Former bantamweight champion Shigeyoshi Oki and his wife died in a motorcycle accident early Saturday in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, police said.
According to police, a truck collided head-on with a motorbike ridden by Oki, 55, and his wife Shizue, 51, around 4:30 a.m. at an intersection. Oki’s motorcycle was struck by the truck as it was about to turn right at the intersection.
The two were taken to a nearby hospital but pronounced dead on arrival. They were on their way home from a restaurant they operate in Shinjuku.
The police arrested the truck’s driver, 41-year-old Jun Nakazawa, on suspicion of professional negligence, adding they suspect he was driving under the influence of alcohol.
Police quoted the driver as saying he did not pay attention to Oki’s motorcycle as he was watching pedestrians on the intersection.
Oki made his professional debut in November 1964 and won the 53.52-kg title in December 1970. He had a lifetime record of 25 wins, including three knockouts, against 16 losses and four draws with one no-decision.
He was also a sparring partner for the legendary former world flyweight champion Masao Oba. Oki is said to have been instrumental in Oba winning the World Boxing Association title in 1970.
Oba died in January 1973 in a car accident on the Metropolitan Expressway.
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