BY ALEX P. VIDAL
We mourn the passing away of Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) Executive Secretary Shigeru Kojima. I personally remember Secretary Kojima as the one responsible for giving me license to officiate as professional boxing referee and judge in Japan from 2000 to 2004.
As a license holder of the JBC, I was able to officiate Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) fights under different promoters in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kanazawa, Kobe, among other Japanese Perfectures.
Meanwhile, here’s the official statement from the World Boxing Council (WBC) released by President Dr. Jose Sulaiman Chagnon dated September 26, 2011 from the WBC Headquarters in Mexico City: “The WBC expresses, with profound regret, the passing away of one of the best boxing commissioners that ever lived, Shigeru Kojima, who was the executive secretary of the Japan Boxing Commission for decades and a voting member of the Board of Governors for a quarter century. He never missed a WBC annual world convention until the day that he retired from boxing.
“I held Mr. Kojima in the highest esteem, as did every one of the members of the WBC Board of Governors, especially years ago when my position, held for almost 36 years, was threatened by members of the NABF after the crisis created by the heavyweight world championship fight between Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas, who defeated him. Mr. Kojima was in the hospital after a serious surgery, but went directly to the airport in Narita, Japan, to attend and bring Asia’s fullest support to me.
“The WBC is declaring three days of mourning for a man of integrity, total dedication to boxing, loyalty, perseverance in his struggle for the safety of the sport, and for having been such a decent and great friend.
“The WBC extends its sympathy to Mr. Kojima’s family, to the Japan Boxing Commission, and to boxing in all Japan, hoping that allmighty God will bring prompt resignation to such a profound sorrow.”
Rest in peace, Kojima san!