Earlier today fight fans in Fukuoka saw WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (17-4-1, 8) [黒木 優子] record her 5th defense and defeat former champion Mari Ando (13-10, 6) [安藤 麻里] by unanimous decision.
Whilst Kuroki retained her title one of the big stories after the fight was actually the decison of Ando who announced, in the ring, that she was retiring from in ring competion, almost as if she had given this bout her all and realised she couldn't cut it at the top any more.
The former 2-weight world champion won't be remembered by most boxing fans world wide but was an aggressive and exciting warrior who took on some of the most notable names in female boxing. That saw her trade blows with the likes of Ayaka Miyao, Su Yun Hong, Yuko Kuroki and Ibeth Zamora Silva, who was the only fighter to stop Kuroki in her 23 fight career. Not only did she face some of the most notable fighters in female boxing but she also travelled during her career fighting in Korea, China and Mexico, along with Japan.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today WBC female Minimumweigth champion Yuko Kuroki (16-4-1, 8) [黒木 優子] took part in a press conference, ahead of her December defence against former champion Mari Ando (13-9, 6) [安藤 麻里].
The champion appeared calm and confident at the press conference as she announced that she would be looking for a knockout against Ando, who suffered her first stoppage defeat earlier this year to the fantastic Ibeth Zamora Silva. Although it's hard to see Kuroki stopping the durable Ando it's fun to think that she'll be going out there hunting a KO, especially given that Kuroki has only scored one stoppage in her previous 6 bouts at world level.
Kuroki stated that Ando will be coming to fight with a fighters spirits but she'll be fighting as a champion and have the pride of a champion in the ring.
For the 25 year old champion the bout will mark her 5th defense of the title, a title that she actually won from Ando back in May 2014, and if she wins she may well be looking to really break out into her own in 2017 with career defining fights against the likes of Anabel Ortiz, Etsuko Tada or Susana Cruz Perez.
As for Ando the 29 year old, former 2-weight world, will know that a loss here will almost certainly see her career, as a title level fighter, ending.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today the YuKO Fitness gym announced that WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (16-4-1 8) [黒木 優子] would be returning to the ring on December 18th to make the 5th defense of her title. In the opposite corner will be former champion, and familiar face, Mari Ando (13-9, 6) [安藤 麻里], with the two women having a rematch following their May 2014 bout. The bout will take place at the Kyuden Gym, in Fukuoka and could well see Kuroki extend what has become a notable reign.
In their first bout the then relatively unknown Kuroki scored a break out win, taking a competitive, but fair, decision over Ando who was the defending champion going in to the bout. Whilst that win put Kuroki on the boxing map it did end Ando's reign, which had only began a few months earlier when she had over-come the limited Jasseth Noriega.
Since their first bout Kuroki has really gone from strength to strength. Recording 4 defenses of the title and over-coming the likes of Katia Gutierrez, Masae Akitaya and Nancy Franco. Not only has she been scoring notable wins but she has being doing so across her homeland with bouts in Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka. Those wins have seen her raise her profile in the sport, and some now view her as the #2 female Minimumweight, only behind the brilliant Anabel Ortiz.
As for Ando things have been less successful since her bout with Kuroki. She has notched up wins over Jujeath Nagaowa and Yokkao Saenchaigym but has suffered loss to Cai Zong Ju, losing a majority decision in China, and has been stopped in a Light Flyweight title fight against Ibeth Zamora Silva. The loss to Silva, earlier this year, was Ando's first stoppage loss and could well be the "start of the end" for a fight who has had a hard career, despite not having the longest of careers.
Although currently struggling for form, with 6 losses in her last 10, Ando is a former 2-weight world champion having short reigns as both the WBC Minimumweight female champion and the WBA Atomweight champion.
At the moment no details have been released about the under-card but this is an intriguing rematch and a must win for the challenger who really cannot afford another set back.
Later today Mexican fans will get the chance to see local star Ibeth Zamora Silva (24-5, 9) defend her WBC Light Flyweight title against Japanese fighter Mari Ando (12-8, 5) [安藤 麻里] who is looking to become a 3-weight champion.
On Friday the two fighters took to the scales and both made weight, rather easily.
On the scales Ando, a former champion at both Atomweight and Minimumweight, 106.7lbs, well under the 108lb limit. The weight is one of the heaviest of Ando's career yet she still came in in great shape and looked very confident.
As for the champion, she was she was 107.5lbs, the lightest she's been for a while, though she is heavier than she was when she won the title back in 2013, when she defeat Naoko Shibata in Japan.
A win for Ando would be a big upset though it would help to cement herself as one of the fighters who really does take on the best. For Zamora a win is expected and potentially bigger fights are likely to lie just around the corner.
Ando looks to become a 3-weight champion as she faces Roca!
(Image courtesy of Pepe Rodriguez)
Over the last few days it's been announced that Japan's former 2-weight world champion Mari Ando (12-8, 5) [安藤麻里] will be attempting to become a 3-weight world champion in her next bout.
The former WBA Atomweight and WBC female Minimumweight champion will be moving to 108lbs for her next bout, set to take place on March 19th, which will see her battle against Mexican star Ibeth Zamora Silva (24-5, 9), who is the current WBC female Light Flyweight champion.
The champion, who is seeking the 6th defense of her title, will be ell known by fight fans who follow the female fight scene. She is widely regarded as one of the best female fighters out there and holds a lot of notable wins, including victories over Naoko Shibata, Ava Knight, Jessica Chavez, Esmeralda Moreno and Anabel Ortiz. She has twice fought in Japan, beating Shibata and losing to Etsuko Tada, and is genuine a fantastic fighter.
For Ando this is a really tough assignment but she's never been one to back down from a challenge and has mixed in good company herself. The extra 3lbs may help her here to score what would be a career defining victory, though she is obviously the clear under-dog and will be fighting outside of Asia for the first time,
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