Born June 26, 1955 in Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan. The son of a fisherman, Gushiken quickly developed as an amateur, winning the All-Japan high school championship and compiling a 62-3 (52 KOs) record.
The 5’4” pugilist relocated to Tokyo to learn from renowned trainer Masaki Kanehira and turned pro in 1974. Over the next two years he scored eight wins (five via knockout) before challenging Juan Antonio Guzman for the WBA light flyweight title on October 10, 1976. In only his ninth pro contest, the southpaw Gushiken stopped his Dominican foe with a seventh round kayo that began a remarkable four and a half year championship reign. The finely conditioned Gushiken combined defense, an accurate jab, striking combinations and calculated aggression to register 13 successful defenses (nine via knockout) over the likes of Jaime Rios (W 15, KO 13), Alfonso Lopez (KO 7), Rafael Pedroza (W 15), Martin Vargas (KO 8) and Pedro Flores (W 15). In 1981 Gushiken’s title reign came to an end after losing the belt to the determined Flores in a 1981 rematch (KO by 12). Despite pressure to move up in weight to pursue another world title, Gushiken, nicknamed “Kanmuriwashi” (Fierce Eagle), retired at the age of 25 with a pro record of 23-1 (15 KOs).
In retirement Gushiken remains a beloved figure in Japan and is still involved in boxing as a trainer, manager and promoter. In 1995, along with Japan’s first champion Yoshio Shirai, he formed the Shirai Gushiken Sports Gym (SGS), which has produced several champions.
Born: June 26, 1955