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Swiss kickboxer limbers up for final round

Andy Hug, Swiss kickboxing champion, is set to retire this June

(Keystone)

Andy Hug, the 36-year-old Swiss kickboxing champion, is set to retire this June, after a career, which has spanned two decades. Hug's skill as a fighter has won him many accolades, including the honorary title of "Samurai" in Japan.

Andy Hug is currently based at his training camp, in the town of Horw, near Lucerne. There he teaches young fighters from around the world how to get ahead in kick boxing, while also preparing for his own final match.

On June 3, he will come up against Marino Deflorin, in his final title match as K1 kickboxing world champion, at Zurich's Hallenstadion. Hug's confident he'll defeat the younger Swiss contender, telling swissinfo that he is "certain of another victory".

Hug plans to move back to Japan after this final match, where he's already agreed to appear in a mini-series on Japanese television. He'll also be pursuing his career as an actor, enrolling at drama school in Tokyo.

"I want to prove to the public that I'm not just muscle, but that I also have a brain," he says. "I'm now the oldest fighter in the K1 league; it's time to make a change."

Although well known here in Switzerland, Hug's prowess as a fighter has won him much acclaim in his adopted home of Japan, where he has been awarded the honorary title of Samurai.

by Tom O'Brien

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