Matsushima heads for nationals

Micah Matsushima of the Oki Boxing Club in Hanapepe will be battling in a warm-up bout at the Palolo Gym on O‘ahu next weekend. The bout is in preparation for the USA Junior Olympic Nationals next month in which Matsushima will compete.

The 125-pounder will join a group of 12 Hawai‘i state champions in the JO Senior Division (15 and 16 year olds) that will travel to Marquette, Mich., for nationals.

Matsushima is the only Junior Olympian going who is from Kaua‘i.

According to a press release, Ma-tsushima is a champion who is gifted and talented in school. But, his coach Ken Oki said in the release, that sometimes (Matsushima) deserves a big “F” for his ring efforts.

“Micah is not a natural and he sometimes gets into situations a natural would fight his way out of,” said Oki. “However, once he gains confidence and sees eye-to-eye with

me, he is a quick learner, somewhat like Mark Ozaki, a former Oki BC champion who was a six-time state champion from welterweight to light heavy.”

Sparring partners such as Ozaki, Skye Reposte and fighters from around the island, give Matsushima a good learning session.

Matsushima is tall and angular for a featherweight, but Oki believes he has the potential to throw hard punches.

Oki said he “hopes that Micah would come back from the nationals saying that, after all, he had the hardest punches of all the USA featherweights.”

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