Shiro Matsumoto: contender for the RISE 2023 World Series

Warrior Code speaks to "Shiro" about his upcoming fight in the Rise world series
Written by Published on Jun 27, 2023, 12:00:00 AM
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Meet Shiro from Saitama, Japan, 29 years old and current bantamweight champion at Rise. At 29, Shiro has an impressive 68 professional fights behind his name, collecting 47 wins, 4 draws and 16 loses and is about to embark on his quest to become the RISE world series champion in 2023. He is fighting in the first round, the quarter finals, against Spaniard Ruben Seoane in Osaka next week on July 2nd. Should he win, the semi finals are scheduled to take place on August 26th in Tokyo and the finals going down in October/November this year. The tournament also features Thai champions, Petchsila and Kumandoi, and European knockout artist, Frederico Cordeiro alongside more well-known Japanese household names such Kazuki Osaki and Toki Tamaru. The mouthwatering card includes an 8-man 54 KG tournament and super fights, featuring the promotions champions and top fighters. The winner of the tournament will take home ¥10 million ($72,000) and the runner-up ¥1 million ($7,200).

The advertisement of the upcoming quarter finals between Shiro and Ruben

Warrior Code had the opportunity to catch up with Shiro during his preparation for the fight. As we log in on the video call, we speak to a woman who must be part of Shiro’s camp and we see the man himself punching and kicking away on a punchbag in the background. As soon as we have done a sound and video check, she calls him over and with sweat on his face and catching his breath, we start the conversation. Shiro’s definition of time is money really has been the sharpest we have ever seen so far. 

When we speak to Shiro, he is 3 weeks out from his fight and his focus is on cutting enough weight to increase speed and power. He has approximately 2kg’s left to go before he has arrived at this desired weight. Other than that, Shiro is focusing on his basic training, imagining his opponent in the ring. Shiro: “Seoane is a tricky fighter with a unique style, my focus will need to be on how I keep my distance in the fight and not get caught in any of his long swings.” 

Shiro at training dotting the i's and crossing the t's before he gets into the ring next week

HOBBIES

For a man who is in the process of cutting weight, you may be surprised to hear that his main hobby and passion outside of the kickboxing ring is baking bread. He takes a lot of inspiration from the French and broader European style of baking and is adamant to do an apprenticeship in France at some point to really learn the craft. For now, he enjoys it alongside his kickboxing career.

Shiro keeping himself busy outside of the kickboxing ring with his passion for baking bread

OSaka

The world series will kick off in Osaka, not Shiro’s home turf but in Japan nonetheless. Does he feel, with the majority of fans being Japanese, that he will have a home advantage? Shiro: “I can honestly say that Osaka is my happy place. I have fought there a couple of times, won all my fights and of course hope to have maintained my unbeaten record when I step out of the ring again on July 2nd.” 

His future

Shiro is relishing the opportunity to become Rise’s next champion in the organisation’s most prestigious tournament this year. But, to achieve real greatness, Shiro tells us that at some point he will need to move out of his current weight category given that Rise is one of the only (perhaps the only) organisation in the world who run the -55kg weight category for men. Glory’s featherweights start at -65kg and Enfusion bantamweight at -61kg. “Rise is the only organisation that maintains this weight class. I am happy for it and for the fact that I have been able to be such a dominant fighter in it. But, like any other successful fighter, my dream is to venture outside of Japan at some point and to really make that step up I will need to achieve some degree of success in these other promotions as well. At the same time, it’s also good to not look too far ahead. Quarter finals first, then onto the next.”

Which fighter will win the rise world series 2023?

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