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Yoko Gushiken

Titles: WBA jr. flyweight champion 1976-1981

Record: 23-1

Born: June 26, 1955 in Okinawa, Japan

Years active: 1974-1981

Nickname: None

Gushiken used incredible reserves of energy to pressure his opponents into 
mistakes which he took full advantage of from his southpaw stance. Everyone 
who saw  and knew Gushiken attested to his immense boxing skills and 
counterpunching ability but Gushiken preferred to come forward and throw
punches in bunches. His Japanese nickname was "Fierce Eagle" and he drew 
sell out crowds wherever he fought, his nickname could also be "Smart 
Eagle" because he only fought 24 times and retired when he could have 
easily fought on and won more titles. Gushiken showed promise as a amateur 
when he won the All-Japan high school tournament and quickly turned pro
after this feat. It was incredible how fast he matured in the ring as he 
was ready for and won the WBA mini flyweight crown in only his 9th fight. 
The man he knocked out in the 7th round Juan Guzman was a well regarded 
and seasoned pro, yet he could not handle the constant pressure that was 
put on by Gushiken. It was the beginning of a marvelous championship run 
that saw Gushiken reign four and a half years  and make 13 title defenses 
(8 by knockout over very good opposition. Panamanian Jaime Rios proved a 
tough nut to crack in those defenses as he lost close decision to Gushiken 
and was given a rematch for his toughness, the second fight was also close 
before Gushiken's pressure got to Rios and he wilted in the 13th round. 
Two future champions Alfonso Lopez  and Rafael Pedroza also lost to a
Gushiken who was marvelously prepared for their challenges. Like others at 
his weight it seemed as if his skills eroded almost over night. In his 
13th defense Gushiken struggled to outpoint Mexican Pedro Florez and the 
ensuing rematch saw a Florez who had learned his lessons well and counter
punch Gushiken to a stunning 12th round knockout loss. It was thought in 
Japan that Gushiken could have surely won more titles after some rest, but 
Gushiken announced 5 months after the loss to Florez that he would retire. 
True to his word Gushiken never put the gloves on again and to this day
remains a popular figure in his homeland.