By Joe Koizumi
On the same night of a world title doubleheader in the same city of Tokyo, an unprecedented record was registered by a 36-year-old tall southpaw veteran campaigner. Tadashi Yuba (44-8-2, 32 KOs), 153.5, impressively acquired his fifth Japanese national belt in the 154-pound division by dispatching Yosuke Kirima (17-4-2, 12 KOs), 153.25, at 2:36 of the first round in a scheduled ten rounder on Monday in Tokyo, Japan.
The lefty six-footer sent Kirima sprawling to the deck with a southpaw left hook on three occasions to have the referee automatically declare a knockout on the three-knockdown rule. It took thirteen years that a lanky youngster Yuba gained his first national belt in the lightweight division in 2000 and then seized the titles in the super-light, welter and middle categories, and finally the throne in the super-welter class.
Yuba, once world-rated, doesn’t belong to the world level any longer, but is still popular among our fight fans. He knows how to utilize his advantageous height and reach as well as his southpaw stance. Furthermore, he is an early starter that always tries to finish his work to bring home the bacon early.
As former Japanese super-welter champ Akio Shibata renounced his belt to concentrate on his defense of his OPBF middleweight throne, the 154-pound belt has been vacant. Yuba previously attempted to capture the super-welter belt, but failed to do so due to his defeats by Charlie Ota on a couple of occasions. Time helped his dream come true. Tonight the Japanese veteran finally did it. Congratulations.