Former flyweight champion Daigo Higa his a roadblock in his bantamweight rise this morning, fighting amateur rival Seiya Tsutsumi to a majority draw at Korakuen Hall. Asian Boxing has a recap of the fight, in which Higa reportedly struggled with his opponent’s size and skill.
25-year-old Higa (16-1-1, 16 KO) was previously among the Naoya Inoue/Kosei Tanaka/Hiroto Kyoguchi pantheon of elite Japanese youngsters , crushing his way to the WBC flyweight title and successfully defending it twice. Then came an April 2018 clash with Cristofer Rosales, which saw Higa come in two pounds heavy and get battered into submission in nine. His subsequent suspension kept him out of action until February, when he returned with a knockout of Jason Buenaobra.
24-year-old Tsutsumi (5-0-2, 4 KO) was coming off of a draw with fellow rising young gun Kazuki Nakajima in January. Hopefully this is less a case of Higa being ineffective at a higher weight and more a case of Tsutsumi being a legitimate prospect.