When this fight was announced you said you were going to retire if you lose. Is it there something special about this fight for you or is it just time?â†µ
O. L. D.
... What's that?
Old! (laughs) Really though, it's so many things. I don't want to become stupid from being punched too much.
Are you really concerned about it? You have mentioned that a couple times now.â†µ
Now, I'm OK in conversations like this but in the future, I don't know if I'll be able to hold conversations any more.
I have always thought about retirement but it's not everything to me. At this age though, I need to think. I've been punching opponents since I was 17. If I can't show my best then I probably need to quit. I've been thinking that for a long time. It's just a decision that I need to make. My cardio is getting worse as I get older and so is my athletic ability. I try my best in training, 100 percent or even 120 percent. but if I can't show 100 percent in the fight then I need to think about retiring. I said that if am going to retire if I lose but I'll probably need to think about it later.
It's a sad truth that any sport where men are taking punches to the head will have men who, down the road, are unable to function as would be expected. MMA fans are often too quick to write this off as "boxing's problem" but we will see mixed martial artists down the road who suffer many of the same issues. Sakurai brings it up in a bit of a joking manner, but it's also very real to him that he has been in a lot of wars and may not live a high quality life as an old man.â†µ