Titles: Flyweight champion 1962-1963, bantamweight champion 1965-1968 Record: 55-7 Born: April 5, 1943 in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, Japan Years active: 1960-1970 Nickname: Fighting Regarded by many as the greatest Japanese fighter in ring history, Harada was almost a 3 division champion back when that really meant something! He is also the first fighter in history to win both the flyweight and the bantamweight title. Harada grew out of the rubble of post war Japan to become a beloved champion of his people. He was a short and stocky fighter with a rugged style to say the least and made offense his first and only concern, the term pressure fighter fit him to a tee. His stamina was also a major factor in his success and helped him throw hundreds of punches from every possible angle. The son of a Tokyo Gardener Harada did not fight as a amateur and prepared for 2 years in the gym perfecting his offense before he turned pro at the age of 16. In less than 3 years as a pro he would fight for a world title at the flyweight level. Harada was already straining to make weight when he defeated the favorite Pone Kingpetch in front of 10,000 Japanese fans in 11th round. Kingpetch simply could not match the work rate of the faster Harada and was well behind on points when he was knocked out in the 11th. A rematch clause however sent the a rematch fight to Bangkok however where a already weight drained Harada surcame to sweltering heat, all 3 judges scored the fight for Kingpetch but the fight was not a blow out by any means and the AP press reporter covering the fight actually thought Harada had won. A move up to bantamweight was the only option for Harada. At bantamweight he continued to win with the exception of a setback against hard punching Mexican Joe Medel, in the 6th round of a close fight Medel landed a big hook from which Harada could not recover. In the long run however this loss might have helped Harada get a title shot against Eder Jofre. Harada outworked the great and previously unbeaten Eder Jofre over 15 rounds to win a deserved decision, a good early body attack left Harada the fresher man in the championship rounds. Four successful defenses followed, one of which was a defeat of his former comquerer Joe Medel his previous conqueror. Eder Jofre was beaten again in a rematch and the very good Colombian Bernardo Caraballo and Alan Rudkin were also beaten during the title reign. Once again Harada was having a hard time making weight often having to come down from 137 pounds to make the 118 pound limit. It took the loss loss of his title to slick boxing Lionel Rose for Harada to move up again in weight. A title shot came quickly and many think Harada won the fight and should have been a three time champion. In one of the most controversial title fights ever Harada floored Johnny Famechon three times and seemed to have won the fight. However the sole judge and referee Willie Pep first scored it a draw then later gave the fight to Famechon after he said he made a mathematical error. By now Harada was not as good as he once was and added weight took away from his speed and stamina. A rematch saw Famechon win rather easily and Harada decided to retire at the young age of 26 and is now a respected boxing commentator in Japan. His career caused a boxing boom in Japan which can still be felt today.
1960 Feb 21 Isami Masui Tokyo KO 4 Mar 2 Mitsuo Motohashi Tokyo W 4 Mar 27 Goro Iwamoto Tokyo KO 3 Apr 4 Yuichi Noguchi Tokyo W 4 Apr 13 Ken Morita Tokyo W 4 Jun 10 Masatake Ogura Tokyo KO 3 Jun 26 Ken Morita Tokyo KO 1 Jul 18 Masaru Kodangi Tokyo KO 3 Sep 1 Yukio Suzuki Tokyo W 4 Oct 28 Sadayoshi Yoshida Tokyo KO 4 Nov 7 Hachiro Arai Tokyo W 4 Dec 11 Yoshinori Hikita Tokyo KO 3 Dec 24 Hiroyuki Ebihara Tokyo W 6 1961 Jan 5 Takeshi Nakamura Tokyo W 6 Jan 28 Riichi Tanaka Tokyo W 6 Mar 5 Yasuo Fujita Tokyo W 6 May 1 Ray Perez Tokyo W 10 Jun 19 Shigeru Ito Tokyo W 10 Jul 31 Akio Maki Tokyo KO 8 Sep 9 Sombang Bangung Tokyo KO 5 Oct 9 Akio Maki Osaka, Japan W 10 Dec 10 Ryoji Shiratori Nagoya, Japan KO 6 1962 Jan 12 Kozo Nagata Tokyo W 10 Mar 18 Tadao Kawamura Tokyo W 10 May 4 Baby Espinosa Tokyo W 10 Jun 15 Edmundo Esparaza Tokyo L 10 Jul 23 Little Rufe Tokyo W 10 Oct 10 Pone Kingpetch Tokyo KO 11 (Wins World Flyweight Title) 1963 Jan 12 Pone Kingpetch Bangkok L 15 (Loses World Flyweight Title) Mar 21 Tetsuro Kawai Tokyo W 10 May 5 Jose Cejuda Okinawa, Japan KO 1 Jun 19 Thira Loedjalengabo Nagoya, Japan KO 6 Aug 7 Dommy Balajada Tokyo W 10 Sep 26 Joe Medel Tokyo KO by 6 Nov 25 Emile de Leon Tokyo W 10 1964 Jan 2 Avelino Estrada Tokyo KO 5 Feb 14 Somsak Laemphafa Osaka, Japan KO 2 Jul 6 Ray Asis Los Angeles W 10 Sep 17 Oscar Reyes Tokyo W 10 Oct 29 Katsutoshi Aoki Tokyo KO 3 1965 Jan 4 Dommy Froilan Tokyo KO 6 May 17 Eder Jofre Nagoya, Japan W 15 (Wins World Bantamweight Title) Jun 28 Katsuo Saito Tokyo W 12 Nov 30 Alan Rudkin Tokyo W 15 (Retains World Bantamweight Title) 1966 Feb 15 Soo Kang Soo Nagoya, Japan W 12 Jun 1 Eder Jofre Tokyo W 15 (Retains World Bantamweight Title) Aug 1 Dio Espinosa Sapporo, Japan W 10 Oct 25 Antonio Herrera Osaka, Japan W 12 1967 Jan 3 Joe Medel Nagoya, Japan W 15 (Retains World Bantamweight Title) Apr 4 Tiny Palacio Fukuoka City, Japan W 12 Jul 4 Bernardo Caraballo Tokyo W 15 (Retains World Bantamweight Title) Sep 25 Hajime Taroura Osaka, Japan KO 2 Nov 28 Soo Bok Kwon Okayama, Japan KO 8 1968 Feb 16 Lionel Rose Tokyo L 15 (Loses World Bantamweight Title) Jun 5 Dwight Hawkins Tokyo W 10 Sep 4 Nobuo Chiba Sano, Japan KO 7 Dec 4 Roy Amolong Tokyo KO 2 1969 Apr 2 Alton Colter Tokyo L 10 Jun 5 Vil Tumulak Nagoya, Japan W 10 Jul 28 Johnny Famechon Sydney L 15 (For WBC Featherweight Title) Oct 1 Pat Gonzales Fukui City, Japan KO 8 1970 Jan 6 Johnny Famechon Tokyo KO by 14 (For WBC Featherweight Title)