After a monster "Did You Know" last week, we have a shorter one this week looking at the long established Misako Gym. The gym is located in Tokyo and whilst it's not one that fans in the Western world will be too familiar with, especially not when compared to Teiken, Watanabe and Ohashi, it is a really important one in Japan. It's old, it's well established, secure, very successful, and one with a huge roster of notable fighters.
With that said, let us bring you this week's, did you now. Did you know... The Misako Gym
-The gym was set up by former Japanese and OPBF Flyweight champion Hitoshi Misako, who fought as a professional from 1950 to 1958, and compiled a 31-14-5 (6) record.
-As a fighter Misako himself fought out of the the Noguchi Gym, doing so at the same time as Masaki Kanehira, who later set up the Kyoei Gym.
-The gym was established in 1960, making it one of the older active gyms in Japan.
-Despite being established in 1960 the gym actually relocated in 1990
-The Gym has developed 3 world champions so far, the first of which was Koichi Wajima, followed by Tadashi Mihashi and then Tadashi Tomori.
-At the time of writing the gym has had 10 OBF/OPBF champions, some of whom have held titles more than once, and 15 Japanese Japanese.
-Over the years a number of gyms have been set up by fighters who have fought out of the Misako Gym and the gym has close relationships with a lot of other gyms. Quite often the gyms work together and the group is dubbed the Sansako Ichimonkai, or the Sasako Clan, putting on quite a few shows together.
-When Ryota Murata turned professional he actually did so as a Misako Gym fighter, due to his links as an amateur to the gym, and not a Teiken fighter, who listed him as an "affiliated" fighter. Essentially he was licensed by Misako and promoted by Teiken and Top Rank. This deal opened up the opportunity for for him to work with Fuji TV.
-Murata is actually the second Japanese Olympic gold medal winner to fight out of the gym, following Takao Sakurai, who won gold way back in the 1964 Olympics.
-The Gym won a "Good Design Award", due to the stylish design of the gym's building
-Current trainers at the gym include former OPBF Bantamweight champion Hiroki Shiino and Kenta Kato, who won an award as the best trainer in 2019
-Having mentioned Kenta Kato's personal success at the end of 2019 it's worth noting that the year ended with 5 Japanese national champions.
-Hitoshi Misako stepped down as the chairman in 2014, and his son, Takashi Misako, took over the day to day running of the gym.
-Sadly Hitoshi Misako passed away in 2019, at the age of 85. He was posthumously awarded the 2019 Professional Boxing Special Award just months later.
-The gym has been a major provider of boxing content for Fuji TV's "Diamond Glove" series. At one point they were providing bi-monthly shows for the series.
-The gym is often used by other non-affiliated fighters, with a major example of that being Kenshiro Teraji.
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).