JBC May Permit Boxers Suffered Detached Retina to Fight

The Japanese press reported that the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) Chief Secretary Shigeru Kojima hinted on May 12 that he would permit boxers who have suffered a detachement of the retina to fight in Japan even if it is a non-title bout. JBC had decreed that only a world championship bout is permitted for a boxer who has suffered a detachement of the retina at the request of former WBC bantamweight champion Joichiro Tatsuyoshi in 1995.

Tatsuyoshi's manager Kiyoshi Yoshii had requested for the permission because he was planning to hold a non-title bout for Tatsuyoshi in July. However, it is not certain if this decision would lead to a real change of the rule that boxers who have suffered a detachement of the retina are not allowed to fight in the ring because in Tatsuyoshi's case, the rule was not changed but a "special condition" was added to the rule. Kojima's suggestion,"We will consider an addition of a clause that only non-title bouts which are held in preparation for a world championship bout are allowed." (Sankei Shimbun, 5/13/97) means a revision of the special rules that only world championship bouts are allowed.

The Japan Boxing Association, another governing body comprised of boxing gym owners, is also planning to urge the JBC to change the rule or to revise the special rules.

Tatsuyoshi, after suffering a detached retina on his left eye, strongly requested for the permission to keep fighting, fought three world championship bouts in Japan under the JBC's "special rules" to allow only championship bouts. He had to go to the U.S. to fight non-title bouts during this period.