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Pro boxer reminisces about his fastest 5,000m race

His running background has been useful for Japanese boxer Andy The Blade Hiraoka

A 23-year-old Japanese boxer and former high school runner posted on Instagram about a race he ran two days after winning the semi-final match at his first pro tournament, shortly after turning 17. Andy Justice “The Blade” Hiraoka ran 5,000m in 14:26, a 20-second personal best and an impressive time for someone whose main sport was no longer running.

“Boxing rookie tournament semi-finals, a 5,000m race that (I) ran 2 days after winning,” Hiraoka posted. “There is nothing I can’t do.”

Hiraoka, who is trained by his father, Justice Hiraoka, fights in the super lightweight division, which is capped at 140 lb. His time is just a hair outside the top 10 from this year’s Canadian Track Nationals (there is no 5,000m distance in high school athletics in Canada).

According to the World Boxing Association, going 12 rounds in the ring requires superb aerobic conditioning, which is best accomplished by running at an aerobic pace (around 150 bpm heartrate) for at least an hour a day. Anaerobic workouts, i.e. sprinting drills, also condition the body to flush lactic acid quickly, something that’s desirable for both boxing and running a fast 5K.

Hiraoka is excited to face Rogelio Casarez of the Batesville, Arkansas at his next bout, scheduled for November 30 at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.