Japanese pro boxer Masanao Noto has died of a brain injury sustained during a super bantamweight fight earlier last month, boxing sources said Saturday.

He was 24. Noto, who lost on a points decision to fifth-ranked Keisuke Ayukawa in Tokyo on March 15, died Friday from a subdural hemorrhage, an accumulation of blood between the coverings of the brain which is caused by a blow to the head. According to the Japanese Boxing Commission (JBC), Noto is the 35th professional boxer to die from injuries sustained in a domestic bout and first since Yoshihiro Irei, who died in April 2002.

Noto was given the all clear by a JBC doctor after undergoing tests following the 10-rounder at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, but he later started complaining of headaches and entered a Tokyo hospital March 16. Noto was initially listed as stable, but on March 22 his condition deteriorated sharply and he had to undergo emergency surgery. He never regained consciousness after the operation. A Hokkaido native, Noto made his pro debut in June 2001 and had a career record of eight wins, five by knockout, against two defeats in 10 matches.

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