Japanese Middleweights rarely have success on the international stage and rarely even get a chance to show what they can do internationally. One of the few who did manage to do that in recent memory was the well liked and popular warrior Makoto Fuchigami (23-12, 14) who famously fought Gennadiy Golvokin in a WBA world title fight in 2012, in Ukraine. Unsurprisingly Fuchigami came up very short to Golovkin but still managed to make himself a footnote on the global scene at the weight.
For many fans in the west the bout with Golovkin is the only time Fuchigami did anything of note. In reality however he had a genuinely notable career winning the East Japan Rookie of the Year, the All Japan Rookie of the Year, the Strongest Korakuen, the Japanese Middleweight, unifying that title with the OPBF title and being a 2-time OPBF champion.
His record isn't the most spectacular but his "zigzag" career, as he described it in an interview with Boxmob, was certainly a great one to follow and featured a surprising number of fantastic bouts. They include his incredible wars with Koji Sato and Tomohiro Ebisu, both of which are worth a watch any day of the week.
Today we want to splash a bit more light on Fuchigami, his career, and his time as a boxer as we bring you 5 Midweek Facts about Makoto Fuchigami.
1-As an amateur Fuchigami went a less than stellar 5-7, a disappointing record by any measure despite winning a Kagoshima prefectural tournament. Despite that he had genuine success in the professional ranks, and as mentioned in the introduction even managed to earn a world title fight with Gennadiy Golovkin.
2-The Oishi Sake Brewery Co. in Japan sold Shochu, a type of Japanese alcoholic spirit, with Fuchigami's name on the label. The product was sold in part to help support Fuchigami and also to help raise funds for the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, with 100yen from each sale being donated to the areas affected by the earthquake. The drink was 40% ABV and was sold in bottles of 720ml for a price of 1,770yen.
3-In 2011 Fuchigami married a triathlete. Although her wasn't freely available it is known that she was aiming to win the Under 23 World Championships and that she had competed in the Junior World Championships.
4-Fuchigami's nickname, and one that he still goes by, was "Satsuma kongu", which literally translates as "Satsuma Kong". We have asked for an explanation of this but sadly never got one, so we're assuming he just really likes oranges! However it appears that his favourite food is bananas which makes things even more confusing!
5-After retiring from in ring competition Fuchigami went on to become the chairman of the "18 Furukawa Boxing Gym", which is a gym in Furukawa Citya, Miyagi Prefecture. He took over that role in 2019.
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).