CANASTOTA, NEW YORK – Yoko Gushiken, the WBA light flyweight champion from 1976-81, and Masao Oba, who was the WBA flyweight champion when he died in a road accident in 1973 at age 23, were inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday.
Okinawa native Gushiken holds the Japanese record of 13 world title defenses. He surrendered the crown to Mexican challenger Pedro Flores in March 1981 and retired later that year with a career record of 23 wins (15 knockouts) against one loss.
“This is wonderful day that I will never forget,” the 59-year-old Gushiken said. “I am delighted to have joined my friends in the Hall of Fame.”
Gushiken and Oba, who had a record of 35 wins, (16 KOs) two losses and a draw, are the fourth and fifth Japanese boxers to enter the Hall of Fame.
An official of Kyoei Gym, the gym to which Oba belonged, represented the late boxer at the ceremony.
Former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe and former lightweight champion and fellow American Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini were also inducted, as was featherweight champion “Prince” Naseem Hamed of England.
Masahiko Harada, Joe Koizumi and Kyoei Gym head Akihiko Honda are the other Japanese boxers to have entered the Hall of Fame.
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