Introducing.... Ryusei Kawaura
The Kawashima Boxing Gym hasn't had many major names go through it's doors since it was set up, with the most notable person at the gym being chairman Hiroshi Kawashima.
Mr Kawashima set up the gym after ending his career as a fighter, and whilst he was a pretty notable figure in the 1990's, he was overshadowed somewhat by his contemporaries. Despite often being over-looked he did hold the WBC Super Flyweight champion between May 1994 to February 1997 and was dubbed "untouchable" back in his prime.
The gym recently had Japanese Welterweight Toshio Arikawa, but it's gem in the making is 24 year old Super Flyweight Ryusei Kawaura (5-0, 4), who will surely be looking to follow in the footsteps of Kawashima and his success at 115lbs. Like his mentor Kawaura is a southpaw, but doesn't have a similar style to the untouchable former champion, instead applying a more aggressive style than the former champion.
Kawaura got a lot of attention from his time fighting in the amateur ranks, where he went 38-14 (6). Whilst that's not an amazing record, he was able to collect 3rd places on a regular basis, coming third in notable tournaments in 2009, 2010 and 2012, as he began to build his experience.
After running up his amateur record Kawaura turned professional, beginning his paid career in late 2016. On debut he fought Thai novice Tepyotin Yodvaree and looked pretty exciting with a relaxed pressure style, built on excellent body punching, and fantastic footwork, to get him in range to land his gut busters. By the end of the first round it was clear the Thai bad felt the body shots and wasn't a big fan of taking more. To his credit the visitor did come out for round 2, but was saved by the referee after several knockdowns as Kawaura just went through the gears.
It would be 5 months until Kawaura returned to the ring and stopped another over-matched Thai, in Anucha Pleengam, in just 92 seconds, then another Thai followed, Nadtakorn Sithjacknoi, who almost survived 2 rounds.
Having started his career 3-0 (3) Kawaura had began to get some hype, but not a lot. He had stopped a trio of poor Thai foes. Thankfully in 2018 he did step up, in a big way, and out pointed Filipino puncher Marjun Pantilgan over 8 rounds. It was a monster step up and yet it was a controlled performance of pressure accuracy and sharp movement from Kawaura who was a comfortable winner in what was his first real test.
After beating Pantilgan we would hen see Kawaura face his first domestic test, going in against Yuki Yoshimura, who was fighting for the third time as part of a comeback. Kawaura quickly over powered his foe, and forced Yoshimura's corner to throw in the towel mid-way throw round 3. Kawaura had set the tone with his jab, but had closed the show with his uppercuts and straights whilst Yoshimura had no answer to anything thrown his way.
Sadly only Kawaura's debut is his only bout available to see, and not much other footage of Kawaura is out there either from fan cams, Boxingraise or TV. It does seem hard to envision him not having more bouts available in the near future, especially given what he's done since his debut. We would be surprised to not see him on a Dangan Card or a G+ card by the end of 2019, and hopefully pressing for titles in 2020. The one question mark over him seems to be activity, and 5 fights in since December 2016 is poor, especially given they have combined for just 16 professional rounds. But he's a talent and someone every fan should add to their watch list.
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