Masahiko “Fighting” Harada–with the “Fighting” tag added to differentiate him from “Happy” Harada, the ski jumper–was a famous Japanese boxer champion. He was renowned from being able to defeat a number of supposedly undefeatable boxing fighters of his time and for being a member of the Hall of Fame.
Born of April 23, 1943, Fighting Harada was only 17 years old when he decided to wear the gloves and fight professionally on February 21, 1970. It proved to be a good debut fight, when he knocked down opponent Isami Masui after only four short rounds of pound-for-pound fighting. It proved to be only a beginning for Masahiko, and he made a winning streak for himself: all of the next 24 bouts set for him would be a victory for him.
There were, however, a number of defeats suffered by Fighting Harada in the course of his professional career. The first one would be his 25th fight, squaring off against Edmundo Esparza on June 15, 1962. This was followed by Pone Kingpetch the following year, the result having Harada losing his World Boxing Association world flyweight champion, which he wrestled from Kingpetch himself. Jose Medel also added his own stain to Harada’s record, knocking him out in 6 rounds during their bout on September 1963.
Perhaps the most controversial defeat Harada suffered was his first fight with Australian Johnny Famechon in July 1969. The fight was supposedly a tie, but the judge cum referee Willie Pep revealed that Famechon was ahead by 15 points against the Japanese boxer. Famechon was also Harada’s last opponent. They met once again on January 6, 1970 in an effort to defeat and steal the title from Famechon. Harada was initially the victor during the first 10 rounds, but his opponent was able to recover and knocked Harada out during the fourteenth round.