Earlier today Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall saw former Japanese Lightweight Shuhei Tsuchiya (23-5, 18) [土屋 修平] struggle to take a victory over the game, but feather fisted, Shota Suito (11-7-1, 1) [水藤 翔太].
The bout was expected to be a fun fight and lived up to those expectations with Tsuhciya looking to make the most of his power and Suito trying to force the fight to be fight at close range, neutralising the power of the the former champion. Not only did the tactics of Suito make life really tricky for Tushciya but they also saw him claim a number of rounds as he pushed Tsuhciya all the way in a wonderfully competitive contest.
In the end the power of Tsuchiya was just enough to impress the judges, with the scores reading 77-76, 77-75 and 78-74 in favour of the former champion, though some fans did feel he had been lucky and got the win, at least slightly, on reputation rather than merit.
Following the win Tsuhciya, who looked unhappy at his performance, announced that he was retiring from boxing, and seemed to feel disappointed that he let the fans down, and wasn't able to perform as he had in the past.
Although it's unclear if this was a "heat of the momenbt" retirement or an actual, "done and dusted" retirement, it's clear that the exciting Tsuchiya is unhappy with his performance. We'd love to see him back in action, but if he is retiring for good, we want to say thank you for so many exciting fights during his career. It really is domo arigato from us.
Whilst the post fight stories were all about Tsuchiya it does need to be said that Suito fought out of his skin and deserves to get another notable bout on the back of this performance.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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