Boxing Chief Admits Friendship With Ex - Gangster

Boxing chief admits friendship with ex-gangster

The chairman of the Japan Amateur Boxing Federation has admitted to a decades-long association with a gangster.

Akira Yamane told NHK on Sunday that the 2 became friends when he was a teenager, and that their friendship continued after he joined the board of the boxing federation in 1991.

Yamane referred to himself as a lone wolf who has never sought help from anyone. He denied receiving money from the friend. He said they have not been in touch since a falling-out a few years ago.

Yamane said people had only recently started raising questions about his relationship with the former gangster, and that it had never been an issue before.

Yamane told NHK he's done nothing wrong, and therefore has no reason to step down as chairman of the federation.

Recently, more than 300 people connected with amateur boxing across the country asked organizations such as the Japanese Olympic Committee and the Japan Sports Agency to investigate alleged irregularities and instances of power harassment by Yamane and the federation.

Yamane has admitted misappropriating a Japan Sport Council subsidy of 2.4 million yen, or about 22,000 dollars, granted to a boxer. Yamane said he split the subsidy evenly between the boxer and 2 others.