses of the Japanese Light Middleweight title, more than 25 years after his retirement.
4-In September 1992 Kamiyama beat American fighter Pat Lawlor. That was the same Pat Lawlor who had stopped Roberto Duran 18 months earlier and had beaten Wilfred Benitez in 1990. Whilst Lawlor was no world beater, which was we learned when he was dominated and stopped by John David Jackson, it's still a notable win for Kamiyama. In fact this is his only win against a non-Japanese fighter.
5-Kamiyama took part in his retirement ceremony on August 14th 1995. Whilst that's interesting on hand what makes even more interesting is the fact that on the same show as that ceremony his stablemate Tatsufumi Ito won the title that Kamiyama had monopolised during his reign. Ito beat Akira Ohigashi with a decision win on the show. Sadly for Ito his reign was a short one and he would lose the belt to Ohigashi 7 months later.
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).