KNOCK OUT Black Featherweight (-57.5 kg) champion Ryusei has his next assignment and it'll be the sternest test of his professional career, as the 22-year-old will square off against former Shootboxing Featherweight champion Kyo Kawakami on February 25.
Undefeated in his five years as a professional, Ryusei is considered one of the better prospects at this weight. His struggles against relatively unknown opponents in Petchsansaeb and Qumuxifu have soured the opinion of some kickboxing fans on him, but he has nonetheless passed all the tests put before him so far. Another problem Ryusei has experienced recently is the lack of a consistent training environment, with the young Japanese champion changing gyms three times in the past two years.
Kawakami on the other hand has a more chequered record, but more impressive victories than Ryusei. Wins over fighters such as Toma Tanabe, Kaito Sakaguchi and Kotaro Yamada, among others, have earned him the right to be called one of the best fighters at the weight. While a victory over Ryusei would be another major feather in the Shootboxer's cap, a triumph over Kawakami would likewise be a major step-up for Ryusei.
Another interesting piece of information came from KNOCK OUT representative Genki Yamaguchi, regarding the possibility of a one-day joint tournament, who stated: "We must talk to various other promotions first so nothing has been settled yet, but we have been thinking of holding a one-day tournament in June, at either Featherweight or some other weight class... if each promotion run their own one day tournament at a different weight class, it will be exciting for the fans... and if Shootboxing will hold a tournament at a different weight class afterwards, then of course talks about cooperation will come".