On December 21st we'll see Japanese Heavyweight, yes they do exist, Kyotaro Fujimoto (21-1, 13) take on rising English fighter Daniel Dubois. TheEnglishman is regarded as one of the top Heavyweight prospects on the planet, but much, much less is known about Kyotaro, who, outside of Japan, is really unknown. We know people will have looked him up on boxrec, but that doesn't really give anything than the most basic of information about the 33 year old.
Given his up coming bout, and how unknown he is by an international audience, we felt now was the perfect time to be bring 10 facts you probably didn't know about... Kyotaro Fujimoto.
1-Kyotaro first made his name in K1, where he was a frustrating but talented fighter. Unlike many Japanese fighters he fought with a very negative style, looking to counter. This style caused real issues with fans and TV channels, with his 2008 fight against Mighty Mo being a particularly notable bout that ended up genuinely annoying viewers due to his negativity and accusations of running.
2-Until August 2009, when he was still in K1, Kyotaro fought under various monikers. It was only in 2009 that he began to fight as Kyotaro, ignoring his surname for fighting purposes.
3-In 2010 Kyotaro took part in a K1 rules exhibition bout against professional wrestling Shinsuke Nakamura, who would later go on to be a major star in New Japan Pro Wrestling and is current a WWE Superstar.
4-Staying with K1 Kyotaro was the first Japanese Heavyweight fighter to win the K1 Heavyweight title, doing so in 2009 when he beat Gokhan Saki. That win also saw him becoming the organisation's second ever Heavyweight champion.
5-In 2011 Kyotaro tried his hand at Professional wrestling, and had matches for All Japan Pro Wrestling. This was, however, a very short lived thing and he quickly decided to turn his hand to boxing, signing up with the Kadoebi Gym, who have guided his entire boxing career so far.
6-Kyotaro made his debut on a New Year's show! The show was headlined by the then 8-0 Kazuto Ioka, who successfully defended the WBC Minimumweight title, and also featured former world champion Nobuo Nashiro, future world champion Ryo Miyazaki and current world title contender Sho Ishida. On his debut Kyotaro beat Australian Cruiserweight Michael O'Donnell, taking a clear 6 round decision win.
7-In 2012 Kyotaro made history, as he became the first ever Japanese Heavyweight to be world ranked as a boxer. He achieved the feat by beating Chauncey Welliver and getting a WBC ranking as a result, slipping in at #15. At the time he had also managed to become the OPBF #2 ranked contender.
8-Having managed to make a bit of a buzz and increase interest in the Japanese Heavyweight scene the Japanese Boxing Commission (JBC) reactivated the Japanese Heavyweight title in 2013, 56 years after the last Japanese Heavyweight title fight. Kyotaro would go on to stop Okello Peter in 6 rounds to take the title, making him the second ever Japanese Heavyweight champion.
9-As the Japanese Heavyweight champion Kyotaro would defend the title twice, with the second defense being a split decision against Nobuhiro Ishida. Yes that Nobuhiro Ishida, the one who stopped James Kirkland! In fact that was the second bout between Ishida and Kyotaro, following a razor thin win in an 8 round bout a year earlier. Despite scraping two wins over Ishida Kyotaro would later unify the Japanese titles with the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweights titles, making him the first Japanese fighter to hold those titles and a triple champion.
10-According to an interview in Japan Kyotaro started his combat sport life at the age of 3, when he began Karate after his parents saw him being bulled by his two older sisters.
Extra fact - Kyotaro became a professional fighter because he wanted to become famous.
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Thinking Out East
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