September 2, 2018


Former WBO 105-pound champion Ryuya Yamanaka (16-3, 5 KOs), still 23, made an official announcement to retire from ring activity on Saturday in Kobe, Japan. Ryuya forfeited his belt in his second defense against hard-punching Filipino Vic Saludar on points this July. As he complained of a headache afterward, he was rushed to hospital, where a brain hemorrhage was detected though he then didnft need a brain surgery. The safety code of the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) stipulates that once a boxer should be found of brain hemorrhage?regardless of slight or heavy?he should hang up gloves for good. His manager Masato Yamashita of Shinsei Gym pitifully said, gRyuya was a man based on his constant efforts that carried him to a world belt. His diligence and dedication were a role model for young boxers.h

Though it might be a sad news, Ryuyafs mother Rie, 47, wholeheartedly welcomed his early retirement although he once promised his mother to buy a house for his family.

You may remember a historically famous episode. Benny Leonard, one of the greatest lightweight champions in history, retired undefeated after a long reign of seven and a half years just in order to please his mother in 1925, although the Depression caused The Ghetto Wizard (eventually 89-6-1, 70 KOs) to make a comeback because of economy in 1931. His last appearance was against Jimmy McLarnin in October 1932, when the referee Arthur Donovan mercifully declared a halt to save the peoplefs hero from further punishment. Benny later served as third man under New York commission, and, while refereeing in 1947, collapsed and passed away. But itfs another story than Yamanakafs welcomed retirement by his mother.


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