By Joe Koizumi
Newly crowned IBF 130-pound champion Kenichi Ogawa made a return in triumph after his invaluable victory over Tevin Farmer with the vacant IBF belt on the line in Las Vegas last Saturday. Ogawa, formerly a Nihon Kenpo contestant, acquired the world belt in the US since Tadashi Miura gained the vacant WBA 154-pound title by defeating Rocky Fratto in 1981. We know it is hard to win the world throne in America as the technical level thereof is higher there unless in the super-flyweight or less categories.
Ogawa (23-1, 17 KOs), 29, is still improving technically in the international style boxing. He reportedly said to his manager/promoter Akihiko Honda, “I wish to fight again in Las Vegas.” Should he square off against Francisco Vargas, Miguel Roman or Orlando Salido (who changed his mind after he once said a farewell to the ring after only five days), it will be a good matchup without doubt.
Tevin Farmer, a descendant of the legendary great lightweight kingpin Joe Gans, reminded us of “Old Master.” This reporter, before the Ogawa-Farmer bout, watched much more footages of Joe Gans by YouTube than those of Farmer and felt indescribable nostalgia on watching Gans-Terrible Terry McGovern, Gans-Battling Nelson, etc. Gans might be by far superior to other contemporary rivals at that time.
The below-written is the list of Japanese boxers who won world championships in the US.