Bucket List Boxing Champ

Dr. Alan Nomura after winning the Ringside World Championship. Photo courtesy Alan Nomura

Honolulu dentist Alan Nomura always has been physically active, but it wasn’t until this year, at age 56, that he became a boxing champion.

On Aug. 3 he entered the Ringside World Championships in Kansas City, something that was on his bucket list. And he ended up winning his division – Masters, 141 to 152 pounds.

“It’s the first time I ever won anything,” says the 1975 Kalani High School graduate. “My younger brother Nelson was a state wrestling champion and a judo champion, and my youngest brother Wesley was an all-state baseball player and got a college scholarship to play baseball. So even though all three of us played sports, I was never a champion like my brothers.”

That is, until now.

Nomura, who did judo and played baseball in high school, started boxing for recreational exercise while at the University of Washington. Throughout his life, he’s also played basketball, football, golf, practiced tae kwon do, muay Thai, kick-boxing and jiu jitsu.

“I just love sports,” he says “After high school, I dabbled in everything, so it would be like streaks, but I never stayed away from boxing. I trained at Kalakaua Gym, and I used to go to Palolo Gym, too. I’ve been a member of the Honolulu Club for about 26 years, and they always had a heavy bag and a speed bag, so it was nothing formal, just recreational to stay in shape.”

Then, two years ago, he decided to pursue that bucket list dream and started training with the famed Waianae Boxing Club to prepare for his amateur boxing tournament debut. He actually planned to enter Ringside last year, but a complete rotator cuff muscle tear in his right shoulder and cartilage tear in his left knee sidelined him for three months. But he never gave up, and his hard work paid off both inside and outside of the ring.

“My blood pressure was 140 over 94, and now it’s 110 over 60,” he explains. “Before boxing I was about 175 pounds. Now I weigh 145 pounds, and I cut my body fat. Also, my blood sugar was high and my cholesterol, too, so everything dropped.”

He also gained many new friends, as well as coaches, including coach Freddy “Papa” Pereira of Waianae Boxing Club, and teammates who he says have become family.

“I thought I did boxing only because it’s a sport, but I realized it’s such a great feeling to be part of a family again,” he says. “I enjoy the camaraderie among your teammates. I missed that, where you hang out with your teammates, and that whole Waianae community, they just embrace you.”

As for whether or not he’ll enter the Ringside World Championships again, Nomura says he’s considering it. He continues to work out six days a week, including cardiovascular and boxing specific lifting exercises. He also is a member at UFC Gym in Kakaako.

“I wanted to do this as a bucket list thing,” he says. “But everybody is encouraging me. Right now, I feel good, and if I decide to do the tournament again, I’ll be ready.”