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Masahiko Harada (born April 5, 1943), better known as Fighting Harada, is a former world boxing champion in the Flyweight and Bantamweight divisions, and also challenged for the Featherweight title twice. He is currently the president of the Japanese boxing association.

Fighting Harada
Masahiko Harada 1968.jpg
Statistics
Real nameMasahiko Harada
Weight(s)
Height5 ft. 3 in. (160 cm.)
Reach64 in (163 cm)
NationalityJapan Japanese
Born (1943-04-05) April 5, 1943 (age 76)
Tokyo, Japan
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights62
Wins55
Wins by KO22
Losses7
Draws0
No contests0

Harada was arguably one of Japan's most popular boxers; his fame reached international status, and Puerto Rico's Wilfredo Gómez declared that Harada was his idol as a child.[1] Harada was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995. In 2002, he was ranked as the 32nd greatest boxer of the past 80 years by Ring magazine.[2]


BiographyEdit

Harada began fighting as a professional on February 21, 1960, knocking out Isami Masui in round four, in Tokyo. He won his first twenty four bouts. Among the notables he beat during that span were Ken Morita, who later became a respected boxing official and who was beaten by Harada on June 26 in the first round, and future world champion Hiroyuki Ebihara, who was undefeated in nine fights before meeting Harada and who was beaten by Harada on December 24, by a decision in six rounds.

On June 15, 1962, he suffered his first defeat, being beaten on points by Edmundo Esparza over ten rounds in Tokyo.

After one more win, Harada received his first world title try: on October 10 of that year, he became the Lineal and WBA world flyweight champion by knocking out Pone Kingpetch in the eleventh round, in Tokyo.[3]

A rematch followed, and Harada lost the title in his first defense, being outpointed by Kingpetch over fifteen rounds on January 12, 1963 in Bangkok, Thailand. This was Harada's first fight outside Japan.

Harada posted four more wins in a row before losing by knockout in six to Jose Medel on September 26.

After that loss, Harada posted another winning streak, which reached seven before he was given another world title shot. Among the boxers he beat was top contenders Ray Asis, Oscar Reyes, and Katsutoshi Aoki.

On May 18, 1965, Harada extended his winning streak to eight, when he defeated Lineal, WBA and WBC bantamweight champion Eder Jofre in Nagoya, by a fifteen round decision, to win his second world title.[4] Jofre was undefeated in fifty fights coming into this bout, and considered by many of his fans to be invincible.[5]

On November 30, he defeated perennial British contender Alan Rudkin by a fifteen round decision to retain the title. On June 1, 1966, he and Jofre had a rematch in Tokyo, and Harada defeated Jofre once again, by a fifteen round decision. Losing for the second time to Harada prompted Jofre to retire; he would make a successful comeback three years later. Harada was the only boxer to beat Jofre.

After two more, non-title wins, Harada had a chance to avenge his defeat against Jose Medel. On January 3, 1967, Harada retained his world bantamweight title with a fifteen round decision over Medel in Nagoya.

On July 4 he retained the title against Colombian Bernardo Caraballo, a fighter who was well liked in his country. Harada outpointed him over fifteen rounds.

On February 27, 1968, Lionel Rose became the first Indigenous Australian to become a world boxing champion, when he outpointed Harada over fifteen rounds in Tokyo. Having lost his world bantamweight crown, Harada then set his sights on regaining it.

He won four of his next five fights. Among those he defeated were American Dwight Hawkins and his countryman Nobuo Chiba. His lone loss during that span came at the hands of American Alton Colter by a ten round, split decision. Then, he received another world title shot.

On July 28, 1969, after the WBA and WBC had split the world bantamweight title, Harada fought Australia's Johnny Famechon for the WBC world featherweight belt. The fight was held in Sydney, and the referee and only judge was the legendary former world featherweight champion Willie Pep. Pep scored the fight a tie (draw), but Famechon's fans rallied over the call by booing Pep, who then announced he had miscalculated his scorecard and actually had Famechon ahead, making Harada a loser by a fifteen round decision. This fight was, nevertheless, controversial because of the nature of its ending, and the WBC clamoured for a rematch.[6]

After a knockout win in eight rounds over Pat Gonzalez, the rematch came. Harada's management wanted the fight to be held in Tokyo, and so, on January 6, 1970, Harada and Famechon met once again, this time at Tokyo's Metropolitan Gym. Harada dropped the champion in round ten, but Famechon recovered, knocking Harada off the ring in round fourteen and retaining the title by knockout in that round. This was Harada's last fight as a professional.[7]

Harada led a rather quiet life after retirement. In 1996, he was elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York.[8] Coincidentally, Wilfredo Gómez was inducted in the same ceremony. After Gómez expressed that Harada was his idol, Harada responded, using an interpreter, that Gómez had, in turn, become one of his favorite fighters as well. Eder Jofre, one of the boxers Harada beat to win world titles, is also enshrined at the IBHOF.

Masahiko Harada became president of the Japanese Boxing Commission in 2002.

On January 28, 2004, as he was driving home from his office, Harada experienced a headache and he was found to have a brain hemorrhage which required hospitalisation. By 2005 he was recovering steadily.[9]

Professional boxing recordEdit

Professional record summary
62 fights 55 wins 7 losses
By knockout 22 2
By decision 33 5
Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
Loss 55–7   Johnny Famechon KO 14 (15), 1:09 1970-01-06   Metropolitan Gymnasium, Tokyo For WBC featherweight title
Win 55–6   Pat Gonzales KO 8 (10), 0:17 1969-10-01   Fukui, Fukui
Loss 54–6   Johnny Famechon PTS 15 1969-07-28   Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales For WBC featherweight title
Win 54–5   Vil Tumulak UD 10 1969-06-04   Nagoya, Aichi
Loss 53–5   Alton Colter SD 10 1969-04-02   Tokyo
Win 53–4   Roy Amolong KO 2 (10), 1:55 1968-12-04   Tokyo
Win 52–4   Nobuo Chiba KO 7 (10), 1:13 1968-09-04   Sano, Tochigi
Win 51–4   Dwight Hawkins UD 10 1968-06-05   Tokyo
Loss 50–4   Lionel Rose UD 15 1968-02-27   Nippon Budokan, Tokyo Lost WBA, WBC, The Ring, and lineal bantamweight titles
Win 50–3   Soo Bok Kwon KO 8 (12), 0:26 1967-11-28   Okayama City, Okayama
Win 49–3   Hajime Taroura KO 2 (12), 1:52 1967-09-25   Osaka, Osaka
Win 48–3   Bernardo Caraballo UD 15 1967-07-04   Nippon Budokan, Tokyo Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring, and lineal bantamweight titles
Win 47–3   Tiny Palacio UD 12 1967-04-04   Fukuoka, Fukuoka
Win 46–3   José Medel UD 15 1967-01-03   Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Nagoya, Aichi Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring, and lineal bantamweight titles
Win 45–3   Antonio Herrera UD 12 1966-10-25   Osaka, Osaka
Win 44–3   Dio Espinosa UD 10 1966-08-01   Sapporo, Hokkaido
Win 43–3   Éder Jofre UD 15 1966-05-31   Nippon Budokan, Tokyo Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring, and lineal bantamweight titles
Win 42–3   Soo Kang Suh PTS 12 1966-02-15   Nagoya, Aichi
Win 41–3   Alan Rudkin UD 15 1965-11-30   Nippon Budokan, Tokyo Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring, and lineal bantamweight titles
Win 40–3   Katsuo Saito PTS 12 1965-07-28   Tokyo
Win 39–3   Éder Jofre SD 15 1965-05-18   Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Nagoya, Aichi Won WBA, WBC, The Ring, and lineal bantamweight titles
Win 38–3   Dommy Froilan KO 6 (10), 1:20 1965-01-04   Tokyo
Win 37–3   Katsutoshi Aoki KO 3 (10), 2:54 1964-10-29   Tokyo
Win 36–3   Oscar Reyes PTS 10 1964-09-17   Tokyo
Win 35–3   Ray Asis UD 10 1964-07-06   Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California
Win 34–3   Somsak Laemfapha KO 2 (10), 1:05 1964-02-14   Osaka, Osaka
Win 33–3   Avelino Estrada KO 5 (10), 0:51 1964-01-02   Tokyo
Win 32–3   Emile de Leon PTS 10 1963-11-25   Tokyo
Loss 31–3   José Medel TKO 6 (10), 2:28 1963-09-26   Tokyo
Win 31–2   Dommy Balajada UD 10 1963-08-07   Tokyo
Win 30–2   Thira Lodjarengabe RTD 6 (10), 3:00 1963-06-19   Nagoya, Aichi
Win 29–2   Jose Cejuda KO 1 (10), 0:28 1963-05-04   Naha, Okinawa
Win 28–2   Tetsuro Kawai UD 10 1963-03-21   Tokyo
Loss 27–2   Pone Kingpetch MD 15 1963-01-12   National Stadium Gymnasium, Bangkok Lost WBA, The Ring, and lineal flyweight titles
Win 27–1   Pone Kingpetch KO 11 (15), 2:50 1962-10-10   Kokugikan, Tokyo Won The Ring and lineal flyweight titles
Won Inaugural WBA flyweight title
Win 26–1   Little Rufe UD 10 1962-07-23   Tokyo
Loss 25–1   Edmundo Esparza SD 10 1962-06-14   Tokyo
Win 25–0   Baby Espinosa PTS 10 1962-05-03   Korakuen Gym, Tokyo
Win 24–0   Tadao Kawamura UD 10 1962-03-18   Tokyo
Win 23–0   Kozo Nagata UD 10 1962-01-12   Tokyo
Win 22–0   Ryoji Shiratori KO 6 (8), 1:12 1961-12-10   Nagoya, Aichi
Win 21–0   Akio Maki UD 10 1961-10-09   Osaka, Osaka
Win 20–0   Sombang Banbung KO 3 (10), 2:37 1961-09-09   Tokyo
Win 19–0   Akio Maki RTD 8 (10), 3:00 1961-07-31   Tokyo
Win 18–0   Shigeru Ito UD 10 1961-06-19   Tokyo
Win 17–0   Ray Perez UD 10 1961-05-01   Tokyo
Win 16–0   Yasuo Fujita UD 6 1961-03-05   Tokyo
Win 15–0   Riichi Tanaka UD 6 1961-01-28   Tokyo
Win 14–0   Tsuyoshi Nakamura UD 6 1961-01-05   Tokyo
Win 13–0   Hiroyuki Ebihara PTS 6 1960-12-24   Tokyo
Win 12–0   Yoshinori Hikita UD 3 (4), 1:44 1960-12-11   Tokyo
Win 11–0   Hachiro Arai UD 4 1960-11-07   Tokyo
Win 10–0   Sadayoshi Yoshida KO 4 (4), 1:02 1960-10-28   Tokyo
Win 9–0   Yukio Suzuki UD 4 1960-09-01   Tokyo
Win 8–0   Masaru Kodangi RTD 3 (4), 3:00 1960-07-18   Tokyo
Win 7–0   Kazuo Morita KO 1 (4), 1:25 1960-06-24   Shinagawa Hall, Tokyo
Win 6–0   Masatake Ogura TKO 3 (4), 2:16 1960-06-10   Tokyo
Win 5–0   Ken Morita UD 4 1960-04-13   Tokyo
Win 4–0   Yuichi Noguchi UD 4 1960-04-04   Tokyo
Win 3–0   Goro Iwamoto KO 3 (4), 2:53 1960-03-27   Asakusa Hall, Tokyo
Win 2–0   Mitsuo Motohashi SD 4 1960-03-02   Tokyo
Win 1–0   Isami Masui TKO 4 (4), 2:20 1960-02-21   Tokyo

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.japanvisitor.com/japanese-culture/sports/japan-boxing
  2. ^ "About.com: Boxing". Boxing.about.com. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  3. ^ "Masahiko "Fighting" Harada - Lineal Flyweight Champion". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
  4. ^ "Masahiko "Fighting" Harada - Lineal Bantamweight Champion". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
  5. ^ http://www.badlefthook.com/2009/12/11/1195657/the-great-masahiko-fighting-harada
  6. ^ http://boxrec.com/media/index.php?title=Fight:23368
  7. ^ http://boxrec.com/media/index.php?title=Fight:23370
  8. ^ http://www.ibhof.com/pages/about/inductees/modern/harada.html
  9. ^ http://www.saddoboxing.com/702-fighting-harada-recovering.html

External linksEdit

Achievements
Inaugural Champion WBA Flyweight Champion
October 10, 1962 – January 12, 1963
Succeeded by
Pone Kingpetch
Preceded by
Pone Kingpetch
The Ring flyweight champion
October 10, 1962 – January 12, 1963
Lineal flyweight champion
October 10, 1962 – January 12, 1963
Preceded by
Éder Jofre
WBA bantamweight champion
May 18, 1965 – February 27, 1968
Succeeded by
Lionel Rose
WBC bantamweight champion
May 18, 1965 – February 27, 1968
The Ring bantamweight champion
May 18, 1965 – February 27, 1968
Lineal bantamweight champion
May 18, 1965 – February 27, 1968
Undisputed bantamweight champion
May 18, 1965 – February 27, 1968