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Ex-minimumweight world champ Katsunari Takayama announces retirement

Kyodo

Former minimumweight world champion Katsunari Takayama said Saturday he will hang up his gloves after missing out on his chance to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Takayama, who was granted an amateur license so he could attempt to qualify for a place at the 2020 Games, lost in the men’s flyweight division at the Tokai regional national championship qualifying tournament on Saturday in Kasamatsu, Gifu Prefecture.

In order to have a shot at the Olympics, Takayama would have had to win a national championship, Takayama’s loss spelled the end of that road.

“I want to bring down the curtain on my amateur career,” the 36-year-old Takayama said.

The first Japanese fighter to be crowned champion under four world sanctioning bodies, Takayama retired from pro boxing in 2017 with the aim of ending his career as an Olympic gold medalist.

That route, however, was blocked by the former president of the Japan Amateur Boxing Federation, Akira Yamane.

Takayama filed an appeal with the Japan Sports Arbitration Agency, and in August last year, Yamane stepped down in the wake of a series of scandals. The JABF’s new leadership quickly approved Takayama’s license and made it official in October.

Takayama won July’s Aichi prefectural qualification tournament to qualify for the regional championship.

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