There is a tendency in the West of being rather picky with which sport stars that get featured in magazines, television and so on. Typically, we just see the same well-known boxers who speak English and compete in American or European championships. Boxing is no exception here.
However, the rest of the world has plenty of talented boxers that deserve recognition and their place under the spotlight. One article is not enough to discuss the whole world in detail, so for this edition we will focus on Asia and more specifically Japan. Read on to learn a bit more about three of Japan’s greatest boxers.
Masahiko Harada – Fighting Harada
One of Japan’s absolute best boxers of all time is the new 76-year-old Masahiko Harada or Fighting Harada as he is better known. An appropriate name for a vicious and skilled boxer.
Harada won the world championships in the Flyweight and Bantamweight divisions, which quickly propelled him into international fame and admiration.
Now with his advanced age he does not make a living within the ring, but he still is very involved in the sport. He serves as the president of the Japanese Boxing Association where he helps bring new Japanese talents to the forefront.
Masao Ohba – Gone Too Soon
Masao Ohba was one of Japan’s most promising stars in the boxing world. In 1970 he became the WBA flyweight champion and defended his title five consecutive times. Quite impressive.
In fact, he never directly lost his championship title. Ohba died in a car crash in 1973 at the young age of 23 still holding his title. His loss was a shock to the Japanese boxing scene as a whole. The loss of human life is always tragic, but even more so when it is a bright star that fizzles out before reaching its climax.
Takefumi Sakata – A Contemporary Hero
Takefumi Sakata is our youngest candidate on the list. To be labeled as legendary or iconic in any sport typically requires you to have had a long track record of impressive victories. And Sakata seems as if he is heading down that road.
Sakata won the Japanese flyweight title in 2001 and managed to defend it three times. He lost the title in 2002 but regained it in 2003 where he managed to defend it another 2 additional times. In 2009 he became the world champion in the flyweight division. Truly a character to keep an eye on, you can safely bet on that.
The World Is Full of Diversity
Here we have listed three of Japan’s best and most iconic boxers. They have won domestic and international titles, and they are more than fit to shine bright next to characters such as Mayweather.
The take-away lesson from this article is that you should be open to look for unique personalities and fighters from anywhere in the world. Europe and the Americas have a bunch, but so does Asia and even the Middle East. You are in for a treat if you keep exploring.
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).