Hozumi Hasegawa 29(12)-3, the WBC featherweight champion, is Japan's most famous boxer.
Many often refer to him as the Pride of Japan, much like Manny Pacquiao is the Pride of the Philippines.
This Friday, April 8, Hasegawa is set to defend his new WBC featherweight title against the heavy-handed Jhonny Gonzalez 47(41)-7 for the first time since winning in spectacular fashion against Juan Carlos Burgos in November.
Hasegawa traded and got caught with some big shots from Burgos, but was able to shake them off in their featherweight championship fight.
This may indicate that Hasegawa may have been weight drained at the lower weight class of bantamweight. He has spent most of his career here and was knocked out by then pound-for-pound ranked bantamweight champion, Fernando Montiel.
Hozumi can be seen all over television, magazine covers and newspapers in Japan when his fights are happening.
Many people of Japan are not only fans of his exciting yet technically-sound fighting style, but they also admire him for taking care of his mother, who had been suffering from cancer until her recent death.
He would use the boxing purses from his fights to provide his mother with the best medical attention and cancer treatment that money can buy.
Much of the public in Japan loved him for doing so.
With the recent tragedy of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, a boxing hero like their very own Hasegawa could possibly lift some spirits—giving the people something to be inspired by and proud of, or at least be entertained or distracted by.
This columnist has decided to put his money where his mouth is and help out the Japan disaster relief. I have located certain Costcos that have Japan disaster relief collection bins and whenever I go to these Costcos I donate as much as I can, as you can see as evidence in the article's photo. I encourage you too to donate what you can in your local communities where they are collecting for Japan.
The tragedy hits rather close to me for I was in Hawaii when it happened. We were also hit by a much smaller benign tsunami later that night. The whole island was in utter fear as all the businesses were shut down, all the gas stations had hour long waits to fill their tanks up, and most intimidating was the fact that all cell phones and even land lines were not working.
I know what we experienced was nothing at all in comparison to what the unfortunate people of Japan faced and still are facing, but we did see a glimpse of what seemed like an end of the world feeling for that night.
Will Hasegawa be victorious against Gonzalez Friday in Kobe, Japan? Well, we shall see.
At this point, it seems Japan needs its heroes now more than ever, so let's all do what we can to help.
I encourage everyone reading this to give what ever you can to help the disaster relief in Japan. The 9.0 earthquake and tsunami has claimed the lives of almost 30,000 people and rising.
Also, you can of course Text REDCROSS to 90999 to Donate $10 to Red Cross.
Anything you can do helps out. Even if it is just a few dollars, we should all do what we can to help.
Follow on Twitter: http://twitter.com/KingJ323