by Joe Koizumi

Mar. 30, 1998
TOKYO--YOSUKE NISHIJIMA, who lately returned to his real name from his previous nom-de-guerre Yosukezan Nishijima, ignored the order of Japan Boxing Commision that placed restricts on his activity abroad without clearing his managerial problem, and fought in Carson, Calif. before just 750 spectators. Nishijima, currently OPBF cruiserweight champ, defeated Mexican Eduardo Ayala by a unanimous decision over 10 rounds on Mar. 19.

Nishijima acquired the WBF cruiserweight title by beating Brian Laspada in Las Vegas on Jul. 11 of the preivous year. His WBF coronation caused a tremendous controversy among our boxing fraternity, since the JBC affiliates with only the WBA and the WBC, neglecting the IBF, WBO, etc. The JBC forced Nishijima and his manager Watanabe to renounce the WBF title, if he still hopes to hold the OPBF 190-pound title. Then, the relationship between Nishijima and Watanabe became worsened probably due to money matters. Nishijima finally sent a letter of resignation to his manager, Osamu Watanabe, and the JBC as well, and left for the States.

Watanabe has a boxer-manager contract with Nishijima until Jan. of 2001. The JBC is the organization that controls and regulates the legal problem among boxing people. If a Japanese boxer can neglect his contract with his manager after the latter cultivates the former with his investment of money and effort, it will produce great confusions in the fistic world here. After Nishijima was granted a license by the Californian State Athletic Commission, he planned to fight on Mar. 19. The JBC sent a warning letter to the Californian Commission to prevent Nishijima from fighting there under this complex situation. But Nishijima fought in Calif. against the JBC's order.

Then, the JBC, on Mar. 23, announced that Nishijima was suspended indefintely because he neglected and ingnored the JBC's order. There will be no possibility that Nishijima will fight in Japan again under these circumstances. Nishijima, 24 and 18-1, 12 KOs, is a talent 190-pounder, but he is the boxer that has produced a greatest controversy in our boxing world.

The OPBF convention will be held in Manila, Philippines, from Apr. 22 through 25, when the OPBF presidency will move to Thailand based on the alphabetical rotation system (Australia, Indoensisa, Japan, Korea, Philippines to Thailand in this order). Nishijima will be stripped of his OPBF cruiser title due to his betrayal to the JBC as well as due to his failure to defend his regional title in a proper period--without doubt.

Joe Koizumi
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