A “memorial service” is scheduled to be held on April 6… “Secret stories of Akira Yamane, a man I can talk about only now,” reveals a “beloved disciple” who will carry on his legacy. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

A “memorial service” is scheduled to be held on April 6… “Secret stories of Akira Yamane, a man I can talk about only now,” reveals a “beloved disciple” who will carry on his legacy.

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A month has passed since Yamane passed away. Takahashi, who agreed to be interviewed, reveals his secret story.

Akira Yamane, 84, former president of the Japan Boxing Federation, passed away on January 31. One month has passed since his death, and people are still remembering the “man Yamane. In the meantime, Tomoya Takahashi (WYBC and WBF World Heavyweight Champion) of the World Yamane Boxing Championship (WYBC), which Mr. Yamane established, held a press conference on February 22 and announced that he would become the new president of the World Yamane Boxing Championship. He said that Mr. Yamane had told him before his death, “If something happens to me, you will be the chairman.

Takahashi has succeeded to Mr. Yamane’s wishes. A few days after the press conference, he spoke again about his feelings. (All statements in parentheses below are from Takahashi.)

I am able to make it in the world thanks to you. In the past, I could not even take the JBC (Japan Boxing Commission) professional test because of a shadow found in my brain test. There are many professional boxers like me in Japan who have no choice but to work as freelancers. In order to create an environment where these guys can fight in Japan, the chairman established the WYBC.

He also says that he wants to maintain the original philosophy of the WYBC and continue to “create a place where young people can shine. In fact, he plans to hold a tournament to discover young star players by the end of this year.

He said, “The most gratifying thing that ever happened to me after meeting the chairman was becoming WBF (World Boxing Foundation) champion. A few days before he passed away, I received the belt and the chairman presented it to me. That was the last time we spoke in a state where we could clearly converse.”

The WBF is a prestigious title that has been won in the past by Evander Holyfield, Mike Bernardo, and Yosuke Nishijima in Japan. But there was another reason for Mr. Yamane’s joy. In fact, the person involved in bringing the WBF to Japan was the first head of the Yanagawa clan, Jiro Yanagawa, who was feared as the most martial yakuza in Japan. He was also a young lieutenant in the Yamaguchigumi III. As Mr. Yamane revealed in his book, “Otoko Yamane: The Half-Life of the ‘Uncrowned Emperor,'” the two were close friends. Yanagawa said to Yamane, “Don’t ever become a yakuza. You should live in the world of amateur boxing.

Mr. Yamane when interviewed by this magazine in the past. He remained true to himself until the end.
On February 22, he held a press conference. In front of the belt, he shared his thoughts on assuming the chairmanship

In his hospital room, he revealed this behind-the-scenes story. ‘Other boxing offices made an effort to put the WBF in Japan. But it didn’t happen. But it didn’t happen, so Mr. Yanagawa brought it in. I can appeal to the world by becoming the champion of the WBF, which has such a strong emotional attachment to me. He also said that the reason why he put “W (World)” in the name of WYBC, the organization he established, is now connected to this.

The WBF held a non-spectator event in the middle of Corona in 2008. At that time, I fought and won against the WBF’s fourth-ranked opponent in the world heavyweight division. That became my defense. When I met him in his later years, he said, “Without that title match, I wouldn’t have been able to give you the belt of this organization (WBF) like this. He was very happy to hear that.

The WBF has approached him about defenses in Las Vegas and Thailand, and he will continue to discuss the possibility of holding such fights, including in Japan.

It’s been about five years since I met Mr. Yamane, and the WBF belt is the only thing he has ever praised me for.

He says that the memories of being furious with Mr. Yamane are by far the most frequent. Takahashi told us the most memorable episode of his career.

What made a deep impression on me was that there was a person who was righteous toward me because of the WYBC. I was so angry that I went directly to the president and said, ‘I’m going to settle up. I was prepared to take responsibility for my life if anything happened to me since I joined this organization. But the chairman was really angry with me. He said, “Tomoya, you’ve had enough. You’re going to be finished. You’ll never be able to box again. This was the first time I talked back to him, but he still did not shake his head. He was adamant, saying, ‘Absolutely not.

Now I know that the chairman’s decision was right. I also know that he was really angry with me for my sake. I have experienced being angry with him several times, but the next time I met him, he was decidedly kind to me. I think the reason there were so many people who adored the chairman was because he was able to read people’s psychology and deal with them in detail and with consideration.”

On April 6, a “memorial service” (KBS Hall, Kyoto) will be held. Invitations will be sent mainly to those who were close to Mr. Yamane before his death, and the event will also be broadcast live via SNS, etc. This will be his final farewell to his fans.

His spirit will be passed on to many people.
  • Interview, text, and photos Kei Kato

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