Kazuki Anaguchi remains unconscious following emergency brain surgery.
Grave concern has been expressed for the 23-year-old southpaw who has yet to regain consciousness from injuries sustained in a December 26 unanimous decision defeat to countryman Seiya Tsutsumi. The ESPN+/Lemino aired bout saw Anaguchi go all-in during a Fight of the Year candidate between unbeaten Japanese bantamweights, though also featured the frightening shot of his legs twitching as medical attention was paid to a gruesome cut over his left eye.
Anaguchi was taken to a nearby hospital, where he fell into an unconscious state before he arrived in his assigned room. Doctors have since performed an emergency craniotomy to remove a subdural hematoma on the right side of his brain.
Anaguchi was game throughout and outfought Tsutsumi in several rounds in his challenge for the Japanese bantamweight title. However, he was dropped in rounds four, seven, nine and ten which ultimately produced the margin of victory for Tsutsumi (10-0-2, 7KOs) by scores of 95-91, 94-92 and 94-92.
The bout took place on the undercard of the Naoya Inoue-Marlon Tapales undisputed junior featherweight championship at Ariake Arena in Tokyo. The boxing world has since rallied around the locally based Anaguchi (6-1, 2KOs).
“We sincerely pray for Anaguchi’s recovery,” Inoue stated in a social media post upon learning of the update.
The Japanese Boxing Commission confirmed on Saturday that Anaguchi remains under observation.
Anaguchi was a talented amateur boxer based in Osaka. He boasted a record of 68-6 before his July 2021 pro debut. Tuesday’s bout was his first ten-rounder, though a natural progression for the advanced level and brisk pace at which his career was spent in just more than two years. Included among his six wins was an eight-round shutout of former three-time title challenger Jonathan Taconing last December 4 in just his fourth pro fight.
The BoxingScene.com staff continues to pray for his full recovery.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox