We are approaching this year’s big event, the 6th World Cup in Karate Shinkyokushin,and in this context we will take a closer look at athletes in the respective classes.. Four divisions for men/women, and the best fighters from each region are chosen through results from notable tournaments as All Japan open, European Championship etc.
33 fighters are ready in the heaviest category,with some of the strongest fighter in the world ready. The draw – well known all ready, and well-discussed, one might say – as it should be before a World Championship!
This will also be the first time with the four-weight category system, and we feel that it safe to say that this is at the highest level, when looking at the line up in the heaviest category. Five of the top 8 fighters from The 11th World Championship are in the line up, the top three are in: Shimamoto, Irki and Kubilius. Reign European Champion Mazur and Sečinski. The biggest discussion has been that the ruling champion Valeri Dimitrov could not participate this year because of injury. Very unfortunate, it must be said that there is not anyone who can replace him. But replaced he has become, Lukas Kubilius has come up as a participant after being away from the arena since the World championship in 2015. many believed that there should be a fighter who is active at present, but one (WKO) chose to look at the standings of the World Cup in 2015, among others as qualification.
The fist block have Kembu Iriki, Japan as one of the top names. Runner up in the 11th World Championship, and winner of the 48th All Japan Open in 2016, Winner of the 30th All japan Open Weight category, and also the JFKO Champion of the 3rd All Japan weight Category in 2016. Winner of the Mas Oyama Memorial in Hungary 2014.
The second name that we think will be a factor in this block, Edgard Sečinski, Lithuania. Being one of the top fighter from the European region for several years, and been on the EC podium many times. Reached 4th place in the World Championship in 2015. It could easily be Kembu Irki vs Edgard Sečinski in their third fight.
The second block is the one that we believe is the hardest one to advance from. -and if you advance from this, we think it will cost you relatively much to advance. From the top in this category we have an “outside entry” Russian top fighter, Vasily Samadurov. He is four times Russian champion (last 4 years) Royama / Kyokushin-kan, and EC Champion. Lack of success when he entered the 11th World Championship in 2015, something he will be sure to straiten that out this time. Recently the runner up in the IFK WT.
First one for Samadurov will be from USA, North America and this is not a nation that has been notable in this context before. But Justas Lauzinskas, who will represent USA, is original from Lithuania that could mean harder fight than first expected. If Samadurov takes this (as we think he does) he will face bigger challenge – literally: he will face the winner of Ilya Yakovlev, Kazakhstan vs Simon Pålsson, Sweden. Both solid heavyweight fighters.
Home fighter Ilya Yakovlev, Kazakhstan vs Simon Pålsson, Sweden – could easily been a “semi final” fight. Yakovlev proven several times to fight at a high level as Pålsson continues to improve and impress every time! Although Pålsson outweighs Yakovlev with over ten kilos, will the home fighter be the one with the strongest record.
Further down on the same side, reigning European Champion, Maciej Mazur, Poland. We have been watching Mazur for a long time, as he step by step has grown into the shape of an champion. He was really convincing in the European Tournament, but in this tournament the level raises even more. Advancing, Mazur will met a considerable challenge in his 2nd fight, Kosei Ochiai, Japan, winner of 45th All Japan Open, and reaching 5th round in the 11th World Championship…as we said, this block will “leave a mark” Yakovlev, Samadurov, Mazur, Ochiai, Pålsson..
Third block, with Lukas Kubilius, Lithuania, will most likely advance through the early fights. Further down a “outside entry” with Ivan Medvedev, Russia KWU, runner up in the KWF European Championship last year. He will face young home fighter Ilya Pankratov, Kazakhstan – runner up in the The 16th Asia Karate Championship 2016. Winner of these two will face Kazuya Yamamoto, Japan if he passes Australian Andre Nakad. Yamamoto who together with Kubilius is favorite of this block.
Yamamoto is a good technician, and fights with a high pace – and we believe he will need to go for that being the lightest fighter in the category, Kubilius 20 kg heavier. We think it could end up with Kubilius vs Yamamoto after to advances. This can be a heavy one for Yamamoto to crack, Kublius – runner up last time when he lost to Valeri Dimitrov, the fighter he replaces this time. Kazuya Yamamoto fought in the middleweight category last time, ended at 6th place, but have also great record from All Japan Open tournaments as well.
Last block, World Champion Yuji Shimamoto, Japan. We believe he will makes his way into the 2nd round where he will face the winner of Evgeny Filippov, Russia and Brian Jakobsen, Denmark. The veteran Brian Jakobsen always capable to end a fight with his technical arsenal, but Filippov is do also have great experience. And this fight could be a long one.
In the other end Eventas Guzauskas, Lithuania. One of the stronger fighter in Europe at the time, and European Champion Open weight in 2016. He will most likely face Denis Ershov, Russia, who are the Russian champion for the last two years 2015 and 2016, and runner up this year in Andrey Materov Memorial. The winner of these two (we think) will have a possibility for face the reign world champion – because we give him the edge in the early fights.
We could continue to speculate, but as we see with all the top fighters – every fight will be a victory for the spectators and all the fans!