By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Boxing Beat
A JBC ring physician named Masahiro Tanaka, 29, a black belt of Kendo (Japanese fencing) with third dan (grade), became interested in putting boxing into practice while doing many medical checkups of boxers, began to learn how to box and then sensationally made a professional debut on Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan. Tanaka, 104.5, furiously swarmed over another novice Yusuke Seshita, 103.25, and decked a very quick TKO victory in just 25 seconds into the first session of a scheduled four. After he floored his foe with an opening overhand right, the fight resumed with Tanaka quickly dropping him again with a flurry of punches. The ref then declared a well-received halt.
The cool-looking winner scientifically reviewed the fight, saying, “A boxer in a pro debut tends to be nervous enough to have stiff knees and legs, so I made an opening attack. My fight plan paid off.” Tanaka was a captain of Japanese fencing team at St. Marianna Medical University, and served as brain surgeon in Okinawa, Kanagawa and Fukushima after graduation.
The good athlete, in 2015, became a ringside physician under the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC). Being greatly interested in boxing itself, he entered Kawasaki Nitta Boxing Gym (located near his hospital), presided by former OPBF champ Shosei Nitta, to learn from the first step in 2016, and the passed a JBC’s professional license test next year (in Japan, there is an examination to see applicants/aspirants sparring and judge whether qualified or not.
His wife Umi is an optical doctor and also one of the JBC’s medical staff. This day was their wedding anniversary as well as Umi’s birthday. Masahiro gifted her a unique present of a TKO triumph.