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Amateur star Tsutsumi to turn pro from Shisei gym, eyes cracking PFP rankings

Apr 14, 2022 12:34 pm

Hayato Tsutsumi, who won the 2016 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in the flyweight division for the first time as a Japanese, held a press conference in Tokyo on Apr. 13 and said he will turn professional from Shisei Boxing Gym.

The 22-year-old Tsutsumi, a graduate of Toyo University, will take a license-B qualifying test as a pro boxer on Apr. 26 and is expected to make a debut around this summer, according to the gym.

Tsutsumi won the all-Japan amateur championship in the bantamweight division when he was a third-year high-school student for the first time since Naoya ‘’The Monster’’ Inoue. He was voted MVP in 2016 and 2017 as a high schooler.

After entering Toyo University, he was aiming at taking part in the Tokyo Olympics only to fail in the Asia-Oceania qualifying round in the featherweight division.

After entering the world championships held in Serbian capital Belgrade in 2021 in the lightweight division, in which Tsutsumi beat Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Lazaro Alvarez of Cuba in the first round but lost in the third round, he decided to turn professional to fulfil from his childhood dream of becoming a world professional champion.

Orthodox-style Tsutsumi told reporters, ‘’While I had thought I would turn professional when I failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, I wanted to put an end to my amateur career with a clear mind by taking part in the world championships. I think I left nothing unfinished in my amateur career.’’

He said, ‘’I want to become a boxer capable of being ranked high in the pound-for-pound rankings.’’ Tsutsumi cited fellow Shisei gym boxer Kazuto Ioka, the present World Boxing Organization super flyweight champion, Naoya Inoue, with whom Tsusumi sparred before, Floyd Mayweather and Ash-Shakur Nafi-Shahid Stevenson, both of the United States, as some of the boxers he admires. In particular, Tsusumi thinks Stevenson is a kind of boxer capable of cracking the PFP rankings in the future.

‘’Since the Japanese boxing is well known in the world, I want to take advantage of that,’’ Tsutsumi said, adding, ‘’I am good at finding my opponents’ habits and have skills of observation.’’

He also said, ‘’I want people to appreciate boxing’s good points even if only slightly. Becoming a world champion is my basic premise. I hope I can become a kind of boxer people want to watch my fights.’’

Since his younger brother Reito Tsutsumi of Toyo University is also a well-known amateur boxer, the elder brother said he wants to become a world champion before the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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