This series has always been about trying to get fans to pay attention to someone you've probably not heard of, or if you have you know too much about them. With that in mind we've managed to get some pretty notable names featured on this series before they've managed to make a mark, and other fighters who have perhaps failed to live up to the potential we thought they had.
For this week's "Introducing..." we are going for someone we don't know a lot about, though we are looking forward to see them in action in December, and from what we do know, they are certainly worth making a mental note of now, before their next bout. They might be a star in the making, but they are certainly a fun fighter to watch! With that in mind let us introduce Japanese Middleweight hopeful Kazuki Kyohara (4-0-2, 3).
We suspect even the most hardcore of fight fans aren't familiar with Kyohara. They might have seen him once or twice, but we really doubt they'd remember much about him. Despite that the 23 year old shouldn't be over-looked, and instead he should be regarded as someone under-the-radar, for now.
Unlike many fighters we talk about Kyohara doesn't have the backing of a notable gym. In fact he's part of the Kurume Kushima & Yuki Beppu Gym, a gym so small that it's the name of it's current star fighter, and doesn't have it's own website. It is a tiny gym in Torimachi in Kurume, with only 3 active professional fighters affiliated with it, including Yuki Beppu and Kyohara! Of those Kyohara is the youngest, by far.
Kyohara made his debut in October 2016, on a small card in Fukuoka headlined by stable Yuki Beppu. Aged 19 at the time Kyohara left a mark on the sport as he stopped Yuji Oshiro in the third round of their scheduled 4 rounder. Some 8 months later Kyohara returned to the ring for his second bout, and stopped Shuhei Hisatomi in 2 rounds. Kyohara was in trouble early in the bout but quickly recovered, bit down on his gum shield and managed to unload on Hisatomi in round 2.
Sadly it would be 11 months between Kyohara's second and third professional bouts. As a result Kyohara's third bout wouldn't come until May 2018, when he clashed with Atom Higashi in the Central Japan Rookie of the Year final. The almost long lay off won't have helped Kyohara, and he took a very narrow decision win over Higashi, who was making his debut. For those wanting to watch this, this bout is on Boxing Raise and is a brutal, hard hitting battle, that should be watched by those with the service.
Kyohra was then supposed to fight in November 2018, to decide who would represent West Japan in the All Japan Rookie of the Year final. Sadly however that bout was cancelled when Kyohara's scheduled opponent, Hammer Gorilla, was forced to pull out of the bout. As a result Kyohara progressed to the All Japan final in December, where he faced unbeaten Nath Nwachukwu, The bout was a crazy, wild brawl, with both men really coming to fight. The technical flaws and youthful exuberance from both was on show in what was a truly sensational battle between two crude, confident, young men, both trying to take their opponents head off. The intense, and often wild, action was thoroughly engaging but there wasn't a winner on the scorecards, with all 3 scorecards reading 38-38. Sadly for Kyohara he was denied on the tie-breaker rules, which resulted in a Rookie of the Year win for Nwachukwu.
In his first bout following the Rookie of the Year draw Kyohara took on Hammer Gorilla, the same man he was scheduled to face in 2018, in April 2019. The bout was a short one, with Kyohara taking an opening round win over Gorilla. The bout saw Kyohara take control almost instantly, and he ended up dropping Gorilla twice, with the bout being stopped after the second knockdown.
Sadly for Kyohara he would suffer his second draw in September 2019, when he was surprisingly held to a 6 round draw by the limited by experienced Toshihiro Kai. This was Kyohara's first 6 rounder, and his inexperience showed as he struggled with the toughness and durability of Kai. The bout showed up Kyohara's flaws, but did also help him get some valuable ring time, and was a good learning experience.
In December we're expecting to see Kyohara in the ring with Yuta Ashina, in a bout that should be absolutely sensational. Both men are limited but have very exciting styles, that should gel well, and give us a barn burner.
In terms of his style Kyohara is a crude, wild, strong and aggressive fighter. He's very much in need of polishing before being described as a prospect, but he's a fun fighter and someone who is going to be a lot of fun to follow, win or lose.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces