One of the best things in Asian boxing right now is the development of streaming service Boxingraise, which have given fighters a bigger window to show their talent to a wider audience. In the past if a fight wasn't televised we had to hope that fan cam footage would be released, whilst we now have Boxingraise to show fights.
Sadly Boxingraise does keep many of it's fights behind a paywall, including the 2018 Asian Boxing female fight of the Year.
The bout in question was the third meeting between Saemi Hanagata and Yuko Kuroki, which was a bout for the IBF Atomweight title. It was an exceptional 10 round, high tempo and exciting war, with Hanagata narrowly out working and out punching the more technical Kuroki, who was hurt badly before fighting back. It was an amazingly competitive bout, and although it was fought at a lower skill level to Sho Kimura's FOTY with Kosei Tanaka it had a similar back and forth, with neither managing to establish themselves as the dominant fighter for long.
If you have boxingraise we suggest you give this one a watch.
A close contender in this category was the December 1st bout between Kayoko Ebata and Etsuko Tada for the WBO Female Minimumweight title. That bout is also available on boxingraise.
With 2018 now, finally, over we'll be going through our end of year awards, starting with the 2018 Fight of the Year.
This was an easy one, it was the WBO Flyweight title bout between Sho Kimura [木村翔] and Kosei Tanaka [田中恒成]. This fantastic fight, which took place on September 24th and was a pretty rare Japan Vs Japan world title fight. The thing about all-Japanese world title fights is that they typically deliver amazing action, and that's what we got.
The teak tough Kimura, seeking his third defense, relied on his toughness and energy to try to combat the skill and speed advantages of Tanaka, who was looking to become a 3 weight world champion in just his 12th bout. What both men had in common was an intense desire to win and that gave us something amazing to watch, with neither man happy to even give up a round.
This wasn't a brawl, but was a high intensity fight, fought a lot of skill, heart and technique. It was a fight that started fast and got better round by round. It was a fight that never once felt like it was dragging, and instead it was a fight that ticked every box a fight fan could want.
If you missed it, or want to rewatch it, we've included the full fight video below. Enjoy yourself and kick off the new year with an outstanding fight!
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