As we continue to await live boxing's eventual return we also continue our 5 Midweek Facts series. This week it's the turn of fighter turn promoter Shosei Nitta (22-9-2, 16) who fought from 1987 to 1997. Although he wasn't a star during his in ring career he is a significant figure in Japanese boxing, especially now a days, and he's someone who fans perhaps should be more aware of than they are. That's despite the fact he's not fought in well over 20 years!
Nitta has really done everything related to boxing. He may not have been a major success but he's fought, run a successful gym and is now a major player behind scenes in Japanese boxing
1-Nitta began his boxing career as a fighter at the Kaneko Boxing Gym, which was established in 1980. Although the Kaneko gym isn't a huge one it is a pretty notable one and he would be their 3rd fighter to win an OPBF title, following Eijiro Murata and Kevin Palmer.
2-Outside of the ring Nitta is a smart guy and he graduated from the Yokohama National University, which attracted attention early in his career, as very few boxers are university graduates. Later in his career he would become the first OPBF champion to have graduated from a national university.
3-In 1997 Nitta lost the OPBF Bantamweight title to In Shik Go and retired from the sport. In retirement he moved to the US, though returned to Japan in 1999 and began working for what was then Kenwood, the audio equipment company.
4-In 2003 Nitta set up the Nitta Boxing Gym, which was then renamed the Kawasaki Nitta Boxing Gym in 2010. That's the gym that has produced the likes of Masayuki Kuroda, Gaku Takahashi and Gakuya Furuhashi. Interestingly those 3 won Rookie of the Year in consecutive years, with Kuroda in 2006, Takahashi in 2007 and Furuhashi in 2008. In regards to Rookie of the Year Mr Nitta himself was beaten in the 1988 East Japan Rookie of the Year final by Mitsumasa Ikeda, who lost in the All Japan final to Katsuya Onizuka.
5-Nitta is one of the main figures behind the campaign to get justice for Iwao Hakamada and has also helped expand boxing in Vietnam. He has served as both the director and secretary general of the JPBA and has been responsible for boxing's growing influence in community in Japan, with the Kawasaki Nitta Gym fighters working hard to help the local community in Kawasaki.
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).