By Joe Koizumi
Despite our commission’s continual dissuasion and despite our boxing world’s strong opposition, ex-WBC bantam champ Joichiro Tatsuyoshi (20-7-1, 14 KOs), 118, went abroad again to continue fighting and miserably suffered a bad TKO defeat by a mediocre Thai opponent named Sakai Jockygym, 118.75, at 1:03 of the seventh round on Sunday in Bangkok, Thailand. Tatsuyoshi’s bad loss apparently tarnished his previous reputation as one of the most popular attractions ever produced in Japan. The three-time WBC champ, at his prime, surpassed even ticket-selling records of Fighting Harada and Yoko Gushiken. But Tatsuyoshi, already 38, is never what he used to be. The Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) declared his license forfeited because he cannot win over even a six-round boxer here in Japan. Tatsuyoshi previously suffered detached retina and have it operated by well-reputed ophthalmologists three or more times. He may lose his eyesight, if fighting on.
But Tatsuyoshi insists on going on. Why is he allowed to do so? Under the name of freedom. The JBC isn’t a governmental organization, so cannot stop him fighting by using the political or police power based on the law. The flamboyant Tatsuyoshi looked for his self-proclaimed freedom from the JBC’s rules and regulations, and fought a comebacking fight after a five-year layoff in Thailand by booking the fight by himself (exactly by his brother-in-law) last October. The ex-superstar and great ticket-seller managed to win over Phalangchai Chuwatana by a knockout in two give-and-take rounds (as Tatsuyoshi became groggy in the first round) in Bangkok.
On Sunday, Tatsuyoshi absorbed punishment from the outset and became rubbery-legged in the first round. He hit the deck in the third. The Japanese kept receiving punches and went down again in the seventh. Though the Thai referee allowed him to fight on, his corner tossed in the towel to stop a massacre.
The winner Sakai Jockygym is such a mediocre Thai boxer that he succumbed at the hand of Satoshi Makino (only 9-5, 3 KOs after this victory) in the tenth and final session in Okinawa, Japan, last October. Sakai is the TBC top ranked super-bantam contender, but even Thai experts castigate his high rank despite his real power and previous records.
What happened in Thailand on Sunday? A crime obviously took place by utilizing the crazy ex-world champ Tatsuyoshi there. Hundreds of Japanese adherents to Tatsuyoshi flew to Bangkok to watch him fight, as they still supported the ex-superstar and wished to remember his good old days. But, now, it is not a matter of their nostalgia but a serious problem of Tatsuyoshi’s health. The Thai boxing people who cooperated with the Sunday show as well as Tatsuyoshi himself should be to blame. They made money by selling many tickets to Japanese visitors without feeling guilty of producing a terrible mismatch. Tatsuyoshi cannot fight now. He cannot break even an egg with his gloves. He cannot even avert his opponent’s punches with his deteriorated reflexes.
The JBC previously sent a very important letter to the Thai Boxing Commission (TBC) never to authorize the Tatsuyoshi-Sakai fight in Bangkok. The TBC coldly ignored the JBC’s strong and earnest solicitude and recklessly allowed it to take place at the Rajadamnern Stadium, the Mecca of Thai boxing that the TBC governs.
There are very complex situations in Thailand, as they have plural local commissions including the traditional TBC. The Rajadamnern Stadium and Lumpinee Stadium have been issuing the ratings to have their own champions (of course, in international styled boxing games) for great many years. There’s another organization named ABCO (Asian Boxing Council) under the WBC. They are independent each other.
Traditionally, the TBC is much closer to the WBA than to the WBC. The TBC hasn’t positively cooperated with the activities of the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) beneath the WBC. Instead, the TBC more positively supports the Pan-Asian Boxing Association (PABA) under the WBA.
This reporter isn’t complaining of the complex situation in Asia and Pacific region, but strongly wishes some authoritative power to stop Tatsuyoshi from fighting on, if any.
Should the ex-superstar out of Japan suffer a ring tragedy in Thailand, who on earth will be responsible? Tatsuyoshi should not be a feed for abolitionists.
Remarks: This reporter intended to neglect Tatsuyoshi’s second fight in Thailand and his miserable TKO defeat without writing any by believing he would never fight again. Astoundingly enough, Tatsuyoshi, upon his return from Thailand, expressed his strong will to go on fighting in Thailand. Should this pen have a humble power, please, please help any authority to stop him fight again.