At the Korakuen Hall earlier today fight fans saw the Erika Hanawa (10-3, 4) [塙英理加] claim her biggest career win, and keep her career alive, as she stopped Filipino veteran Jujeath Nagaowa (13-19-1, 8), to claim the OPBF female Minimumweight title.
Prior to the fight Hanawa had been frank with the press and suggested that if she lost she'd consider retiring from the sport. It seemed like those comments were on her mind early on as she came forward with a tight defense and used good technical skills to press the Filipino. Nagaowa worked hard to try and create some space, and landed a number of combinations, but she couldn't back up Hanawa for any prolonged amount of time.
Hanawa would take round 2, again boxing technically and using a tight defense as well as an accurate jab. By the end of the second round Nagaowa's work rate had began to drop off. That drop off from the Filipino continued into round 3, where she began to look like a mentally beaten fighter, going through the motions to put up an effort whilst accepting defeat.
Hanawa didn't just want to win, and set a pace for round 4, a round that she truly dominated, landing shots at will whilst Hanawa rarely responded. It was clear that Hanawa wanted a stoppage, and Nagaowa obliged retiring from the bout after round 4.
If we're being honest it seemed like Nagaowa was beaten after the second round and she gave very little after that, with the bout perhaps signalling the very end of her boxing career. Hanawa was clearly hungry for the win, and you could tell after the bout that it meant the world to her, keeping her career alive and moving her towards one more big fight. Sadly for Hanawa there is a huge gulf between a win at this level and a world title win, and that's clearly what she's wanting in the future. She's talented but winning a world title would take so much more than she showed here.
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall and those who subscribe to Boxingraise, will be able to see a Japan Vs China card. Part of that card will see Japan's Erika Hanawa (9-3, 3) [塙英理加] take on Filipino veteran Jujeath Nagaowa (13-18-1, 8) in a battle for the OPBF female Minimumweight title, in what is the only title bout on the show.
Today the two women took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both fighters made weight, though did so in very different fashion.
On the scales Hanawa was comfortably under the 105lb limit, coming in around 104.25lbs and making weight with a lot of room to spare. She spoke confidently at the weigh in, revealing she had been training with world champions Saemi Hanagata and Ayaka Miyao and had now physically grown into the Minimumweight division, having fought a good portion of her career at Atomweight.
Nagaowa on the other hand came in over weight originally, weighing around 105.6lbs. She was given an hour to lose the excess which she did and came in on the limit. She spoke happily about fighting at the Korakuen Hall again, a venue she has a 1-2 record in, and seemed confident of winning the title and enjoying a good fight.
Fans wanting to watch this bout but can't make their way to the Korakuen Hall, can do so live on Boxingraise.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On November 28th Dangan will promote their next Japan Vs China card, which features local prospects Shu Utsuki (2-0, 1) [宇津木秀] and Kaiki Yuba (3-0-1, 2) [湯場海樹] taking on opponents from China.
One of the bouts from this card not to be part of the Japan Vs China theme is a female bout between local hopeful Erika Hanawa (9-3, 3) [塙英理加] and Filipino veteran Jujeath Nagaowa (13-18-1, 8), who will be fighting for the OPBF female Minimumweight title.
Hanawa is a former OPBF "interim" champion but has come up short in her most notable bouts, losing in a WBO world title fight to Kayoko Ebata and losing in a bout for the full version of the OPBF title earlier this year to Saemi Hanagata. Despite those losses the 28 year old has shown promise, and will be hungry to get back to winning ways after a loss in September to Shione Ogata.
Nagaowa on the other hand is a true veteran of the ring, having debuted as a professional boxer more than 12 years ago. Her career has seen her face a real who's who but sadly the stiff competition has seen her score just a single win since the start of 2013. It needs to be noited that she hasn't fought in a boxing ring since June 2017, but she has remained active as a fighter with bouts in MMA, where she holds an impressive 4-0 record.
We're expecting more details of this card to be announced very shortly, with a poster image expected in the coming weeks.
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