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Bonta Cup pro boxing tournament benefits traffic accident victims

Date Posted: 2003-02-22

Boxing enthusiasts will have a field day Mar. 2 when 24 fighters go against each other in 11 tournament and one exhibition match in Budokan arena in Onoyama, Naha City. It is the sixth Mugen Bonta Cup, started by a former boxing champion.

The annual Mugen tournament began six years ago by Okinawan former WBA super light class World Champion Nobuaki Hiranaka, who now runs his own boxing gym. The tournament profits are earmarked to benefit children who are traffic accident victims.

Hiranaka says that one of his dreams is to find an Okinawan boxer who has the skill and ability to become a world champion. “Okinawa has strong traditions in professional boxing, and this tournament is a good first step for boxers who aim towards that goal,” Hiranaka says.

All five boxing gyms in Okinawa are represented as they take on boxers from mainland Japan. One of the most interesting fights will pit Pacific Champion Shigeru Nakazato of Okinawa against former WBA World Champion Osamu Sato in super bantamweight class. It is the sole exhibition match of the day.

Tickets to the tournament range from Y3,000 for grandstand seats, to Y10,000 for the best ringside seats. Middle and high school children pay Y2,000, and admission is free for elementary school students and younger children. Budokam arena doors open at 11 a.m. and the first match begins at noon. Okinawa Budokan is located in Naha across from Naha Military Port.

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