Last year we saw Atomweight great Momo Koseki (24-2-1, 9) [小関 桃] claim the WBC female Minimumweight title, over-coming Yuko Kuroki [黒木 優子] with a decision win to become a 2-weight champion.
Today it was revealed that Koseki had vacated that title, and the WBC Atomweight title, and was retiring from active boxing at the age of 34, gollowing an exceptional career.
Although relatively unknown outside of the hardcore of the hardcore Koseki was the torchbearer for the Atomweight division. She won the WBC title way back in August 2008 and went on to make an incredible 17 defenses, unifying the WBA title along the way with a win over Ayaka Miyao in 2015.
Although Koseki suffered a couple of early career defeats, losing 2 of her first 5 bouts, she went on to have an excellent career and score notable wins over Kuroki, Miyao, Nao Ikeyama and Saemi Hanagata and claim 3 world titles during her 27 fight career. She achieved the goals of becoming a unified champion and a multi-weight champion and clearly retires on her terms.
Today she stated that the bout with Kuroki was to be her last, that she had achieved her goals, and that she was now planning to begin vocational education in April to become a Physiotherapist.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow we'll see Atomweight great Momo Koseki (23-2-1, 9) [小関 桃] challenge WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (17-4-1, 8) [黒木 優子] in a genuinely significant fight between two world champions both looking to add another big win to their records, and prove their abilities.
Today the two fighters took part in their way in, and managed to pass.
On the scales Kuroki was the heavier fighter, weighing in at 107.75lbs in what was a wonderfully seasonal outfit showing that she's well and truly in the Christmas spirit. The fighter seemed incredibly relaxed and like a woman happy to get such a big fight, and such an opportunity to shine. She does have every reason to be so happy given the way her career has turned around, and the great she's currently on, with this being her 6th defense. Despite looking like she was having fun it's clear that she is fully aware of what Koseki brings to the ring, and knows she will have to rely on her skills to win here.
A much more serious Koseki was way under the limit, coming in at around 103.6lbs. The seriousness of Koseki showed not only on her face but also in general demeanour and it was clear she had been scouting Kuroki for this bout, noting tge champion's good left hand. She also stated she would be fighting aggressively and it seems likely she will be trying to handcuff Kuroki with his offense and tyr to break down the champion.
Related - Kuroki and Koseki klash for WBC honours! (Preview)
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We've known that Atomweight great Momo Koseki (23-2-1, 9) [小関 桃] would be moving up in weight to take on WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (17-4-1, 8) [黒木 優子] since mid-September, with the bout set for December 17th. It wasn't been big news, but itwas interesting news, with Koseki holding the Japanese record for most world title defenses and finally looking to become a 2-weight champion.
Yesterday the press saw Kuroki holding a press conference to talk about the bout, which will act as her 6th defense of the title, and see her fght to become recognised as one of the very top Japanese female fighters.
At the press conference Kuroki spoke highly of the challenger, stating that Koseki was a good fighter but showed her extreme confidence as she suggested she wasn't just going to win, but was ideally looking for a 4th round KO win! If, and if is a big word, she can get that it really would announce her as a top fighter, especially given how rough and tough Koseki is and the fact that the experience Koseki has rarely looked hurt during her long career.
It was also revealed that if Koseki wins she would begin to hunt a world title unification bout next year. Interestingly Koseki has unified the WBA and WBC Atomweight titles in the past, and although she had to vacate the WBA crown it was clear by then that she was the clear #1 in the division.
Whilst we're on the subject of the match we do have to share the rather peculiar poster, which looks less like a boxing poster and more like a wedding picture of a movie poster. It's a bizarre one that hasn't really grown on us since first seeing it. We can't blame the promoter for trying to sell on Kuroki's attractive looks, but the outfit of the champion is just very odd for a boxing poster.
Japanese fighter Momo Koseki (23-2-1, 9) [小関 桃] may not be a well known name in the world of professional boxing but her 17 title defenses of the WBC Atomweight title is a Japanese record for most defenses of a world title. Sadly for Koseki she holds wins over pretty much every notable fighter at 102lbs, and is at the point where what's left of the competition isn't particularly exciting. As a result she's having to look elsewhere for bouts, and today it was announced that her next bout would be up at 105lbs as she takes on WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (17-4-1, 8) [黒木 優子], who has struggled to secure the unification bout that she was hunting.
Koseki has been the Queen of the Atomweight division since winning the WBC crown back in 2008 and has made a very impressive 17 defenses, including wins over current WBO champion Ikeyama, top contender Saemi Hanagata and thtthen WBA chamion Ayaka Miyao. In total she has racked up a very impressive 17 defenses, but her competition has been criticised due to the limited talent at 102lbs. By moving up she is looking for a real challenge, and should find one in Kuroki.
As for the defending champion she is she is hunting her 6th defenses of the title that she won in late 2014. Her record might not suggest anything special but she's won her last 8 and is on a great role with wins over Mari Ando, Katia Gutierrez, Masae Akitaya and Nancy Franco. If she could add a win over Koseki she would massively enhance her record and reputation.
The bout is set to take place at the Korakuen Hall, but it's unfortunately not taking place until December 17th, giving both women a lot of time to prepare for what is likely to be a really exciting contest.
Tomorrow Japanese fan sin Tokyo will get the chance to see WBC Atomweight champion Momo Koseki's (22-2-1, 8) [小関 桃] attempt to record the 17th defense of her world title, and if she does she would be extending the longest current world title reign. The veteran champion will be un against first time challenger Chie Higano (6-4, 2) [日向野 知恵], who will be looking to score one of the biggest upsets of the year.
Today, ahead of their bout tomorrow, the two fighters weighed in for the bout.
On the scales the champion was just under the limit, coming in around 101¾lbs, and was the lighter fighter for the bout despite being notably taller than the challenger. the weight is around the same as Koseki's normal weight, but is lighter than she was last time out, when she was over 105lbs against Thailand's Ploynapa Sakrungrueng.
Whilst Koseki was under teh limit Higano was actually bang on the limit, coming in at 102lbs exactly for the bout, and whilst she looked in great shape she isn't being given much of a chance by anyone with the general view being that she's on to a hiding to nothing against one of the top female fighters on the plane.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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