Fans of female boxing have had an amazing week of action. Not only did they have the brilliant Victoriva 5 card last week and the fantastic Amanda Serrano Vs Heather Hardy war but they also got another treat today.
Today fans in Sakai City saw Kanako Taniyama (2-0-1, 1) [谷山 佳菜子] and Tomoko Okuda (5-2-2, 1) [奥田朋子] compete in a war for the vacant OPBF and Japanese female Bantamweight titles.
By war, we really do mean a war, with both fighters taking significant punishment in a pulsating, action packed 8 round contest that saw neither woman taking home the win, but both taking home swelling, bruises and a world of pain.
The opening round was a Taniyama round, as she made the most of her solid right hand, and jabbed well to the body. Okuda would respond well in the following round finding a home for her counters, and from then on the fight became a gruelling back and forth battle, that saw neither fighter really able to stamp their control on the action.
After 4 rounds the scores, from all 3 judges, were 38-38. Even at this early stage the solid blows were taking their toll on both fighters but we were only half way through the bout, and both knew they'd have to do more to take home the win. This saw both begin to trade more blows in center ring. The trading put the fans on the edge of their seat, but took it's toll on both women who seemed exhausted in the 8th round.
After the final bell the scorecards left the bout with no winner. Two judges scored the contest even, 76-76, whilst the third had Taniyama taking the win 78-74, sweeping the last half of the bout.
Following the majority draw both fighters indicated that they were willing to have a rematch, though we suspect that both will take time to recover from today's battle before fighting again.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow in Sakai City, Osaka, fans will get the chance to see a new Japanese female Bantamweight champion being crowned.
The title became vacant earlier this year, when the talented Miyo Yoshida moved up to world class and took the WBO female Super Flyweight title.
To fill the vacancy we'll see former kick boxing star Kanako Taniyama (2-0, 1) [谷山 佳菜子] take on Tomoko Okuda (5-2-1, 1) [奥田朋子] in what looks like an interesting domestic level title bout.
Today Taniyama and Okuda took part in their weigh in and both fighters made the 118lb limit with no issues.
On the scales Taniyama was the heavier fighter, coming in around 117.75lbs whilst Okuda was 117lbs. Despite the lighter fighter Okuda was the naturally taller fighter, having a few inches in height on her opponent. Both showed respect to their opponent, but they also seemed confident in what they had been doing in training.
Related-Taniyama and Okuda battle for female Bantamweight title!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
In June we reported that Daiki Tomita (13-1, 5) [冨田 大樹] and Hayato Yamaguchi (15-7-1, 2) [山口 隼人] would be battling for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight title on September 16th in Sakai City. It's now been revealed however that that bout will be one of 2 title bouts on a surprisingly interesting looking card.
The other title bout, which was actually announced today, will see a new Japanese female Bantamweight champion being crowned. The title, which was recent vacated by Miyo Yoshida, will end up in the hands of Kanako Taniyama (2-0, 1) [谷山 佳菜子] or Tomoko Okuda (5-2-1, 1) [奥田朋子], who will face off in a fantastic match up.
Taniyama is a former top class kick boxer, who turned to boxing due to a knee injury and has picked up two decent wins over Thai visitors since making her debut in December. Aged 32 Taniyama is old for a fighter in just her third bout, but given her kick boxing pedigree she is certainly able to be fast tracked. Okuda on the other hand is a 36 year old who has gone 1-1-1 in her last 3, but did run Yoshie Wakasa razor close in a loss last year and will know that this could, potentially, be her only chance at title glory.
The card will also include a Japanese Youth Featherweight title eliminator bout among other contests.
One other thing to note about this card is the rumour that Sun TV, may be showing portions of it. Sadly Sun TV isn't widely available, though it is good to see a channel from JAITS airing boxing on the local scene, and hopefully more JAITS channels will join in in the future.
*JAITS is the Japanese Association of Independent Television Stations, a group of independent channels not affiliated with the major networks, and have no connection to a major national news network. They are very much local TV channels, who work on an ad hoc basis with each other and do have more flexibility. Sun TV are a JAITS channel based in Kobe, similar to Television Kanagawa in Kanagawa, who recently aired Masayuki Kuroda's bout with Moruti Mthalane.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today we were informed that Japanese kick boxer come boxer Kanako Taniyama (1-0, 1) [谷山佳菜子] sill compete in her second professional boxing contest on March 22nd at the Korakuen Hall, as part of "Overheat Boxers Night 89".
At the moment it's unclear who she will be fighting, but we have been told the bout will be a 6 round contest at Super Flyweight.
The Watanabe gym fighter made her debut in December last year, stopping experienced Thai Sumalee Tongpootorn in the 2nd round. She didn't look the most fluid of boxers but did look very powerful and promising and we are excited to see what she's going to be bringing to the ring.
As a kick boxer Taniyama was a very notable fighter and her move to professional boxing, following an injury to her knee, did get a fair bit of attention.
Interestingly Taniyama is also pencilled in for an exhibition on April 14th in Kumamoto, and there may be big plans for her later in the year.
Earlier today saw the announcement of the next Splendid Boxing card, set for April 14th in Kumamoto. The card is a really interesting one, and may be one of the most notable cards for Kumamoto this year.
The main event of the show will see Japanese youngster Musashi Mori (8-0, 5) [森 武蔵] making his first defense of the WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight title, as he takes on the man he beat for the belt, Richard Pumicpic (21-9-2, 6). These two fought last November, with Mori taking a split technical decision over Pumicpic to claim the title. The untimely ending seemed to please neither man, though Mori was obviously happy to have won the title, and the contest very much feels like they have unfinished business.
Whilst the main event is very attractive the under-card is also a rather interesting one, with 3 notable fighters announced for it.
One of those announced for the card is Ginjiro Shigeoka (1-0, 1) [重岡銀次朗], who is set for his first 8 round bout on the card. His opponent hasn't been announced, though he had revealed he wanted to fight a ranked foe on this show, and it's likely dependent on him getting through his February bout with no issues. The Watanabe teenage sensation is known to be chasing title fights in the near future and we wouldn't be surprised by him putting on a showcase here. This is a notable show for Shigeoka as he was actually born in Kumamoto.
Another promising fighter announced for the card is Shigeoka's stablemate Seiya Tsutsumi (4-0, 3) [堤聖也]. His opponent also hasn't been named who will be fighting for the time since October, after suffering an injury that forced him out of a December bout. Tsutsumi, injury aside, had a great 2018. He won a B Class tournament, gained international experience and created a fair bit of buzz, though that buzz has quietened down a little bit in the wake of his injury.
Also on this card Sora Takeda (4-1) [竹田宙], the 2018 Minimumweight Rookie of the Year, who will be fighting for the first time since since his Rookie of the Year win. As with Shigeoka and Tsutsumi his opponent also hasn't been announced.
Also confirmed for this card is Kanako Taniyama (1-0, 1) [谷山佳菜子] who will compete in a 2 round exhibition with Kana Fukuda (3-3-1, 1)[福田香奈].
Interestingly this card will get local TV coverage in Kumamoto, with TVU seemingly to be the channel airing it, though sadly this won't be widely available for fans outside of the local area.
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