• Kyodo


Shizu-chan of the popular comedy duo Nankai Candies was Saturday crowned national women’s middleweight boxing champion, securing a place at this year’s world amateur championships and taking the first step toward her dream of competing in the London Olympics.

In the championship decider in Hiroshima, Shizu-chan, real name Shizuyo Yamasaki, defeated Sayako Suzuki on a judges’ scoring decision of 26-11.

Shizu-chan, signed to the Yoshimoto Creative Agency, will now take part in the women’s edition of the World Amateur Boxing Championships from May 21 to June 3 in China. The championships will be held in the city of Qinhuangdao, and double as an Olympic qualifier.

“I’m only standing at the starting line, but I’m really happy that I’ve made the first step,” Shizu-chan, 33, said after the match.

This year’s championship faceoff caught the imagination of the public and attracted a crowd of around 1,500 and more than 100 members of the media.

Chizu-chan said she plans to limit her comedy commitments for the time being to focus on her preparations for the upcoming world championships.

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