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Japanese Boxer Dies in Hospital

April 9, 2002

TOKYO (AP) _ A Japanese flyweight boxer who lost consciousness in the dressing room after a March 24 bout died Tuesday. Yoshihiro Irei was 22.

Irei underwent emergency surgery for brain damage, said Akio Yasuhara, an official with the Japan Boxing Commission.

He was the 30th Japanese boxer to die of injuries sustained in the ring since the commission was established in 1952. The last death was featherweight Tetsuya Nakajima in December 2001.

Irei had a career record of 8-0. He was forced into the corner by Yoshinori Naito and hit with a series of hard punches. Irei lost the six-round fight by unanimous decision.

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