Former amateur star Hayato Tsutsumi of Shisei Boxing Gym, who made a professional debut in July by decisioning Jhon Gemino of the Philippines, will face Gemino’s fellow countryman and former Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation super bantamweight champion Pete Apolinar of the Philippines on Dec. 31 in Tokyo, organizers said on Nov. 25.
The scheduled eight-round featherweight bout will serve as a supporting card for the title unification fight between Tsutsumi’s senior stablemate and World Boxing Organization super flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka and World Boxing Association super flyweight kingpin Joshua Franco of the United States at Ota City general Gymnasium, according to the organizers.
The 23-year-old Tsutsumi turned pro with a class-A license, a rare treatment for an amateur boxer turning pro, as he won as many as 13 amateur titles, including the all-Japan amateur championship in the bantamweight division in 2017 for the first time as a high-schooler since Naoya ‘’The Monster’’ Inoue of Ohashi Boxing Gym.
The 27-year-old Apolinar lost the OPBF title to Yoshiki Takei of the Ohashi gym with a fifth-round stoppage in August. He has a record of 16 wins, including 10 knockouts, against three losses.
Tsutsumi has been training in Las Vegas, Nevada together with Ioka and third-ranked Japanese super featherweight Musashi Mori under the guidance of noted Cuban-born trainer Ismael Salas.
Tsutsumi was quoted as saying, ‘’Aplolinar is good at hitting counter punches. But I want to show fans I have become stronger ever since my debut and will aim at an impressive win (KO).’’
The Shisei gym will also have a super bantamweight eight-rounder between Ryuto Owan and Sukpraserd Ponpitak of Thailand as well as a women’s super flyweight six-rounder between Satsuki Ito and Wassana Kamdee of Thailand as undercards of the Ioka-Apolinar clash. Both Owan and Ito also belong to the Shisei gym.
Photo by Shisei Boxing Gym