We're in the middle of another week and it gives us another chance to shine a light on one of the many forgotten figures of Asian boxing. This time we're going to look at former 3-time world title challenger Yuichi Kasai.
Although not too well known in the West Kasai was a major figure in the Super Bantamweight division. He won the Japanese and OPBF titles and challenged 3 times for the WBA title, losing to Wilfredo Vazquez in 1994 and Antonio Cermeno, in 1996 and 1997. Despite finishing his career in 1997 Kasai has remained a notable figure in Japanese boxing, though has essentially left professional to focus on other things in recent years.
With that all said, let us bring you 5 Midweek Facts about Yuichi Kasai.
1-As an amateur Kasai amassed a fantastic record of 44-4 (24) and was runner up in the 1987 National Sports competition and the winner of the 1987 High School Championship.
2-Kasai went to the same high school, and was in the same year as, fellow fighter Koji Matsumoto. Interestingly they both went to the same university, both dropped out in the same and both went on to become not only world title challengers but also top trainers.
3-Given the reputation of Japanese fighters not fighting away from home it's worth noting that 9 of Kasai's 29 professional bouts took place outside of Japan. These included 7 bouts in the US and 2 bouts in Venezuela. During those 7 bouts he went 5-2, losing in Venezuela to Ramon Guzman and in the US to Antonio Cermeno, who also travelled to Japan and beat Kasai in what was Kasai's final bout.
4-After retiring from in ring competition Kasai became a trainer at the Teiken gym, where he went on to receive the Eddie Townsend Award, essentially the Japanese Trainer of the Year award. During his time at Teiken he trained the likes of Toshiaki Nishioka, Takashi Miura, Toshiyuki Igarashi and Akifumi Shimoda. Incidentally Koji Matsumoto also won the Eddie Townsend award, though did it as a trainer at the Ohashi Gym.
5-In 2017 Kasai left his role as a trainer at Teiken and set up his own gym, the GLOVES gym. The gym is a boxing fitness gym, and encourages people to get healthy through community based boxing activities, promotes boxing the wonders of boxing, and welcomes everyone, regardless of age and gender.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).