The name Hiroto Ogushi isn't one that will be familiar to fans outside of Japan, in fact many newer fans in Japan are unlikely to recognise his name. Yet one summer day in 2001 he did something truly remarkable, something so odd that fight fans really do need to know about Ogushi, and the the incident that saw him getting an indefinite suspension by the JBC.
So what was the Ogushi incident?
To begin with we need to take you back almost 20 years, to July 16th 2001 in Tokyo. The main event of a show at Korakuen Hall that day saw Takefumi Sakata retaining the Japanese Flyweight title with a highly controversial draw against Daisuke Naito. Many of those in attendance felt that Naito had done enough to deserve the decision but was denied, in a botu scored a majority decision, a decision that saw both men keep their unbeaten records intact.
What followed was the Ogushi incident, however before we get on to that lets just explain who Hiroto Ogushi was.
Ogushi was a promising fighter from the same gym, the Miyata Gym, as Naito. At the time he was 24 years old, a close friend of Naito's and had a record of 15-4 (11). He was, for all intents, a talented young Super Featherweight puncher who had won the All Japan Rookie of the Year, and despite suffering a string of setbacks was beginning to find his groove again. He had sparred with several notable Japanese fighters of the time, and his left hook was regarded as a monstrous punch.
Sadly Ogushi wasn't the most pragmatic of young men, or the type of fighter who trained, trained and trained.
After watching his friend seemingly get robbed of the Japanese title Ogushi rushed the ring, along with Naito's corner man. Whilst that's not too unusual, the issue was that Ogushi appeared to be holding a knife, whilst also appearing rather intoxicated. And he wasn't just in the ring loudly talking, in fact he appeared to be on the verge of physically attacking people. He was furious, and his anger really refused to die down. Even when he was ushered into the corridors near the changing rooms, in an attempt to calm him down, the anger was spewing from the hard hitter.
Ogushi's anger saw him ranting outside the referees room. Then go into the officials room, and continue to berate them.
The Miyata Gym Chairman and Ogushi would be punished by the JBC just days later, with Ogushi having his licenses suspended indefinitely, being the first boxing in Japan to receive that punishment without having committed some form of serious criminal act.
Ogushi was actually given a chance to apologise for actions, but foolishly turned them down, stating that his reason for not not seeing the JBC was that he "didn't have a suit to wear at the time". A petulant response to say the least.
In a rather odd twist to the whole story both Naito and Sakata would go on to win world titles, holding them at the same time in fact. Naito would claim the WBC Flyweight title and Sakata the WBA title, though no rematch ever occurred, even with the history of the two men that would have made it a massive event.
Despite a clear, and long term rivalry, the two men were pictured together in 2008 at the annual boxing awards, and they appeared to be able to share a joke, even if they weren't best buddies.
As for Ogushi, he did talk about a comeback, but nothing ever materalised, and his career was essentially over after his night of madness.
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).