Whilst 2016 has been slow to get going there does seem to have been a spurt in announcements over the past few days. One of the more under-the-radar announcements was that of a rematch between OPBF female Minimumweight champion Mika Oda (6-7-1, 1) [小田 美佳] and former world title challenger Saemi Hanagata (11-6-2, 5) [花形 冴美], who we meet on March 1st at the Korakuen Hall.
The two women first faced off in September 2014 with Oda taking a surprising decision victory over Hanagata to claim the title and dethrone the champion, who was seeking her first defense of the title.
Since her win Oda has been inactive, spending more than a year away from the ring, despite the fact that that win was, by far, the biggest of her career. Incidentally it was also only her second win in 5 years ending a 1-7-1 run that had essentially derailed her career after a 4-0 start.
Whilst Hanagata lost when the two faced off, more than a year ago, she has she has since proven her ability, losing a very close bout to IBF Light Flyweight champion Naoko Shibata and scoring back-to-back wins over Aiko Yamagisho and Chie Higano. Those performances will have helped her build her confidence coming in to this bout, as she seeks revenge for her 2014 loss.
The bout might not be huge but it is certainly a significant one and one that should give the fans at the Korakuen Hall some genuinely exciting moments.
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