By Ron Valderrama: It’s been an interesting year in boxing, a few fighters on the backside of their career proved they still have what it takes to fight by displaying a tremendous comeback. One of those fighters would have to be Hozumi Hasegawa of Japan.
Add WBC super bantamweight to his resume, Hasegawa defeated Hugo Ruiz earlier this year in an epic battle that has earned him honors as the Secondsout.com, "Comeback of the year." He is one of a few fighters that I wish I could have watched fight ringside, but that won’t happen. Earlier this month, Hasegawa announced his retirement, leaving the ring with nothing more to prove. To be honest, I’m happy with his decision and wish him the best, but if he ever comes out of retirement, rest assure I’ll be watching.
In his prime, Hasegawa has to be considered as one of the best southpaw counter punchers of our era. Although he is not the fighter he once was and many were urging him to retire, Hasegawa proved the critics wrong as he made good use of his experience and solid jab, it was key in his win over Ruiz.
The dynamics of the fight changed in round 1, an accidental headbutt by Hasegawa left a nasty cut over the eye of Ruiz, costing Hasegawa point deduction, a mandatory rule by the WBC. The two warriors traded blows, at times, Ruiz came to life going into the later rounds, pelting Hasegawa with hard blows that would have dropped an inexperienced fighter.
As round 8 began, Ruiz clashed heads with Hasegawa which left a cut over the eye of Hasegawa. The incident forced the referee to deduct a point, a much-needed point for Ruiz.
The action continued in round 9 as Hasegawa traded punches with Ruiz, a determined Hasegawa could sense victory, he was right, Ruiz ended the fight on the stool, refusing to answer the bell for the beginning of round 10.
For Hozumi Hasegawa, it’s been a phenomenal career, a career that has spanned 17 years. His journey included winning three world titles in three different weight classes which included titles as a bantamweight, featherweight, and super bantamweight, as well as numerous MVP awards from the Japan Boxing Commission. His career ends with an impressive 36 wins, 16 of those wins coming by way of knockout, 5 losses and no draws.