Tsuboi, Okazawa triumph in Japan’s selection for World Championships

Tomoya Tsuboi and Sewon Okazawa are out to retain their world titles after posting strong performances in the recently concluded Japanese National Box Offs which served as a selection event for the two upcoming IBA World Championships and the Asian Games.

Tsuboi, the reigning men’s bantamweight (54kg) king, showed his quick footwork to score a methodical victory over ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships silver medalist Kazuma Aratake in the final.

The defending world welterweight (67kg) titlist Sewon Okazawa of Kagoshima, on the other hand, moved up to light middleweight (71kg) and dominated Yuto Wakita in the crucial tournament.

Meanwhile, Tokyo Olympics bronze winner Tsukimi Namiki earned an easy walkover victory against Madoka Wada in the women’s flyweight (52kg) division.

ASBC Asian Elite Champion Rinka Kinoshita and silver finisher from Amman, Mai Kito remained as formidable forces despite climbing to the bantamweight (54kg) and welterweight (66kg) classes, respectively.

Former Asian Youth silver medalist Issei Aramoto (men’s light heavy-80kg), veteran Yuta Akiyama (light welter-63.5kg) and rising standout Shudai Harada (feather-57kg) also emerged victorious in the selection.

The winners will see action in this year’s World Championships for women in New Delhi, India on March 15-26 and for men in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on May 1-14.

They also cemented their spots in the Japanese national squad that will compete in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China slated in September.

List of the winners in the Japanese National Box Offs

 Women’s 50kg: Tsukimi Namiki

 Women’s 54kg: Rinka Kinoshita

 Women’s 66kg: Mai Kito

 Men’s 54kg: Tomoya Tsuboi

 Men’s 57kg: Shudai Harada

 Men’s 63.5kg: Yuta Akiyama

 Men’s 71kg: Sewon Okazawa

 Men’s 80kg: Issei Aramoto

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