During the history of the Super Flyweight division we've seen some legends holding world titles, like Jiro Watanabe, Khaosai Galaxy, Gilberto Roman and more recently Naoya Inoue and Roman Gonzalez. It's also had some lesser known fighters holding world titles there, including Japan's Tomonobu Shimizu.
Given how little we see people talk about Shimizu now a days we though why not look at 10 facts you probably didn't know about... Tomonobu Shimizu!
1-Shimizu's blood type is AB, the rarest in Japan. In Japanese blood type theory this means he is "eccentric", and has character traits like being talented, cool, composed, rational, but impatient, charming and diplomatic, but vulnerable, shy and self centered.
2-Shimizu went 68-10 (25) in the amateurs and was the captain of the same university that also had Toshiyuki Igarashi and Kazuto Ioka
3- Shimizu's ring walk music was usually the theme from the Rocky movies.
4-Despite being such a good amateur Shimizu actually lost, inside a round, in his second pro bout. In that bout, that came 4 months after his debut, he was taken out by unknown Thai Kaennakorn Klongpajol. This was Kaennakorn 's only win outside of Thailand.
5-Shimizu's in ring nickname was "Speed Star"
6-During his 24 bout professional career Shimizu fought fighters from just 3 countries. His opponents were all from Japan, Thailand or Mexico. In fact 23 of his 24 bouts came against opponents from Japan or Thailand, with his penultimate opponent, Hugo Fidel Cazares, being the only fighter from outside of the two Asian countries.
7-In 2011 he became the first world champion from the Kaneko gym, and now, more than 9 years later, he is still the only champion from the gym.
8-Despite beating Hugo Fidel Cazares for the WBA Super Flyweight title in 2011 Shimizu would need time away from the ring to heal from a fractured orbital bone. By the time he returned to the ring, just 8 months later, the WBA had created an absolute mess with the title situation. During his recovery time, which again was just 8 months, they had made Shimizu the Champion in Recess, Tepparith Kokietgym had won the regular title and Liborio Solis was the "interim" champion. On his return he faced Tepparith in a bout that, had they drawn, would have seen the men recognised as co-champions. Yes, the WBA were making a mess of things way back in 2011!
9-In June 2009 Shimizu got married to his wife at a hotel in Tokyo. The two had met 9 years earlier and among those who attended the wedding were Koichi Wajima.
10-Away from boxing Shimizu is good friends with Japanese professional wrestler Men's Teioh
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).