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Takanori Hatakeyama

Takanori Hatakeyama
Statistics
Real nameTakanori Hatakeyama
Weight(s)Lightweight
NationalityJapan Japanese
Born (1975-07-28) July 28, 1975 (age 43)
Aomori, Japan
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights29
Wins24
Wins by KO19
Losses2
Draws3
No contests0

Takanori Hatakeyama (畑山隆則, Hatakeyama Takanori, born July 28, 1975 in Aomori, Japan) is a former professional boxer.

Hatakeyama turned pro in 1993 and captured the WBA Super Featherweight Title in 1998 with a majority decision win over Yong Soo Choi. He lost the belt in 1999 to Lakva Sim via TKO, and moved up in weight to capture the WBA Lightweight Title with a TKO win over Gilberto Serrano in 2000. He defended the belt twice before losing it to Julien Lorcy in 2001. Hatakeyama retired after the loss.

Biography

Hatakeyama played baseball throughout his childhood, wanting to become a professional baseball player when he grew up. However, a boxing match he saw on television made him take an interest in boxing. He decided to become a professional boxer after seeing Joichiro Tatsuyoshi win the WBC Bantamweight title. He quit high school, moving to Tokyo to begin serious training.

He made his professional debut at age 17 in June, 1993, without a single fight as an amateur. He won the OPBF Super Featherweight title in 1996, and challenged the WBA Super Featherweight champion Yong-Soo Choi in 1997. The fight was a close draw, and Choi retained his title.

Hatakeyama challenged the Japanese Super Featherweight champion in March, 1998, winning by 9th-round TKO. He immediately returned his title to prepare for another world title match. He fought Yong-Soo Choi again for the WBA title on September 5, 1998, this time winning by decision to gain his first world title.

Hatakeyama made his first defense with a draw, but lost his second defense match against Lakva Sim in 1999. He announced his retirement after the fight, but resumed training in 2000, moving up to the Lightweight division.

Hatakeyama's first fight after returning from retirement was a world title match, fighting Gilberto Serrano for the WBA Lightweight title on June 11, 2000. He won by knockout in the 8th round, becoming the fourth Japanese boxer to have captured world titles in two different weight classes. Hatakeyama chose fellow Japanese boxer Hiroyuki Sakamoto to challenge his title, and the two fought an epic fight in October, 2000. Hatakeyama knocked out Sakamoto in the 10th round, making his first defense.

In February, 2001, he fought American born fighter Rick Yoshimura, who had defended the Japanese Lightweight title 22 consecutive times. Hatakeyama managed to keep his title with a draw, but Yoshimura would have won the fight if he had not lost a point for a foul. In July, 2001, he fought former lightweight champion Julien Lorcy for his third defense. Hatakeyama pushed Lorcy against the ropes several times, but was pummeled repeatedly by Lorcy, and lost the fight by decision. Hatakeyama officially retired after the fight at the young age of 25. His record was 24-2-3 (19KOs).

Post retirement

Hatakeyama has succeeded in several careers after retiring from boxing. He opened an amateur boxing gym with former WBA Middleweight champion Shinji Takehara, and occasionally appears on television shows. He works as a special staff member for a boxing and fitness gym in Kyoto, personally teaching classes once or twice a month. He married announcer Kumiko Kiyohara on June 17, 2006, and his first son was born in September of the same year. Hatakeyama has another son, born with his former wife in 1996. He also appears as a commentator for K-1 WORLD MAX events. He is known to be an avid fan of the Rakuten Eagles baseball team, and currently attends Aomori University to obtain a bachelor's degree.

Trivia

  • Hatakeyama was long thought to be Christian, since he often entered the ring wearing a necklace with a large cross, and crossed himself before beginning each round. Hatakeyama has never been baptized, however, and explains that he felt a refreshing calmness when he once entered a church, and tried to bring that calmness with him to the ring.
  • He appeared on the popular Japanese boxing reality show, "Gachinko Fight Club" hosted by former WBA Middleweight champion Shinji Takehara. Hatakeyama was still the WBA Lightweight champion when he appeared on the show, and took on one of the disrespectful fighters, putting the fighter in his place by schooling him in a sparring session.

See also

External links

Achievements
Preceded by
Yong-Soo Choi
WBA Super Featherweight Champion
5 September 1998 – 27 June 1999
Succeeded by
Lakva Sim
Preceded by
Gilberto Serrano
WBA Lightweight Champion
11 June 2000 – 1 July 2001
Succeeded by
Julien Lorcy