Tsutsumi vs Anaguchi: 3Kings Boxing 2023 Fight Of The Year

Tsutsumi and Anaguchi Stage an Epic Battle to Close 2023

Seiya Tsutsumi vs Kazuki Anaguchi wins 2023 Fight of the Year
Seiya Tsutsumi wins his epic bantamweight battle with Kazuki Anaguchi | credit: Naoki Fukuda

Seiya Tsutsumi vs Kazuki Anaguchi Earns 2023 Fight of Year


2023 was a year full of action-packed contests, but one stood out. That was the December 26, 2023 battle between bantamweights Seiya Tsutsumi (10-0-2, 7 KOs) and Kazuki Anaguchi (6-1, 2 KOs) in what was 3kingsboxing.com’s 2023 Fight of The Year on December 26, 2023, in Tokyo, Japan.

A SENSATIONAL FIGHT

There was not much of a feel-out period in this one, as both fighters were landing with hard punches to the head. With seventy seconds to go over round three, Tsutsumi suffered a cut over his left eye from an accidental clash of heads.

Anaguchi was doing an excellent job of counterpunching and keeping his opponent off balance. But late in the fourth, he was hurt and knocked down from a hard overhand left from Tsutsumi.

With the cut on Tsutsumi worsening, he fought with a greater sense of desperation. As a result, things escalated into a brawl. Both men stood center-ring and traded power punches during the middle rounds. Anaguchi was landing with more consistency. But with forty-five seconds to go in the seventh, he was put down for a second time in the contest.

Both fighters continued to tear into each other. The momentum shifts in this contest were a sight to behold. They went toe-to-toe until the final bell.

But the power of Tsutsumi proved to be the difference as he knocked Anaguchi down for a third time in round nine, and a fourth time with seconds to go in the tenth and final round.

FROM THRILLS TO MAJOR CONCERN

At the final bell, Anaguchi was visibly hurt and wobbly on his legs. Tsutsumi won by unanimous decision. However, the concern was for Anaguchi, who fell into a state of unconsciousness moments after the decision. The 23-year-old underwent emergency surgery for a subdural hematoma.

To the sadness of the boxing world, Anaguchi passed away on February 2, 2024, as a result of a brain injury suffered in the fight with Tsutsumi. 3 Kings Boxing sends our condolences to the family of Tsutsumi.

Unfortunately, calamity is par for the course in boxing. Despite this tragedy, the fact remains that Tsutsumi versus Anaguchi was a thrilling contest. On balance, there was not a better fight in boxing in 2023.

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About Mike W.2040 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.