A Japanese perspective of Dwight Ritchie vs. Koki Tyson

JAPANESE puncher Koki Tyson will challenge OPBF titleholder Dwight Ritchie on November 23rd in Osaka.


Ahead of the bout at the Sumiyoshi Ward Center, it seems to make sense to learn more about Koki Tyson.


Born in Osaka City, the 23-year-old was born as Koki Maebara, before making his professional debut in 2012, aged 19. On debut he fought fellow debutant Makoto Kawasaki with the two men fighting to a draw.


Following a set back on debut Tyson (now 10-2-2, 10 KOs) recorded back-to-back stoppage wins to kick start his career. The three-fight unbeaten run was ended in three rounds by the previously win-less Keisuke Kanazawa.


Despite the loss, Tyson wasn’t going to walk away from the sport and went on a run of seven straight wins.


That impressive streak of knockouts saw Tyson him claim the All-Japan Rookie of Year crown in 2013, blowing out Osamu Katayama, Toshihiro Kai and Wataru Seino in a combined four rounds to claim the coveted title.


Tyson earn some notoriety in Japan and with his power, size and style he was beginning to build a genuine following in the Osaka region. That following built quickly when he scored notable wins over Hiroshi Ohashi and Petchsuriya Singwancha before scoring a major win over former Japanese champion Sansouke Sasaki.

Tyson’s rich vein of form led the hard-hitting prospect to a maiden title fight. However, the popular Tyson came up short, being easily out boxed and later stopped, then-reigning OPBF middleweight champion Akio Shibata.


The wily veteran made Tyson look clueless as he chased shadows whilst being tagged by Shibata. Tyson failed to dent Shibata’s defence and even when he connected, he could never follow it up against the herky-jerky champion.


Since that setback Tyson has fought twice. The first of those bouts saw Koki blow away Petchsuriya Singwancha in 170 seconds during a rematch, which saw Koki claim the WBC Youth middleweight strap.


The second was a much more disappointing contest, as he fought to a draw with under-sized Joon Yong Lee. Had it not been for a point deduction from Lee – Tyson would have lost – and was fortunate to earn the draw.


Up against Ritchie, it’s probably fair to say that Tyson is facing his best opponent to date. Although he has a punchers chance, that is about the only chance he has.


Given his performance against Nishida earlier this year, Ritchie has to be strongly favoured here.



Words: Scott Graveson for (Follow Asian Boxing on Twitter)

Photos: Provided/Louie Abigail/Photography by Rockfingrz