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News photoYoshihiro Irei

Last year’s Japanese Rookie Boxer of the Year, flyweight Yoshihiro Irei, died Tuesday from a brain hemorrhage at a Tokyo hospital. He was 22.

Irei lost consciousness after a hard-fought six-round flyweight bout against Yoshinori Naito in Tokyo on March 24. He was immediately taken to a hospital and underwent subdural surgery.

Irei, an Okinawa native, made his pro debut in June 2000 and had an 8-0 record with two knockout wins.

Irei was the 34th professional boxer to die as a result of damage caused during a bout in Japan and the first since Tetsuya Nakajima last December.

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