Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see WBO female Minimumweight champion Kayoko Ebata (11-7, 6) [江畑 佳代子] make her first defense of the title, as she battles Korean veteran Ji Hyun Park (22-2, 6).
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both fighters made the 105lbs weight limit with some ease.
The champion was the heavier fighter on the scales, coming in at 104.7lbs. She looked in very good shape for a woman in her 40''s andf it's clear that she knows a loss here will probably end her career. She has been a repeated title challenger, before winning the title last year, and will not want to give the belt up. She admitted that she was feeling tension and that she has long felt that her career is on the edge of a cliff, essentially admitting that she can't afford to lose the title.
As for Park, who hasn't fought in over 2 years, she spoke about her IFBA title reign, though this will be a chance to claim a "big 4" recognised title. She was even more under the limit, coming in at 103.6lbs and looking in terrific shape for what really will be a career defining contest. She has been unbeaten in over a decade and will be looking to extend that streak here.
Veteran Ebata looks to defend against Korean foe Park
(Image courtesy of Sponichi)
Earlier today saw the official line up for the "Victoriva Vol 1" show, set for March 8th at the Korakuen Hall. The announcement confirmed a number of bouts and revealed others, to give us a staggering 6 title bouts on the show, which comes only 5 days after Hinamatsuri, also known as "Girls Day" or "Doll's Day".
The first 3 title bouts set for the card were all Japanese female title bouts. These were a Bantamweight title bout between Miyo Yoshida (8-1) [吉田 実代] and Kai Johnson (5-11-3, 2) [カイ ジョンソン], with Yoshida defending her title for the first time, a Flyweight title bout between Yuki Koseki (5-4, 1) [小関 有希] and Yumemi Ikemoto (4-1) [池本 夢実] and a Japanese Atomweight title fight between Sana Hazuki (6-2-1, 2) [葉月 さな] and Nanae Suzuki (5-2-1, 1) [鈴木 菜々江].
We then saw an OPBF title being confirmed, with the confirmation of an OPBF Female Minimumweight bout between Saemi Hanagata (13-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] and Erika Hanawa (8-1, 3) [塙英理加], both of whom have come up short in recent world title fights. The winner of this will likely get another shot at a world title whilst the lower will have to climb back up the rankings and could be a year or two from getting a shot.
One of the world title bouts is for the WBO female Light Flyweight title and will see former Japanese amateur standout Chaoz Minowa (5-0, 4) [チャオズ箕輪] take on Tenkai Tsunami (24-12, 13) [天海 ツナミ] in what should be an absolute barn burner for the vacant title, which was vacated last year by Naoko Fujioka.
The other world title bout will see WBO female Minimumweight champion Kayoko Ebata (11-7, 6) [江畑 佳代子] defending her title against Korean veteran Ji Hyun Park (22-2, 6). For Ebata the bout will be her first defense whilst Park will be fighting for the first time in over 2 years, and will be seeking one of the biggest wins of her career.
The card, for those interested in watching it, will be featured on Boxingraise.com.
Over this coming Saturday and Sunday fight fans in Japan will get 6 world title fights, many of which are mouth watering clashes featuring an uinbeaten local fighter against a very talented visitor.
Fans however don't need to wait until the weekend to see world class action, and in Tokyo tomorrow fans will be able to see a WBO female Minimumweight title fight between veteran Kayoko Ebata (10-7, 6) [江畑 佳代子] and newbie Erika Hanawa (7-0, 2) [塙 英理加], who will be battling for the vacant title.
Today, ahead of their bout, Ebata and Hanawa took part in ther weigh in and both fighters made weight, with a little room to spare coming 100g's under the limit. The fighteres both looked in good condition though it was obvious that Ebata was the older fighter,and her comments to the media seemed to suggest tjhat she feels this coming be the end of her career.
Whilst Ebata suggested retirement Hanawa seemed to view a win as her chance to announce herself as part of the boxng future, and put herself on the proverbial boxing map.
Veteran Vs Novice as Ebata and Hanawa battle for world title
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
On Wednesday Japanese boxing media had a number of bouts announced. One of those was the next bout in the career of school-girl boxer Fuka Komura (3-0, 2) [小村 楓香] who we now know will be returning on May 19th to face off with Mikiko Muto (2-4) [武藤 美希子], as part of Dangan Ladies Vol 5.
We reported that the card, which was announced yesterday, would be headlined by a WBO female Minimumweight title fight between Kayoko Ebata (10-7, 6) [江畑 佳代子] and Erika Hanawa (7-0, 2) [塙 英理加]. Whilst that is certainly the headline bout it's worth noting that Komura's bout is making headlines of it's own, with the popular teenager finally making her Korakuen Hall debut.
The talented teen has, so far, been kept to the EDION Arena Osaka, where she has fought her first 3 bouts. She does however seem to be aware of the significance of the Korakuen Hall, and it's standing in Japanese boxing. She stated that she was nervous of fighting at the Hallowed Land of Japanese boxing, but was excited about moving towards claiming a Japanese female title when they finally become available, later this year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
In January we reported that a deal had been made for a WBO female Minimumweight title fight between Kayoko Ebata (10-7, 6) [江畑 佳代子]and the unbeaten Erika Hanawa (7-0, 2) [塙 英理加].
Originally that bout was set to take place on March 15th but was later changed, essentially falling off the radar ahead of a Dangan Ladies card in March. With the bout falling off the show it left many to wonder what had happened.
Today however it was revelaed that the bout would be taking place, albeit on a rescheudled date, with the two ladies now set to fight on Dangan Ladies Vol 5 at the Korakuen Hall on May 19th.
The bout was officially announced today at a press conference to announce the latest in the Dangan Ladies series of shows and is being sold, essentially as a veteran Vs prospect bout. For Ebata the bout will be her 6th world title contest whilst Hanawa will be in her first at world level.
Also confirmed for the card is Ebata's Watanabe gym stablemate, Chaoz Minowa (3-0, 2) [チャオズ箕輪] though it's unclear if she will be defending her OPBF female Flyweight title at the moment.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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