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Tsutsumi decisions Santisima, wins OPBF featherweight title in record 3rd fight

Jun 01, 2023 9:10 am

  Second-ranked Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation featherweight Hayato Tsutsumi of Shisei Boxing Gym pounded out a lopsided decision over third-ranked Jeo Santisima of the Philippines to win the vacant featherweight title, winning an OPBF title in his only third professional bout, the shortest in Japan, on May 31 in Tokyo.

  The hitherto record was shared by former minimumweight champion Kosei Tanaka of Soul Box Hatanaka Boxing Gym and featherweight kingpin Satoshi Shimizu of Ohashi Boxing Gym who captured their OPBF titles in their fourth professional bouts, respectively.

  After the 12-round fight at Korakuen Hall, one judge scored the fight 120-108, another had it 119-109 and the third judge saw it 118-110, all in favor of the undefeated Tsutsumi.

  Though there were no knockdowns in the fight, it was the 23-year-old Tsutsumi who controlled the fight by sticking out sharp jabs combined with various punches, including left hooks to the body, straight rights to the head and right uppercuts, while moving side to side.

  But the tight-guarded Santisima, 27, held up well to Tsutsumi’s offense and sometimes retaliated by landing straight rights and right hooks.

  In the 12th and final round Tsutsumi visibly increased his offense only to be endured by Santisima.

  After the fight, Tsutsumi, who now has a third straight decision victory since turning pro last year, said, ‘’I heave a sigh of relief as I won the fight by showing a large difference, although I wanted to score a knockdown. I think I am becoming better bit by bit as a professional boxer. I hope to really mature in the next three bouts or so.’’

  With the defeat, Santisim, who unsuccessfully challenged then World Boxing Organization super bantamweight champion Emanuel Navarrete of Mexico in 2020, now has a record of 22 wins, including 19 KOs, against six losses.

  Tsutsumi turned pro last July 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 gym.

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