Home Boxing News KO machine Yuki Beppu set for first serious test

KO machine Yuki Beppu set for first serious test

Japanese Welterweight hopeful Yuki Beppu (14-0, 14) first announced himself back in 2014 when he claimed the All Japan Rookie of the Year crown, essentially a national tournament of novices. Not only did he win that tournament but he did so in style winning all 5 of his Rookie of the Year bouts with stoppages. Those wins saw him move to 8-0 (8) and becoming one of the most interesting fighters on the Japanese domestic scene in, and around, the Welterweight division.

Since stopping the then 6-0 Hironobu Matsunaga in the All Japan Rookie of the Year final we’ve seen Beppu record 6 more stoppages, albeit at a low level. They have seen him defeat low key opponents from Thailand, Indonesia and Korea. Those wins have driven up his ranking, and caused more hype in his potential and power, but done little to really prove how good, or bad, Beppu is.

Although Beppu has one of the longest current KO runs in boxing, along with Gennady Golovkin, Anthony Joshua and Zhang Junlong, he is still yet to really prove himself as even being among the best on the Japanese Welterweight scene. He will, however, get a chance to prove his worth on January 13th when he takes a massive step up in class to take on former Japanese and OPBF champion Charles Bellamy (26-3-1, 17), who has never been stopped.

Bellamy, also known as Charlie Ota, is a Japanese based American fighter. He is best known in the West for decking Jermell Charlo in 2014, though has had notable success in Japan with wins over Akio Shibata, Tadashi Yuba, Taisei Marumoto and Koji Numata. He has however been less active recently with with just 4 bouts in since the start of 2014, and only one bout in each of the last two years.

It seems Beppu’s team are taking a calculated risk here in facing Bellamy at this point, especially given that Beppu has been open about setting a new Japanese record for most consecutive KO’s, a record which currently stands at 16. If he can make a statement in stopping Bellamy he would then likely move into a title fight with champion Toshio Arikawa, another big puncher. If he can stop Arikawa to tie the record then he would be announcing himself in style.

For those who haven’t seen much of Beppu he is dubbed the “Tyson of Kyushu” due to an aggressive and heavy handed approach in the ring. He’s not the biggest Welterweight or the most naturally talented boxer but he is a bit of an offensive machine who applies pressure from the off. When he gets his man hurt he refuses to back off and tends to bomb away until the referee saves his foe, or the foe is flat on the canvas.

The aggressive work of Beppu has worked brilliantly so far but against Bellamy I expect to see Beppu either sink or swim, he will either shine and stop Bellamy, or be taken into deep water and drowned. That is why so many in Japan are so interested in the bout, and it gives them a real chance to see if Beppu is really a monster or is just a man who has been very well managed so far.

Scott Graveson covers the Asian Boxing Scene for www.asianboxing.info