The JBC Minimumweight title has been in existence since the mid 1980's and has been an interesting title. It's been held by 29 fighters since it's inception, and has been held by a number of world champions. It may not be the most prestigious of titles, but it's certainly an interesting one with a solid list of former champions.
With that in mind we thought it was a great idea to cover the belt in our latest "Did you know..."
-Kenji Ono was the first champion but not only fought in the first ever Japanese Minimumweight title fight, beating Missile Kudo for the belt, but less than 3 months later he was also involved in the first ever OPBF Minimumweigjht title bout, losing to Samuth Sithnaruepol.
-Missile Kudo, who lost to Kenji Ono in the inaugural bout for the title, would win the belt at the third time of asking but lost in his first defense. Incidentally his career record was 10-12-2 (3), meaning he had more losses than wins
-A staggering 4 men held the title in 1988! These were Kenji Yokozawa, who began the year as the champion before vacating early in the year, Yasuo Yogi, who held the title from February 25th to June 27th, Missile Kudo, who held the belt from June 27th to November 13th, and Hisashi Tokushima, who was the last champion of the year. This is even more peculiar when you consider there wasn't a single bout for the title in 1989!
-Kusuo Eguchi and Katsuaki Eguchi, who fought for the vacant title in June 1993, were brothers! This is the only time a Japanese title has been fought for by brothers!
-The most defenses of the title is a record jointly held by Rocky Lin and Satoshi Kogumazaka, who both defended the title 7 times
-Makoto Suzuki is the only fighter to have had multiple reigns, holding the belt twice. His first reign ran from June 1999 to January 2001, when he lost to future world champion Yutaka Niida, whilst his second reign ran from September 2001 to September 2002, when it was ended by previous interim champion Hiroyuki Abe
-Hiroyuki Abe's interim title reign is the only time the title has been held as an interim belt, and that only lasted from June to September 2002.
-World champions who have held this title are Hiroki Ioka, Keitaro Hoshino, Yutaka Niida, Katsunari Takayama, Akira Yaegashi and Tatsuya Fukuhara
-Having just mentioned Katsunari Takayama it's interesting to note that he won a world title, then the Japanese title, then went back to world level, claiming more world titles as he completed his "Grandslam" of world belts.
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).