Boxing belt for Japanese convict

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The World Boxing Council (WBC) on Sunday awarded an honorary championship belt to a former Japanese boxer who was freed from death row last month after 48 years in prison following a murder conviction.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman handed the belt to Hideko (81) (in picture), an elder sister of Iwao Hakamada (78), who has been receiving hospital treatment since his release from a Tokyo prison on March 27. A portrait of Hakamada was sewn into the green belt.

While preparing to return to professional boxing in 1966, he was accused of robbing and stabbing to death his boss and the man’s wife and their two children. Hakamada initially admitted to the crime but said later he had been forced to confess.— AFP

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