The Teiken Gym is one of the most well established gyms in Japan, and has had a number of notable world champions coming in and out of it's doors in Tokyo. At the moment however the gym isn't as strong as it once was and a gym that was once packed with champions, from Japanese nationals right through to world champions, is rather lacking. Whilst it's not great for the gym, it's certainly not all doom and gloom, and the gym is actually looking like it has a lot of reasons to be excited, as it has spent the last year or so snapping up good amateur talent for it's next wave of champions.
Among those many amateur fighters is Katsuya Fukui (2-0, 1), who debuted back in September, on his 23rd birthday, and looks like he could be another name to keep a very close eye on going forward.
As an amateur the young Fukui went an impressive 59-16 and won numerous competitions, including the 2014 Interschool Athletic Meet in Chigasaki, with Fukui beating Yusuke Mine in the final. That same tournament also held notable tournament wins for Yudai Shigeoka and Go Hosaka, and saw Hinata Maruta picking up second place in his weight class.
Back in September Fukui's debut was televised as part of a live G+ broadcast under the Dynamic Glove banner. Fukui would take on capable Korean Sang Hoon Kim in a scheduled 6 rounder, and immediately was clear he was a talent. His composure and educated pressure shone. Whilst his accuracy was lacking at times, he was up against someone who was negative, a surprising trait for a Korean fighter, and it very much felt like Kim realised the quality of the debutant he was in with. After back tracking through much of the first round Kim was caught in round 2 as Fukui finally got to his man, landing a series of right hands up top, then dropping his man with body shots.
It wasn't a flawless debut, it was never going to be given how negative Kim was, but Fukui still showed what he could do, and when facing less negative fighter we expect to see a lot more form him.
Sadly Fukui's second bout wasn't actually televised. It instead came as part of a huge card, though missed out on TV exposure. The card however massive one, the WBSS Bantamweight final, with Fukui stopping Thai Chakkit Ratchakhot in 2 rounds. The Thai went down several times before being stopped in what was an easy second win, albeit in a huge venue as part of a massive show, for the youngster.
At the moment it's not totally clear when Fukui will be back in the ring, though we suspect it'll be some point in Spring, potentially as part of another Dynamic Glove card with Teiken likely to push him relatively quickly. He's not yet a super talent, like some of their other prospects, but he's certainly a very, very capable young fighter with traits that could take him very far, if guided right.
Having mentioned how Teiken look to be bringing through their next generation of champions it's worth noting that Fukui fit's in to a class of prospects at Teiken that also includes Kuntae Lee, Mikito Nakano, Shokichi Iwata and Hiroto Yashiro, all of whom were accomplished amateurs. This group looks likely to be among the core prospects for Teiken over the coming years, and will all be worth following as the gym looks to rebound from a rough patch in it's history.
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