Tagged with " Fuji"
Nov 5, 2012 - People, sport    No Comments

School of Hard Knocks




”I stopped listening to my trainer when I caught him giving signs to the gamblers before talking to me”

My Friend Tony Fujii is the first one I felt really gave me a chance in Tokyo. He gave me not a job but a skill when I needed it and all based on a chat we had in a coffee shop 8 years ago. We worked together for the beginning and have stayed in touch over the years.

He is the one who talked me into this charity boxing and as it turns out he had his reasons for this.

His father is the 1966 OPBF Super light weight world champion. Hi beat Sandro Lopopolo  by a second round KO. All of details about him are of course available on that fountain of knowledge Wikipedia.

If you include his 100 Amateur fights he fought a total of 132 Fights and lost only 16 of them. When he came to Japan he trained at legendary Pro-Wrestler Riki Dozan’s gym where he continued to develop his brawler style through American coaches.

Paul told me over lunch that he would could into a fighting craze and just knock people out at will. But boxing is show-business and his manager would tell him to keep going until the 4th or the 5th round.  He also said that while in Las Vegas  ”I stopped listening to my trainer when I caught him giving signs to the gamblers before talking to me”. Perhaps there is something to the fact that he lost his crown after 10 rounds in 1968. Paul is a brawler and a fighter and he never wanted to go long fights. Why should he when he could just end it early……

To make this rather long story shorter (and I assume you checked out the Wiki link) I got in a golden mini-van on Saturday the 3rd of Nov. 2012 and headed out to his gym in Mito called  Mito Boxing School (水戸ボクシングスクール)for a class with him.

After a short 3 round sparring sessions with one of his students I understood a little bit of the style he teaches. It would not be far fetched to say that it is close to what Mike Tyson was practising in his prime even though there are fundamental differences in the stance.

Paul showed me the tricks that they do not teach you in school. I kept interrupting him saying things like “I am sure you are not allowed to do that” and he kept repeating to himself something about “amateur boxing…”

He also kept barraging me about my “punches being dangerous”. It took some time to understand that he was trying to get into my head that they are dangerous to me…..

“If you hit him like that you will break your arm”

Now I understand why they say you are your own worst enemy.

Paul you are the greatest!

Thank’s so much for all your tips.

Some of them I will for obvious reasons not publish here ;-)


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