The Ohashi gym has become a hotbed for fantastic young fighters, with the gym, along with the Watanabe Gym and the Teiken Gym, signing up much of the top amateur talent from Japan over the last few years. Among those fighters to sign with the Ohashi gym and join up with former world champion Hideyuki Ohashi is 27 year old Katsuya Yasuda (3-0, 2), who is set to take a major step up in class this coming July, and try to make up for a disappointing 2018.
The Ibaragi born Yasuda first made his mark on the sport as an amateur, winning a national amateur crown in 2013 and running up an excellent 64-12 (30) amateur record. Like many top Japanese amateurs he didn't really make a mark on the international scene, but his reputation from the domestic amateur ranks had seen him become a fighter with suitors for when he finally decided to turn professional.
Yasuda would make his professional debut on August 30th 2017, at the age of 25. He was older than many top Japanese prospects when he turned professional, but still not an old fighter by any stretch. On debut he needed just 62 seconds to stop Indonesian foe Reno Arizala. Despite it being a very short bout Yasuda showed excellent footwork, sharp punching and a very nasty straight left hand, that left Arizala down for the 10 count. Whilst the bout was a mismatch it was a good debut win for Yasuda who showed enough to get excited about.
Having blitzed his debut opponent Yasuda's second bout would see him take on sturdy Korean southpaw Ki Soo Lee, and Lee wasn't there to roll over, in fact Lee was there to win and to upset the former amateur stand out. The blows of Lee would take an effect early on, and he would leave Yasuda with an almost swollen shut right eye. With the eye a mess Yasuda had to focus on protecting himself more than he'd have liked, and this allowed Lee to be the aggressor, something that didn't Yasuda did struggle with.
Despite the adversity Yasuda would do enough to take the win, taking a majority decision with scores of 58-56, 58-57 and 57-57. It wasn't a lucky win, but was a real gut check, and something that forced him to prove his will to win.
Given the swelling under his eye in the Lee fight it was little wonder that Yasuda would be out of the ring for quite some time, in fact it was over 8 months that Yasuda would be out of the thing, before he returned at Lightweight, having had his first 2 bouts at Light Welterweight. On his return he battled Indonesian journeyman Anshori Anhar Pitulay, who was making his Japanese debut hut had suffered losses on the road in Australia and Thailand, often by stoppage and took him out in 3 rounds, making the most of his body shots which took out Pitulay.
The unbeaten Ohashi man will return to the ring on July 1st as he looks for his biggest win to date. He will be up against Japanese based Filipino Jerry Castroverde in an 8 round bout. A win over Castroverde is expected, and would be a huge boost for his career, though it's not a given and the Filipino is no push over, despite just a single win in his last 5 bouts. A win here should give Yasuda's career a shot in the arm and hopefully lead him to really biting down and running with his career, which has lacked the activity it needs for him to fulfil his true potential.
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