Between 1977 and 1989 Japanese fighter Noboru Godai (24-5-2, 10) was an enigmatic fighter who achieved a lot on the domestic scene, but never managed to really build on any of his major wins. Despite failing to reach his potential, reportedly due to a mixture of moodiness and a wild personality, he is certainly more than a footnote on the Japanese domestic scene and left a clear mark on the sport in Japan. In fact he continues to leave a mark on the sport despite having retired more than 30 years ago!
With Godai being someone worthy or learning more about we've focused on him this wee as we bring you 5 Midweek Facts about Noboru Godai.
1-Although best known by his fighting name of Noboru Godai the fighter himself was born Toshiyuki Tanaka. Notably he also dropped out of high school at the age of 15, and began his professional boxing career at the age of just 17, whilst fighting under his birth name. Surprisingly it wasn't until very late in his career that he adopted the Noboru Godai name.
2-In 1987 the fighter violated Japanese stimulant control laws and was arrested. Due to his behaviour he was given a suspended sentence by the court and a 6 month suspension by the Japan Boxing Commission. It was after this suspension that he finally took the Noboru Godai moniker.
3-Despite out of the ring issues Godai was the first fighter to become a 3 Weight Japanese national champion. He first won the Japanese Featherweight title, in 1982, he then claimed the Japanes Super Featherweight title in 1986 before taking the Japanese Lightweight title in 1989. Since he achieved this feat not many have actually managed to replicate his feat. Sadly however his 3 title reigns amounted to a combined 2 successful defenses.
4-Following his retirement from the sport Godai began working for a gas company, working there for several years.
5-Currently he runs the Godai Gym in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture. The gym was originally left to his father to run, with his father being a former trainer, and with Godai himself only training at night time. However the gym grew and Godai himself took a more hands on role there, becoming the gym chairman.
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).