RISE World Series Pairings Announced, World Champion Shiro Set to Face Kumandoi, Pound-For-Pound Ranked Kazuki Osaki to Take On Toki Tamaru

Jul 06, 2023
Kumandoi, Shiro, Kazuki Osaki, Toki Tamaru. Photo: GONG
While the quarterfinals played out as many expected they would, the plot has thickened as the RISE -54 KG World Series tournament enters its' semifinal phase.

RISE Super Flyweight champion Kazuki Osaki, regarded as the fifth-best pound-for-pound kickboxer in the world, will take on the resurging RISE Flyweight champion Toki Tamaru in the first RISE -54 KG World Series semifinal bout on August 26.

Osaki extended his four-year-long win streak to 19 consecutive fights with a second-round stoppage of Aiman Lahmar a few days ago, with approximately half of those victories coming against fighters regarded as the divisional elite at and around -53 KG. Most interestingly, one of those triumphs was a five-round dismantling of Toki Tamaru to capture the RISE Super Flyweight title at RISE 142 three years ago, when he lost only a single round on one of the scorecards.

Despite the crushing loss and a period of inactivity, Tamaru has been able to bounce back with four consecutive victories in the past ten months, which included the 2021 RISE Bantamweight tournament winner Kazane Nagai and Thai standout Petchsila Wor.Auracha. While an underdog in this bout, his speed, activity and newfound confidence could be enough to carry the day.

RISE World Bantamweight champion Shiro will face one-time Rajadamnern Stadium champion Kumandoi PetchyindeeAcademy in the second semifinal bout.

Shiro has long been considered by many as the second-best fighter at the lower weight classes, only behind the all-time great Tenshin Nasukawa. In fact, Nasukawa aside, only two people has been able to beat Shiro – a fact which led some members of our rankings board to include him in their pound-for-pound lists. Not a surprising addition, considering the success he's enjoyed in the sport since transitioning to kickboxing some five years ago.

His opponent, Kumandoi, will enter the bout riding a seven-fight win streak, having won all five fights he's had this year. No stranger to stiff competition, this streak of victories includes fellow former Rajadamnern titleholders Phetsommai Sor.Sommai, Saotho Or.Atchariya and Pangtor Por.Lakboon. While lacking the experience Shiro has in kickboxing, with just two bouts under kickboxing rules, Kumandoi certainly has a solid chance of coming out on top.