Between 1997 and 2005 Japanese Bantamweight Nobuaki Naka (18-2-2, 12) was an interesting fighter and someone who was an exciting fighter involved in a number of notable bouts. He wasn't the best fighter, not by any stretch, but he was someone worthy of knowing more about.
Naka turned pro in 1997, won the All Japan Rookie of the Year in 1998, the Japanese Bantamweight title in 2000 and would later fight for the WBA world title. He ended his career in 2005 following a multi-knockdown war with Eiji Kojima.
During his career Naka scored noteworthy wins over Eichi Okada, Taiji Okamoto and Shigeru Nakazato, and defended the Japanese national title 7 times during his career. For you readers wanting to know more about Naka here are 5 midweek facts about Nobuaki Naka!
1-Naka was one of 5 children! He had 3 sisters and a younger brother.
2-As an amateur Naka ran up a very respectable record of 14-2 (7), after picking up the sport in high school.
3-Naka's reign as the Japanese Bantamweight came to an end due to injury. The fighter had broken his clavicle in December 2002 when he was involved in a traffic accident whilst doing his part time job, a milk delivery man.
4-Naka's most famous bout is his 2004 clash with Johnny Bredahl for the WBA Bantamweight title. That bout was put together on rather short notice with Naka having around a month to prepare. Originally Bredahl was supposed to face interim champion Hideki Todaka, but the negotiations broke down, leading both "champions" to fight in different bouts in March 2004. That resulted in Naka getting the call to travel to Denmark for Bredahl, whilst Todaka fought Julio Zarate.
Rather interestingly both Naka and Todaka lost, making a March 2004 bad month for Japanese Bantamweights!
5-The January 2005 war between Naka and Kojima would actually be the final bout of both men. The war saw Naka being dropped 3 times, Kojima being dropped once, and neither man ever fighting again. A real shame that such a great bout took such a toll on both fighters.
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).