It's fair to say that 2017 has been a massive year for the Watanabe Gym already, and we've not even got to the end of March yet. Their latest fighter to claim a new title was the unbeaten Ayumi Goto (6-0, 4) [後藤あゆみ] who claimed the OPBF female Super Bantamweight title earlier today, as she out pointed Filipino visitor Kim Actub (4-7-1, 3) for the previously vacant title.
On paper the bout was a mismatch, but in reality it was a competitive contest with Actub showing her battle tested abilities in taking the best of Goto's fire power and answering back with some solid, eye catching, blows of her own. Those blows of Actub's kept her in the fight, particularly early on, with one of the judges having the bout level at 38-38 after 4 rounds, whilst the others had it 40-37 and 40-36 in favour of Goto.
In the middle rounds, rounds 5 and 6, Actub slowed notably and it seemed that she had tired herself out whilst also losing the will to fight back. It was during those rounds that Goto essentially ran away with the contest, before Actub got a bit of a second wind, throwing some shots back in the later stages, but enough to over-turn the hole she was in.
At the final bell there was no doubting the winner, with Goto winning 80-73, 79-73 and 78-75, though the bout wasmore competitive than the two widest cards would suggest.
It now seems likely that Goto will return to the ring for her international debut, Hong Kong in May, though it's unclear whether she will be defending her title or moving onto something bigger and better.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier this month we reported that Tomomi Takano (8-2, 5) [高野人母美] had vacated the OPBF female Super Bantamweight title, as she intends to make a mark on the sport as a Bantamweight. When Takano vacated the title it killed the dream of the leggy former world title challenger facing off with the unbeaten Ayumi Goto (5-0, 4) [後藤あゆみ].
Despite the fact we won't get to see Takano battling Goto we do now know that Goto will getting a shot at the title on March 15th, with the unbeaten Watanabe gym fighter now set to face Filipino Kim Actub (4-6-1, 3) for the vacant title.
For Goto the bout sees her getting a long awaited title shot, as she had chased a showed down with Takano through much of 2016. Despite chasing the title she has actually faced very limited opposition, taking on most Thai debutants in low profile cards since turning pro back in 2015. Although she has a good record on paper her record has been dire so far and it's hard to really know how good she is.
Actub, dubbed "Bonecrusher", began her career in 2011 and suffered 4 straight losses. Since then she has started to get her career back on track and gone 4-2-1 (3) including stoppages in her last 2 bouts. She has faced much better competition than Takano so far, but she hasn't yet fought as a Super Bantamweight and will be moving up in weight here for this title fight.
The card is also set to see Kayoko Ebata (10-7, 6) [江畑 佳代子] battle for the WBO Minimumweight title, and also a bout featuring Saemi Hanagata (12-6-3, 6) [花形 冴美]. At the moment neither of those fighters have had opponents named, but Ebata has been linked to a contest with Erika Hanawa (6-0, 1) [塙 英理加], with the bout being reported on the WBO's website earlier this year.
(Image of Goto courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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