Ethnicity in Professional Boxing: Why do Filipino Boxers in Japan Always Lose?

Takahata, Sachi
January 2000
Philippine Sociological Review;Jan-Dec2000, Vol. 48 Issue 1-4, p72
Academic Journal
The number of Filipino professional boxers fighting in Japan is increasing, and most of them are losing. For instance, there were only seven Filipino boxers who fought in Japan in 1981, but the number rose dramatically to the maximum of 150 in 1996. The increase started in 1987 and the number gradually decreased after 1996, but compared with foreign boxers of other nationalities, the Filipinos comprised the majority. However, the winning rate of Filipinos was strikingly low. In 1998, a total of 2,208 bout tool place in Japan. Filipino boxers fought in 100 winning only seven of those 100 bouts, making their winning rate a mere seven percent. Next to Filipinos were Koreans, whose winning rate was 11 percent. It was usual in professional boxing in Japan to see "journeymen" losing "naturally." This paper aims to understand such a situation. It provides a historical outline and categorization of Filipino boxers in Japan, discusses issues related foreign boxers and reevaluates the status of Filipino boxers in Japan.


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