Introducing... Yuki Yamauchi
The Shinsei Gym has been a notable one in recent years and has been one of the main sources of fights of fights in Hyogo, whilst managing the careers of fighters like Hozumi Hasegawa, Ryuya Yamanaka, Etsuko Tada, Shun Kubo and Reiya Konishi. Whilst Hasegawa and Yamanaka have both retired the gym is still an excellent environment with not only Tada, Konishi and rising female star Kasumi Saeki, but also Yuki Yamauchi (2-0, 1) [山内祐希] an incredibly promising Super Bantamweight prospect who appears to be on the fast track to the top.
Yamauchi was a genuine former amateur standout. His record in the unpaid ranks has been reported as 66-16 (25) and he won a number of awards, including a silver medal at the 2016 World University Championships and a number of high school titles. His test bout in 2018 saw him sharing the ring with Tenta Kiyose and he looked sharp, crisp and very much a pro-ready. Interestingly that pro-test took place on the same day as Kasumi Saeki's pro-test, who won her first title in her third bout and is set to fight for a world title in her 4th professional bout.
Less than 3 months after taking part in his pro-test bout Yamauchi made his professional debut, taking on Filipino foe Jimboy Rosales. On paper this wasn't expected to be a huge test, and it proved not to be anything too tough for the Japanese fighter. Yamauchi set the tempo for the fight early on, controlled the distance from the opening seconds, with his razor sharp and excellent straight left hand, and managed to find a home for his body shots in round 3. Those body shots would break Rosales up, and drop him to the canvas, where he would take the 10 count.
In his second bout Yamauchi would take a big step up in class to take on the hard hitting Alvin Medura. Medura had never been stopped, and was 8-2 (7) as a professional, but was unable to match the skills or speed of Yamauchi, who repeatedly found a home for his left hand often on the jaw of Medura. The impressive punching of Yamauchi seemed to frustrate Medura, who became clumsier and a head clash in round 4 saw the bout coming to an early conclusion, with Yamauchi taking a clear technical decision win over the heavy handed Filipino, at the start of round 5.
Interestingly his second bout had been rumoured to be a 10 round bout, and had originally been listed on the Shinsei Gym website as a 10 round contest, before being reduced to a 6 round contest. In the end the length wasn't an issue, due to the head clash, but it did seem very obvious that Shinsei were looking to push him fast and hard to the top. It wasn't just Shinsei looking to push him but also himself, and talk prior to that bout was that Yamauchi was looking to move into the title mix in 2019, something that certainly looks plausible if he can fit in 3 or 4 fights this year.
Whilst it's unclear how many fights Yamauchi will have this year we do know that his next fight will take place on March 24th at the Kobe Sambo Hall and will see him battle against unbeaten Filipino fighter Claudevan Sese (7-0-3, 1) in a bout scheduled for 8 rounds. This will be Yamauchi's first bout set for more than 6 rounds and it seems like a very clear step up in class for the 23 year old southpaw.
The Shinsei Gym will push talented youngsters hard .They are not a gym that protects their fighters and allows them to go stale, and with that in mind it does seem really obvious that they will be looking to give Yamauchi stiffer and stiffer tests until he's reached title level. There is clearly a lot of developing that he needs to do before he takes on a really top tier domestic or regional fighter, but there's no reason for him to avoid things like a Japanese Youth title or a WBC Youth title, both of which could be in his grasp before the end of 2019, with senior titles to potentially follow in 2020.
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