Full name: Takao Sakurai
Original name: 桜井 孝雄
Height: 5-4.5 (164 cm)
Weight: 119 lbs (54 kg)
Born: September 25, 1941 in Sawara, Chiba, Japan
Died: January 10, 2012 in Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)
Takao Sakurai began boxing in high school and won the 1960 Japan inter-high school championship in the bantamweight division. In 1963, Sakurai won the All-Japan Amateur Boxing Championship as a bantamweight. The high point of Sakurai’s amateur career came at the 1964 Olympics, where he won the bantamweight gold, becoming the only Japanese boxer to win Olympic gold until [Ryota Murata] won the middleweight class in 2012. Sakurai finished his amateur career with a record of 138 wins in 155 bouts.
Sakurai turned professional after his Olympic triumph, winning 22 straight fights before challenging Australian Lionel Rose for the world bantamweight title in 1968. Sakurai got a knockdown in the second round, but ended up losing by decision in 15 rounds. In 1969 he won the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) bantamweight title, which he defended twice before announcing his retirement in 1970. His professional record was 30-2-0 (4 KOs), and Salurai was the top-ranked world bantamweight contender when he retired. After retiring from boxing, he worked as a boxing coach at Misako Boxing Gym, where he had started his professional career. Sakurai later ran a coffee shop and worked with a real estate company before founding his own boxing gym One Two Sports Club in 1996.
|1964 Summer||23||Tokyo||Boxing||Men's Bantamweight||Japan||JPN||1||Gold|
|1964 Summer||23||Tokyo||Boxing||Japan||JPN||Final Round||Match 1/2||1||1964-10-23||Sakurai (JPN) , Jeong (KOR)||knock-out||2||1:18|
|1964 Summer||23||Tokyo||Boxing||Japan||JPN||Semi-Finals||Match #2||1||1964-10-21||Sakurai (JPN) , Rodríguez (URU)||decision||5||59||59||59||59||59||295|
|1964 Summer||23||Tokyo||Boxing||Japan||JPN||Quarter-Finals||Match #4||1||1964-10-19||Sakurai (JPN) , Puiu (ROU)||decision||5||60||60||59||60||59+||298|
|1964 Summer||23||Tokyo||Boxing||Japan||JPN||Round Two||Match #7||1||1964-10-16||Sakurai (JPN) , Aryee (GHA)||decision||5||60||59||60||60||60||299|
|1964 Summer||23||Tokyo||Boxing||Japan||JPN||Round One||Match #14||1||1964-10-12||Sakurai (JPN) , Packer (GBR)||decision||4||60||60||60||60||59||299|