Koichi Wajima

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Koichi Wajima
Statistics
Real name Koichi Wajima
Nickname(s) Hono no Otoko (Man on Fire)
Rated at super welterweight
Nationality JapanJapanese
Born (1943-04-21) April 21, 1943 (age 71)
Hokkaidō, Japan
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 38
Wins 31
Wins by KO 25
Losses 6
Draws 1
No contests 0

Koichi Wajima (輪島 功一 born April 21, 1943 in Hokkaidō, Japan) was a professional boxer in the Junior Middleweight (154 lb) division. He is the former Undisputed Junior Middleweight Champion of the World, having both WBC and WBA titles.

Childhood and Early Career[edit]

Wajima was born in Karafuto, (current Sakhalin) which became Soviet territory when Wajima was three years old. He and his family moved to Shibetsu, Hokkaidō, but barely managed to scrape out a living there. Wajima was put up for adoption, and lived with his stepfamily while his parents worked in Shibetsu.

Wajima began to work as a fisherman with his stepfamily. He was still in middle school, but had to work from sunset all the way to daybreak. The only time he had to sleep was during class. He was a fighter from a young age, having to work tirelessly each day, and often picking fights with other kids.

After graduating from middle school, he traveled to Tokyo, where he worked briefly as a truck driver before joining the Misako Boxing Gym. He made his professional debut in March, 1968, at the age of 25.

Professional career[edit]

Wajima captured the Japanese super welterweight title in September, 1969. He defended the title 9 times before returning it. He got his first shot at the world title against Carmelo Bossi for the world super welterweight title on October 31, 1971 in Tokyo. He won by 15-round split decision to capture his first world title. He made his first defense in May, 1972, taking less than 2 minutes to knock out his opponent. He would defend the title a total of 6 times. He quickly became one of the most popular boxers in Japan for his peculiar "Frog Jump" uppercut punch.

He lost his 7th defense to Oscar Albarado in 1974 by KO in the 15th round. He got a rematch with Albarado 7 months later, on January 21, 1975, and managed to avenge his loss with a 15-round decision win to regain the WBC and WBA titles. He was stripped of the WBC title in March, and lost to Jae-Doo Yuh to lose his WBA super welterweight title as well. However, he regained his WBA title in February, 1976, with a 15th round KO over Yuh.

Wajima lost to Jose Manuel Duran in his first defense, losing the world title for the third time in his career. He fought his final match In June, 1977, challenging Eddie Gazo for the WBA super welterweight title, but lost by 11th round KO. This was the last fight of his career. His record was 31-6-1 (25KOs).

Professional boxing record[edit]

31 Wins (25 knockouts, 6 decisions), 6 Losses (5 knockouts, 1 decision), 1 Draw [1]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 35-4-2 Nicaragua Eddie Gazo TKO 11 07/06/1977 Japan Nihon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan WBA World Light Middleweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 0:45 of the 11th round.
Loss 58-5-9 Spain Jose Manuel Duran KO 14 18/05/1976 Japan Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan WBA World Light Middleweight Title. Wajima knocked out at 0:50 of the 14th round.
Win 41-1-1 South Korea Jae-Doo Yuh KO 15 17/02/1976 Japan Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan WBA World Light Middleweight Title. Yuh knocked out at 1:47 of the 15th round.
Loss 37-1-1 South Korea Jae-Doo Yuh KO 7 07/06/1975 Japan City Sogo Gym, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan WBA World Light Middleweight Title. Wajima knocked out at 2:04 of the 7th round.
Win 51-6-1 United States Oscar Albarado UD 15 21/01/1975 Japan Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan WBA/WBC World Light Middleweight Titles. 69-67, 70-69, 75-68.
Loss 49-6-1 United States Oscar Albarado KO 15 04/06/1974 Japan Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan WBA/WBC World Light Middleweight Titles. Wajima knocked out at 1:57 of the 15th round.
Win 35-0-1 Brazil Miguel De Oliveira MD 15 05/02/1974 Japan Metropolitan Gym, Tokyo, Japan WBA/WBC World Light Middleweight Titles. 73-73, 73-70, 74-71.
Win 42-2-1 Italy Silvano Bertini RTD 12 14/08/1973 Japan Makomanai Ice Arena, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan WBA/WBC World Light Middleweight Titles. Bertini retired at 3:00 of the 12th round.
Win 42-6-2 Japan Ryu Sorimachi MD 15 19/04/1973 Japan Prefectural Gymnasium, Osaka, Japan WBA/WBC World Light Middleweight Titles. 71-71, 72-71, 72-71.
Draw 30-0 Brazil Miguel De Oliveira PTS 15 09/01/1973 Japan Metropolitan Gym, Tokyo, Japan WBA/WBC World Light Middleweight Titles. 71-71, 73-71, 71-71.
Win 17-8-2 Trinidad and Tobago Matt "Art" Donovan KO 3 03/10/1972 Japan Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan WBA/WBC World Light Middleweight Titles. Donovan knocked out at 0:53 of the third round.
Win 63-17-7 Italy Domenico Tiberia KO 1 07/05/1972 Japan Sports Centre, Fukuoka, Japan WBA/WBC World Light Middleweight Titles. Tiberia knocked out at 1:49 of the first round.
Win 22-1-2 Japan Cassius Naito KO 7 02/02/1972 Japan Metropolitan Gym, Tokyo, Japan Naito knocked out at 1:30 of the 7th round.
Win 40-7-3 Italy Carmelo Bossi SD 15 31/10/1971 Japan Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan WBA/WBC World Light Middleweight Titles. 68-67, 72-70, 70-73.
Win 12-8-1 Japan Tetsuo Hoshino KO 2 28/05/1971 Japan Tokyo, Japan Japan Light Middleweight Title. Hoshino knocked out at 2:41 of the second round.
Win 0-9 Alfredo Fuentes KO 1 26/03/1971 Japan Tokyo, Japan Fuentes knocked out at 3:08 of the first round.
Win 18-3 Japan Hideo Kanazawa KO 2 18/02/1971 Japan Osaka, Japan Hideo knocked out at 1:45 of the second round.
Win 23-15-5 Japan Hisao Minami KO 7 08/01/1971 Japan Tokyo, Japan Japan Light Middleweight Title. Minami knocked out at 2:38 of the 7th round.
Win 5-6-2 Japan Raizo Kashima KO 3 30/10/1970 Japan Tokyo, Japan Japan Light Middleweight Title. Kashima knocked out at 2:34 of the third round.
Win 12-5 Japan Tetsuo Hoshino KO 5 10/09/1970 Japan Tokyo, Japan Japan Light Middleweight Title. Hoshino knocked out at 2:12 of the fifth round.
Win 21-13-2 Japan Muneo Mizoguchi KO 8 09/08/1970 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan Japan Light Middleweight Title. Muneo knocked out at 2:09 of the eighth round.
Win 10-22-1 Japan Ken Sato KO 3 23/05/1970 Japan Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan Sato knocked out at 2:31 of the third round.
Win 10-6 United States George "Jimmy" Carter SD 10 09/04/1970 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan Japan Light Middleweight Title. 49-48, 48-47, 48-49.
Loss 9-6 United States George "Jimmy" Carter UD 10 05/02/1970 Japan Tokyo, Japan Japan Light Middleweight Title. 46-48, 46-48, 47-49.
Win 14-3-4 Japan Turtle Okabe KO 7 18/12/1969 Japan Tokyo, Japan Japan Light Middleweight Title. Okabe knocked out at 2:25 of the 7th round.
Loss 28-9-5 Philippines Pedro Adigue KO 1 30/10/1969 Japan Tokyo, Japan Wajima knocked out at 2:21 of the first round.
Win 13-10-1 Japan Noriyasu Yoshimura KO 4 04/09/1969 Japan Nagoya, Aichi, Japan Japan Light Middleweight Title. Yoshimura knocked out at 1:37 of the fourth round.
Win 23-15-6 Philippines Rocky Alarde KO 8 30/07/1969 Japan Tokyo, Japan Alarde knocked out at 1:28 of the eighth round.
Win 12-0 Japan Alacran Kusanagi KO 9 16/06/1969 Japan Tokyo, Japan Kusanagi knocked out at 0:21 of the ninth round.
Win 2-4 Japan Takemi Kato KO 6 27/03/1969 Japan Tokyo, Japan Kato knocked out at 1:00 of the sixth round.
Win -- Japan Masaki Nomoto PTS 6 03/02/1969 Japan Tokyo, Japan
Win -- Masami Takechi RTD 4 30/12/1968 Japan Tokyo, Japan Takechi retired at 3:00 of the fourth round.
Win 0-3-2 Japan Sozo Yamamoto KO 1 27/10/1968 Japan Tokyo, Japan Sozo knocked out at 1:25 of the first round.
Win -- Takao Higa KO 3 06/10/1968 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan Higa knocked out at 1:19 of the third round.
Win -- Japan Tadakazu Sakai KO 2 31/08/1968 Japan Tokyo, Japan Sakai knocked out at 1:05 of the second round.
Win -- Toshiaki Kaneko KO 3 08/08/1968 Japan Tokyo, Japan Kaneko knocked out at 2:00 of the third round.
Win -- Japan Koji Watanabe KO 2 30/06/1968 Japan Tokyo, Japan Koji knocked out at 0:52 of the second round.
Win -- Japan Akira Takekawa KO 1 15/06/1968 Japan Tokyo, Japan Akira knocked out at 2:51 of the first round.

Post Retirement[edit]

Like many other Japanese boxers, Wajima became a successful television personality after retiring, and has appeared on game shows and television dramas. He became the head of the Eastern Japan Boxing Council, and has founded his own boxing gym in Tokyo. His brother-in-law also runs a successful dumpling store in Kokubunji, Tokyo. He also claims that condemned prisoner Iwao Hakamada is innocent.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Carmelo Bossi
World Light Middleweight Champion
31 October 1971 – 4 June 1974
Succeeded by
Oscar Albarado
Preceded by
Oscar Albarado
Undisputed Light Middleweight Champion
21 January 1975 – 22 March 1975
Titles fractured
Vacant
Title next held by
Winky Wright
WBC Light Middleweight Champion
21 January 1975 – 22 March 1975
Stripped
Vacant
Title next held by
Miguel de Oliveira
WBA Light Middleweight Champion
21 January 1975 – 7 June 1975
Succeeded by
Jae-Doo Yuh
Preceded by
Jae-Doo Yuh
WBA Light Middleweight Champion
17 February 1976 – 18 May 1976
Succeeded by
Jose Manuel Duran