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|Real name||Masao Ohba|
|Nickname(s)||The Eternal Champion|
|Born||October 21, 1949
|Died||January 25, 1973
|Wins by KO||16|
Childhood and Early Career
Ohba's father was a compulsive gambler, so Ohba grew up in a very poor family. His father was an avid fan of professional boxing, and by the time Ohba was in elementary school, he was already dreaming of becoming a world champion, and bringing himself and his family out of poverty.
He completed middle school, and joined the Teiken Boxing Gym in 1965. However, Ohba weighed only about 105 pounds and was barely 5 feet tall when he entered the gym, and the trainers doubted that he would be successful as a professional boxer. However, Ohba became a large flyweight by the time he made his debut, and actually had trouble losing weight to fit in the flyweight division later in his career.
Ohba made his professional debut in November, 1966, at the age of 17. He got his first world title shot on October 22, 1970, against Berkrerk Chartvanchai, who was the WBA flyweight champion. He won by TKO in the 13th round, becoming the 8th Japanese boxer to capture a world title.
Ohba made his first three defenses by 15 round decision, and his 4th defense by 5th round KO. He also fought four non-title matches in between his defenses, winning all of them as well.
On January 2, 1973, Ohba faced the veteran, Chartchai Chionoi, for his 5th defense. Ohba was knocked down with a right hook in the first round, and also injured his right ankle while falling to the canvas. Ohba managed to pick himself up, and his corner iced his ankle in between rounds, but Ohba limped as he exchanged punches with Chionoi.
Even with his injury, Ohba still managed to overpower Chionoi in the middle rounds, and finally knocked down the challenger in the 12th round. Chionoi was knocked down two more times in the round, and Ohba marked a dramatic 12th round KO win for his 5th defense.
On January 24, only three weeks after his latest defense, Ohba died in a car accident. He was driving his Chevrolet Corvette down an expressway in Tokyo, when he hit a truck coming down the opposite lane. He was only 23 years old, and was still in possession of the WBA title.
Ohba was dubbed "The Eternal Champion," because he died as a world champion, and was undefeated in world title bouts. He had been planning on returning his flyweight title to challenge the bantamweight title before his death. His professional record was 35-2-1 (16KOs).
|WBA Flyweight Champion
October 22, 1970 - January 2, 1973