Earlier today the news broke that another notable fighter had transferred to the Kadoebi Gym, following Yuichiro Kasuya (10-2-1, 2) [粕谷雄一郎] and Koki Tyson (13-3-2, 11) [太尊 康輝], who both joined the gym in recent weeks.
The notable fighter in question is Takuya Kogawa (29-5-1, 13) [粉川拓也], who is a former 2-time world title challenger and has also held OPBF and JBC titles.
At the age of 33 Kogawa likely sees his career as having 1 more big run in it, though will know that a loss would likely spell the end of his hopes to be a world champion. Kogawa was last seen in the ring in July, narrowly earning a draw with Yusuke Sakashita, and it seems like he believes a change in environment and culture will be what he needs to have another run.
At his best he was an all action fighter, who has had great contests with the likes if Suguru Muranaka, Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep, Masayuki Kuroda, Hiroyuki Kudaka and the legendary Pongsaklek Wonjongkam. At the 33 years old and with his hard career behind him however it's unclear what he still has left to offer the sport.
Interestingly it's also been revealed that Kasuya will be fighting on January 31st, Tyson in April and Kogawa in either April or May.
It's fair to say that Japanese youngster Yuichiro Kasuya (10-2-1, 2) [粕谷雄一郎] had a 2017 to forget, losing his two bouts from the year and coming into 2018 with a 0-2-1 record in his previous 3 bouts. It was a run that could have derailed his career, and broke his confidence at such a young age.
Today Kasuya proved that he was still a hungry fighter as he returned to the ring to begin 2018, and he made a quick and impressive cameo, as he blew away Katika Saithonggym (0-3) in just 88 seconds.
The 21 year old Japanese fighter was under pressure early on but used his feet well to counter the preassure and landed a brutal right hand, which dropped the Thai hard. To his credit the visitor got up, but was wobbly on his feet, and forced the referee to stop the contest.
After the bout Kasuya showed his ambition by stating he wanted to raise up the rankings this year, and get a chance to avenge his second loss, which came in a Japanese Youth title fight. It was clearly a mismatch, but a much needed confidence booster for Kasuya.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
In the Lightweight final of the innaugural Japanese Youth Tournament fight fans saw Izuki Tomioka (4-0, 1) [富岡樹] face off with the light punching Yuichiro Kasuya (9-2-1, 1) [粕谷雄一郎] in a really well fought technical bout that saw both men show off their boxing skills.
It was a really closely contested bout through the first two rounds, with neither man really getting much control of the early stages, every time one guy landed the other would fire back and it made those early rounds tit for tat. That tit for tat action continued through the fight with Kasuya taking a narrow lead on two cards after 5 rounds, before Tomoioka cloed strongly to edge out the narrow win.
The scorecards at the end of the 8 round contest had Tomioka winning 77-76 and 77-75 to take a split decision, with the third judge scoring it to Kasuya 77-76.
The bout proved that both men were almost perfectly matched. Their lack of power made for a tough bout for both men, and although both were rocked they never looked like being stopped. The shots left both with cuts around their left eyes, and left both men likely looking to have a rematch down the line to claim a clearer result.
For Tomioka the win is an amazing one for a fighter this early in his career, and it's clear he has the potential to be fighting for more senior titles in the very near future. His lack of power will hopefully change as he matures and if that happens he can go a very long way. For Kasuya the bout shouldn't be seen as a major set back, but he is now 0-2-1 in his last 3, and he really needsa confidence building easy win before he slides any further.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow Japanese fight fans will get the chance to see the first set of Japanese Youth Tournament finals.
One of the most interesting of those bouts is at Lightweight, where the unbeaten Izuki Tomioka (3-0, 1) [富岡樹] will face the once beaten Yuichiro Kasuya (9-1-1) [粕谷雄一郎], in a bout that looks like an amazing test of both men.
Today the two men weighed in, and both managed to make the 135lb limit.
On the scales Kasuya, the shorter man by 5cm, was around 134.5lbs. Whilst he is well under the limit he is notably a career highest, having fought much of his career at Super Featherweight so far. He comes into this with a 0-1-1 record in his last two bouts, and is almost 18 months from his last win.
Tomioka was also around 134.5lbs for the bout, and like Kasuya this is a career highest for a man who has been a Super Featherweight through his career. Although weighing in heavier than he has he looked in good shape, and it's clear that he will be filling into the Lightweight as his body matures.
For fans outside of Tokyo this bout will be featured on Boxingraise, giving fans around the globe a chance to see the action on delay.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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