Beyond Boundaries: Tsubasa Koura's Journey In Boxing

Author: yashovardhan sharma on Dec 13,2023
Latest Update / Dec 13,2023

Tsubasa Koura, a former professional boxer and Japanese kickboxer, held the OPBF mini-flyweight title from 2017 to 2019. Despite a less notable amateur career, evident in his 19-10 record, Koura's diligent efforts and well-suited style for the professional arena became apparent. Upon transitioning to the professional ranks, he challenged himself in sparring sessions with notable figures like former three-division titlist Akira Yaegashi, current WBA 108-pound champion Ryoichi Taguchi, longtime contender Ryuji Hara, and once-beaten flyweight fringe contender Katsunori Nagamine during his initial years.

The flamboyant boxer thrives on the attention that boxing brings and contributed much-needed vibrancy to the sport's lightest weight class as he progressed. He was once ranked by three of the four governing bodies: No. 11 by the WBC, No. 12 by the WBA, and No. 13 by the IBF. His manager and promoter, Junichi Naito, sees Koura's tireless work ethic as his standout quality. Koura has come a long way in his professional boxing career, securing the esteemed OPBF belt in the past.

Tsubasa Kouras Background

In terms of background, Koura, the third of four siblings, was an active child who started practicing Kyokushin-Karate at the age of six. At 16, he took up boxing, following in the footsteps of his younger sister. Like many Japanese fighters, Koura pursued university education at Toyo University, studying Economics alongside middleweight boxer Ryota Murata, but discontinued his studies at the end of his freshman year. His boxing hero, Rikki Naito, a former Japanese junior lightweight titlist, serves as his mentor and big brother at the E&J Cassius Boxing Gym. Koura shares typical boxing aspirations and is actively involved in various hobbies, including singing karaoke and driving his car. He takes pride in his performance last July when he won the vacant OPBF championship, defeating the more experienced Abcede in four rounds. Notably, Koura's fourth professional bout marked his first experience going the distance, a performance that left him less satisfied.

Koura said, (At) the end of the first grade, of the high school, I began boxing. There was a boxing club; there I started boxing. I kept it up since I had too good a time doing boxing. [My goal is] to become a world champion, and later to open and manage a boxing gym. I needed to improve my physical ability including stamina and mental ability to get a world title. [My best fight was] the bout with Jaysever Abcede, because I was able to win my first title and by KO. [My worst fight was] the semifinal bout of 2015 East Japan Rookie King with Yuto Takahashi. Since I was not able to concentrate on the bout, the fight went to the scorecards and I won a decision on the judges scorecards. Junichi Naito, his manager and promoter, said, He loves to do his best for boxing. Hes a hard worker. I would like him to gain more experience as a pro boxer. I do not know exactly of such timing. It may be quicker but, in some time, it will be awhile. I cannot say anything on such targets.

The Evolution of His Boxing Journey

Koura initiated his professional boxing career on 22 August 2014, facing Naoki Morooka at Tokyo's Korakuen Hall. The debut concluded with Koura securing a first-round technical knockout. Returning to the ring five months later on 28 January 2015, he faced Hanto Tsukada, emerging victorious with a second-round technical knockout. On 29 July 2017, Koura encountered Filipino journeyman Jaysever Abcede in a showdown for the vacant OPBF mini-flyweight title. Employing his jab and nimble footwork, Koura dominated the first three rounds before delivering a decisive left hook to Abcede's body at the conclusion of the fourth round. Abcede couldn't rise in time for the ten-count, resulting in an official count-out at the 3:09-minute mark. Following two successful title defenses, Koura, considered a favorite, was set to defend his title against the seasoned Lito Dante on 31 March 2019. However, Koura succumbed to a technical knockout in the twelfth round.

In his latest professional boxing bout on 25 October 2022, Koura faced ArAr Andales, the #8 mini flyweight contender according to the WBO at the time. The match ended in a draw by technical decision just 38 seconds into the second round. A cut above Koura's right eye, resulting from an accidental clash of heads, prevented him from continuing. Scheduled to contend for the vacant Japanese minimumweight title against Yuni Takada on 16 February 2023, as part of "Phoenix Battle 97," Koura withdrew from the event during the official weigh-ins due to failing to meet the championship weight requirement. Venturing into professional kickboxing, Koura made his debut against Yusei Shirahata at Krush 156 on 17 December 2023.

Tsubasa Kouras Stats

Age: 29
Hometown: Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Weight class: Mini Flyweight
Height: 5-foot-4 (163 cm)
Amateur record: 19-10
Turned pro: 2014
Pro record: 15-2-1 (10 knockouts)
Trainer: Shinichi Imai
Manager: Junichi Naito
Promoter: Junichi Naito


In the enthralling journey of Tsubasa Koura's boxing career, we witness the triumphs and challenges that have shaped him into a formidable athlete. From his victorious debut in 2014 to claiming the prestigious OPBF mini-flyweight title in 2017, Koura displayed skill, resilience, and a flair for the sport. While title defenses showcased his prowess, a setback in 2019 highlighted the unpredictable nature of boxing. The recent draw against ArAr Andales and the withdrawal from the Japanese minimumweight title bout underscore the unpredictable twists athletes face. As Koura ventures into professional kickboxing, his evolving journey promises continued excitement, resilience, and the pursuit of excellence.