|Real name||Kazuo Kobayashi|
|Height||5 ft 5 1⁄2 in (1.66 m)|
10 October 1949 |
Shimomashiki District, Kumamoto, Japan
|Wins by KO||27|
Kazuo Kobayashi (小林 和男 Kobayashi Kazuo?, born October 10, 1949), better known as Royal Kobayashi, is a retired Japanese boxer who competed at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games in the featherweight division, and won the WBC junior featherweight title in 1976. He is an alumnus of the Takushoku University.
Kobayashi who had practiced kendo until high school graduation, began boxing after admission to the Physical Training School of the Self Defense Forces. He won the All-Japan Amateur Boxing Championships in the featherweight division in 1971 and 1972.
Kobayashi represented Japan at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. In the second round match against Pat Ryan, Kobayashi knocked him down thrice, badly damaged his face, and won by a 4–1 decision. Beaver County Times called it "the most ridiculous decision of the night". Kobayashi then knocked out Italy's Pasqualino Morbidelli in one round, before losing 1–4 to András Botos in the quarterfinals. He compiled an amateur record of 34–3 (28 KOs) before turning professional.
Since Kobayashi was an amateur boxer, he was said to be suitable for professional for his hard punches. In 1973, Kobayashi ran into Yoshinori Takahashi who is the president of Kokusai Boxing Sports Gym established in Tokyo in 1971 at a sports massage clinic, and was encouraged to turn professional.
Kobayashi made his professional debut under the ring name Royal Kobayashi in an eight-round bout in February 1973. His first world title shot against WBA featherweight champion Alexis Argüello ended in a fifth round knockout loss, in front of 16,000 spectators at the Kuramae Kokugikan in Tokyo in October 1975. After the fight, Kobayashi stated that he felt as if he had been beaten with a chunk of ice. In February 1976, he made an expedition to Panama, and lost on points there.
On October 9, 1976, Kobayashi moved down a weight class and dethroned Rigoberto Riasco as the WBC junior featherweight champion while being watched by 9,000 spectators at the Kuramae Kokugikan. He floored Riasco once with his left hook in the seventh round, and twice with his right hooks in the eighth round. However, he lost the title in his first defense against Dong-Kyun Yum via a majority decision at the Jangchung Gymnasium in Seoul, South Korea, on November 24 of that year. In January 1978, Kobayashi challenged Wilfredo Gómez to regain the WBC junior featherweight title in front of 10,000 spectators at the Kitakyūshū Municipal Gymnasium in Fukuoka, but was knocked out in the third round.
Kobayashi went back to the featherweight division, and captured the OPBF title in April 1978. After defending that title once, he fought against Eusebio Pedroza for the WBA featherweight title at the Korakuen Hall in January 1979. However he quit after thirteen rounds with his face swollen by a barrage of blows in the eighth round. Kobayashi defended the OPBF title seven times in total, for about two and a half years. In his eighth defense in October 1981, he suffered a first round knockout loss and retired as a boxer. His manager Takahashi later told that he realized the importance of short punches when Kobayashi lost to Pedroza and when he brought up Leopard Tamakuma to be a world champion he taught it to him thoroughly.
- Baseball Magazine Sha 2002, p. 295.
- Takahashi & Ashizawa 1993, p. 25
- Takahashi & Ashizawa 1993, p. 80
- Boxing Magazine editorial department, ed. (March 1, 2004). "ロイヤル小林". 日本プロボクシングチャンピオン大鑑 (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: Baseball Magazine Sha Co., Ltd. p. 41. ISBN 978-4-583-03784-4.
- Mike Rabun (UPI) (August 30, 1972). "Decisions 'Disgusting': Officials On Hot Seat". Beaver County Times. p. D-2. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- Jun'ichi Hirata et al. (January 15, 2000). "名伯楽は語る〜世界王者育成秘話〜". In Boxing Magazine editorial department. The Glorious Moments 究極の栄光・世界チャンピオン名鑑 – 日本ボクシング史に輝く41人の男たち. B.B.mook; 117, sports series; No.72 (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: Baseball Magazine Sha Co., Ltd. p. 108. ISBN 978-4-583-61076-4.
- UPI (October 14, 1975). "Arguello keeps feather crown". The Gazette. p. 24. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- Baseball Magazine Sha 2002, p. 196.
- Takahashi & Ashizawa 1993, p. 81
- "Sports Briefs". Tri-City Herald. October 10, 1976. p. 23. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- Baseball Magazine Sha 2002, p. 172.
- AP (November 24, 1976). "Dong-Kyun Winner In Title Go". Reading Eagle. p. 37. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- Baseball Magazine Sha 2002, p. 173.
- AP (January 20, 1978). "Gomez retains title". The StarPhoenix. p. 9. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- Baseball Magazine Sha 2002, p. 198.
- Boxing Magazine editorial department, ed. (May 31, 2002). 日本プロボクシング史 世界タイトルマッチで見る50年 (Japan Pro Boxing History – 50 Years of World Title Bouts) (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: Baseball Magazine Sha Co., Ltd. pp. 172–173, 196, 198, 295. ISBN 978-4-583-03695-3.
- Takahashi, Takashi; Ashizawa, Seiichi (June 31, 1993). "ボクシング写真画報". World Boxing (in Japanese) (Tokyo, Japan: Nippon Sports Publishing Co., Ltd.) (special issue): pp. 25, 80–81.
- "Kazuo Kobayashi". Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- Professional boxing record for Royal Kobayashi from BoxRec
|WBC Junior Featherweight Champion
October 9, 1976 – November 24, 1976