• Kyodo

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Japanese minimumweight champion Yuji Kanemitsu on Tuesday announced his retirement from the ring because of health reasons.

Kanemitsu knocked out Masatate Tsuji to win the national minimumweight unification bout in Tokyo on March 21 but was hospitalized afterward and the Japan Boxing Commission urged him to retire after he was diagnosed with a brain injury.

Tsuji passed away because of a brain hemorrhage three days after his defeat.

“I have a strong desire to continue boxing but I will do my best in the next stage of my life,” said the 24-year-old Kanemitsu, who wants to become a motorboat racer.

Under JBC regulations, boxers who suffer bleeding inside the skull automatically have their licenses revoked.

Kanemitsu retires from boxing with a record of 12 wins, including seven knockouts, and two defeats.

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