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Boxer Katsunari Takayama files for arbitration in bid to compete at Tokyo 2020

Kyodo

Five-time minimumweight world champion Katsunari Takayama filed an application Monday with a sports arbitration body to overturn a decision by Japanese amateur boxing authorities preventing him from competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The first Japanese fighter to have been crowned champion in four major international organizations, the 35-year-old Takayama retired from the professional ranks in April last year with the aim of ending his career as an Olympic gold medalist.

His license application to compete as an amateur boxer was denied by the Aichi Prefecture Boxing Federation last June, however, with subsequent petitions to the Japan Amateur Boxing Federation and the Japanese Olympic Committee also unsuccessful.

Takayama has applied for the Japan Sports Arbitration Agency to intervene in the matter.

“I want this situation to be resolved as quickly as possible,” Takayama said at a news conference in Osaka.

Nicknamed “The Lightning Kid,” Takayama has a 31-8 professional record with 12 knockouts.

The International Boxing Association voted to allow professional boxers to compete at the Olympics starting in Rio in 2016, but the JABF does not allow boxers with professional experience to compete among amateurs.

According to an attorney for Takayama, they will also demand that the selection criteria for boxers at the Olympics be clearly defined and publicized.

Takayama said the Aichi association had denied his application under the instructions of JABF president Akira Yamane, who is currently facing multiple allegations of impropriety, including match rigging.

Yamane earlier said there was “no way” the ruling on Takayama’s license would be overturned.