Japanese boxer Kazuki Anaguchi dies aged 23 after suffering a brain injury during his Boxing Day points loss on pound-for-pound superstar Naoya Inoue’s undercard in Tokyo

  • Kazuki Anaguchi fought on Naoya Inoue’s undercard on Boxing Day
  • He was dropped four times and suffered a brain injury during the fight
  • He underwent emergency surgery but was unable to recover from his injuries

Japanese boxer Kazuki Anaguchi has tragically died aged 23 after suffering a brain injury during a Boxing Day points defeat in Tokyo.

Anaguchi faced compatriot Seiya Tsutsumi on the undercard of pound-for-pound superstar Naoya Inoue’s undisputed super-bantamweight clash with Marlon Tapales.

He was dropped four times during the fight, but managed to hold on until the final bell, with all three judges scoring the fight in Tsutsumi’s favor.

Anaguchi needed help from his team in the ring as he was seen struggling to get up after a punishing contest, and there were immediate concerns for his health.

He was then transported to hospital, but lost consciousness in the ambulance and remained in a coma.

Japanese boxer Kazuki Anaguchi (pictured) has died after suffering a brain injury during a fight

Japanese boxer Kazuki Anaguchi (pictured) has died after suffering a brain injury during a fight

Anaguchi took Seiya Tsutsumi (left) the distance in their Boxing Day match, but lost consciousness in the ambulance on the way to hospital and failed to recover

Anaguchi took Seiya Tsutsumi (left) the distance in their Boxing Day match, but lost consciousness in the ambulance on the way to hospital and failed to recover

He underwent emergency surgery to remove a subdural hematoma but failed to recover from his injuries, and was confirmed dead on Friday.

Anaguchi was undefeated in his professional career before facing Tsutsumi, having won all six of his fights, with two victories coming by knockout.

His death shocked the boxing community, and promoter Lou Dibella paid tribute to Anaguchi on social media Friday afternoon.

Dibella posted on X: ‘Rest in peace, Kazuki Anaguchi. Prayers for those he left behind.

‘Another reminder of #boxing’s deadly risks and the importance of best protecting our fighters from them.’