We return to the Japanese title scene for this weeks "Did You Know" as we talk about the Japanese Super Flyweight title. It's a belt that has been active since 1980 and has had a rather interesting array of champions in the 40 years, or so, that it's been around. Not every champion has gone on to big things but plenty have since the title's inception. Here we look to share of the titles more interesting facts!
-The first champion was Jackal Maruyama, who stopped Satoshi Koguchi in 5 rounds to win the belt in December 1980. He would defend it twice before vacating it less than a year later.
-Maruyama was also the first 2-time champion, defeating Tsutomu Itokazu to recapture the title....in what was the third bout between the two men.
-Maruyama's second reign saw him record 4 defenses, before vacating for the second time in October 1983. His 4 defenses in a single reign stood as a record until Shunichi Nakajima came around and recorded 6 defenses, in 1990. That record still stands today.
-The next most defenses have been 5, set by Teiru Kinoshita and Sho Ishida
-We've mentioned Maruyama was the first 2-time champion, he has since been joined by Kazuo Katsuma, Tadashi Maruo and incumbent champion Kenta Nakagawa.
-The first fighter to win the belt and win a world title was Kiyoshi Hatanaka, who won the title in 1987 before winning the WBC Super Bantamweight title
-Others who have gone from winning this title to a world title are Katsuya Onizuka, Hiroshi Kawashima, Satoshi Iida, Katsushige Kawashima, Nobuo Nashiro, Kohei Kono and Yota Sato.
-Katsushige Kawashima vacated the title in 2002 to let his then Ohashi Gym stablemate Masayuki Arinaga fight for it. Arinaga ended up losing to Prospect Matsura.
-The first time the title was defended with a T/KO 1 came in 1990, when Katsuya Onizuka made his first defense, and stopped Tomohiko Yokoyama in 78 seconds. This is actually the only time a bout for the title has failed to last at least a full round.
-On a similar note there have only been 2 T/KO 2 results in bouts for the title. The first of those was in 2003, when Masaki Kawabata stopped Posper Matsuura to claim the title in the short bout that has seen the title change hands, and in 2017 when Ryuichi Funai defended the title against Shota Kawaguchi.
-The February 2008 title bout between Kohei Kono and Kuniyuki Aizawa is the only bout for the belt to be fought over 12 rounds, not 10. This was because the bout was for the unified Japanese and OPBF titles.
-The title has been vacated 19 times from a combined 42 title reigns of the full title.
-There has been a single interim title reign, by Yota Sato, who then beat the regular champion to unify titles.
-At the time of writing there has been 103 bouts for either the full title, or the interim title. Of those 4 have resulted in draws.
-Sadly Akira Taiga and Seiji Tanaka both died from injuries suffered in bouts for the title.
-The established Teiken Gym have only had a single holder of the belt, and that was Tsutomu Itokazu who held the belt almost 40 years ago!
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).