Former Champion Ao Retires From Boxing
An accomplished champion at all levels of featherweight, Takahiro Ao announced his retirement last last night.
The 36-year-old has been out of action from boxing since 2018 after an initial departure from the sport in 2015. Ao (28-3-1, 1NC) stated the following on his media accounts:
“I am going to be 36 years old and I understand that now is the right time for me to leave boxing without any regrets,” Ao stated via Boxing Scene. “Thanks for the support of Teiken Boxing Gym in Tokyo, I was able to become world champion twice. I can be satisfied with my great achievement in professional boxing. I appreciate Teiken boxing gym.”
Starting his career in 2003, Ao quickly rose up the ranks in the Japanese boxing scene. He won the Japanese Featherweight Title in 2007 before fighting for major gold. He lost to Oscar Larios for the WBC Featherweight Title in 2008 before beating him in a rematch a few months later for the title. In 2011, Ao won the WBC Super-Featherweight Title from Vitali Tajbert. He defended the title three times before losing it to Gamaliel Diaz in 2012.
Following that loss, Ao won four in a row before facing Raymundo Beltran for the WBO Lightweight Title. In his second fight in the United States, Ao lost to Beltran, who came into the fight .4 over the 135-pound lightweight limit. As a result the title remained vacant. After time away, Ao came back in 2018 and avenged his 2012 loss to Gamaliel Diaz with a unanimous decision win.
“From now on, I will do my best for my second life as much as I can be ashamed of those who cooperated,” Ao ended up posting on Instagram.