In a lot of recent "Introducing..." segments we have looked at professional novices, many of whom we were looking at before they even made their professional debut. This week that changes a little bit as we take a look at Teppei Kayanuma (8-0-1, 5), who has been a professional since 2013, but hasn't been the most active of fighters. The inactivity has certainly been an issue in his climb through the ranks, but this week he returns to the ring for the first time in over 3 years, looking to get his career back on track.
The now 25 year old Kayanuma was only 19 when he made his debut in a 4 round bout at Korakuen Hall in November 2013. That debut had come after just 2 amateur bouts, going 1-1 in the unpaid ranks. On debut he stopped Nobuya Sugimoto in 2 rounds, before being out of the ring for 6 months, returning to stop Tateo Saito in 4 rounds.
There was some clearly early promise for Kayanuma but it would be 9 months until he was back in the ring, where he took a razor thin decision over fellow youngster Seiryu Toshikawa. At the time that win didn't look all that impressive, though Toshikawa has since shown he's more than capable, reaching the 2016 East Japan Rookie of the Year final and pushing Shawn Oda all the way in a Japanese Youth title fight in 2018. On reflection this is a win that has aged excellently.
The 9 month break was actually one that cost Kayanuma a 2014 Rookie of the Year bout against Kimihiro Nakagawa. The win over Toshikawa however advanced Kayanmuma in the 2015 version of the tournament where he would then face Kanehiro Nakagawa in his second preliminary bout. Nakagawa would take Kayanuma 4 rounds, for the second time in his career, but was unable to slow the Kayanuma's rise as the youngster took the decision win.
A couple more wins, including a good one over the then unbeaten Ryota Ishida, followed by a bye against fellow Teiken fighter Masaaki Shiraishi lead to Kayanuma qualifying for the 2015 All Japan Rookie of the Year final.
In the Rookie of the Year final the then 6-0 (4) Kayanuma took on the then 5-0 (4) Shuma Nakazato in a really fantastic match up on paper. The bout promised so much, and it didn't let us down, as the two men traded bombs, and engaged in a 5 round war. Kayanuma dropped Nakazato in what proved to be vital to the outcome.The bout would be scored 47-47, twice, and 49-46 to Kayanuma, who won the Rookie of the Year with via the Dominant Point Rule.
As we entered 2016 Kayanuma seemed like he was going places, and fast. That seemed even clearer when he kicked off the year with a win over Yutaka Motoyoshi in May, blowing out the 14 fight veteran with a huge left hook. Just 2 months after that win he over-came Andrew Palas with a 6 round decision, in July 2016.
Sadly after beating Palas the talented Kanayuma has been inactive. That inactivity is set to end this coming Saturday, when he returns to Korakuen Hall for a 6 round bout. At the time of writing his opponent for that bout hasn't been named, and isn't expecting to be anyone too testing, but to see the Kanayuma back in the ring at last is something we're really excited about. Although it's unlikely he'll make an immediate impact in the rankings we are really looking forward to seeing what a more mature and and older Kanayuma can do now he has a chance to kick on with his boxing career, and make up for lost time.
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