Biography of Joichiro Tatsuyoshi

tats2.jpg (2761 oCg)Destined to be a pro boxer, Tatsuyoshi was named after the hero of Japan's most popular boxing comic story, "Joe." He captured the WBC bantamweight crown in his 8th professional bout in 1991, which is the record to be world champion with the fewest bouts in Japan. Tatsuyoshi has become a charismatic figure second to none to Japan's boxing history in his popularity among all walks of life in Japan. A lot of his biographic publications have been on the shelves of book stores, which is an unusual phenomenon for Japanese boxers. His upbringing and his success and hardship in his boxing career made him a special existence in Japan.

His professional ordeal began after the first ascension to the championship. Tatsuyoshi's left eye was found to be suffering a rupturing retina which gave him a long period of layoff until he fought Victor Rabanales (MEX) as the first title defense in September 1992. In this bout, Tatsuyoshi was stopped in 9th, absorbing a barrage of punches from Rabanales.

Tatsyoshi, shocked by the first loss in his career, came back to fight Rabanales again in a championship bout to make WBC interim bantamweight champion in July 1993.   Tatsuyoshi defeated Rabanales in a grueling slugfest by a split decision. 

Bad lack loomed over Tatsuyoshi again shortly after the bout with Rabanales. Tatsuyoshi's left eye was diagnosed as "detached retina," which was considered a   "death sentence" for Japan's boxers.  The Japan Boxing Commission (JBC)had "unofficially" stipulated that a boxer who suffers a detached retina should retire. Recovered Tatsuyoshi challenged this obstacle by appealing to the commission to persuade that there is a good reason for fully recovered  (from a detached retina) boxers to keep boxing. As Tatsuyoshi was barred from the Japanese ring, he fought in a non-title bout in the U.S. in July 1994.

JBC finally accepted Tatsuyoshi's plea for entry to the Japanese ring by making a "special rule" to allow only world championship bouts to be held in Japan. Under this special treatment, Tatsuyoshi stood on the Japanese ring with his countryman Yasuei Yakushiji, WBC champion in December 1994. Since WBC had recognized Tatsuyoshi as the interim champion, the bout with Yakushiji was authorized as a unification bout for the WBC bantamweight crown.

Tatsuyoshi's confidence was shattered by Yakushiji who defeated him by majority decision. Although Tatsuyoshi gallantly fought throughout the 12 rounds, he got his left hand broken in the 1st.

Although Tatsuyoshi accepted his defeat, he did not lose his determination to climb up to the highest position. Tatsuyoshi fought two non-title bouts in the U.S. due to the JBC's regulation. After winning the non-title bouts with Mexicans, Tatsuyoshi challenged WBC super bantamweight champion Daniel Zaragoza (MEX) on March 3, 1996 in Yokohama, Japan. Tatsuyoshi, stunned by Zaragoza's left straight in the 1st, could not connect effective blows with the shrewd champion and was stopped by the referee in the 11th with his both eyelids bleeding.

Tatsuyoshi again challenged Zaragoza's title as a "revenge" in April 14, 1997, which resulted in a his second loss to the Mexican by unanimous decision. Except Tatsuyoshi's fanatic followers, people thought he was a "finished boxer" after the second loss to Zaragoza and the following lackluster performance in  a non-title bout with a Mexican.

The title shot against the WBC bantamweight champion Sirimongkol Nakomton park view on November 22, 1997 revealed Tatsuyoshi' miraculous resilience. Tatsuyoshi, regaining his speed and sharp combinations once he boasted in his early 20's, sent Sirimongkol to the canvas two times and drew the referee's call for stopping the fight in the 7th. With this victory, Tatsuyoshi became the first boxer to capture the champion belt in the bantamweight for three time.

Tatsuyoshi has defended the belt for two times by defeating Jose Rafael Sosa (ARG) by unanimous decision on March 8, 1998 and Paul Ayala (USA) by technical decision (the bout was stopped due to Tatsuyoshi's cut over right eye after the 6th) on August 23, 1998. On December 29, 1998, he lost the title over a TKO in a bout with Veeraphol Nakornluang Promotion of Thailand.     

Married with two children.

As of January 15, 1999