Today at the KBS Hall fight fans saw former world champions collide, as former WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (17-6-2, 8) [黒木優子] battled former WBO Atomweight champion Nao Ikeyama (18-5-4, 5) [森脇恵子].
On paper this bout was a must win if either wanted to remain in the world title mix, though may it was actually more of "can't lose" rather than a "must win". If that was the case, then both will be relieved as they walked away from the bout with a split decision draw, in what was an ultra competitive 8 round battle.
From the opening round both women had their moments, but they were immediately cancelled out by the other fighter, in what was a really hard to score, bout. Kuroki's right jab was neutralised by Ikeyama's straight right, and the action, regularly fought at a high tempo.
Given the back and forth nature the bout was always going to be close on the cards and that showed, with the judges scoring it 77-75, Ikeyama, 77-76 Kuroki and 77-77 a draw.
After the bout both fighters seemed disappointed in their performance, and Ikeyama, who's now 49, did suggest she would be consulting people before considering her next step, which certainly could be retirement. Given how she performed today however retirement isn't a given for the veteran, and she hung with a naturally bigger and younger fighter.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow Japanese fight fans in Kyoto see a must win all-Female clash, as former world champions collide.
The bout in question will see former WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (17-6-1, 8) [黒木優子] battle against former WBO Atomweight champion Nao Ikeyama (18-5-3, 5) [森脇恵子], with both having suffered recent losses.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in, for a bout that's taking place at Atomweight.
On the scales Kuroki made the 102lb limit dead on, whilst the 49 year old Ikeyama was 101.4lbs.
Related -Kuroki and Ikeyama battle in must win bout!
Earlier today we were informed that the next "To the Future" show had been confirmed for April 14th at the KBS Hall in Kyoto.
The full card hasn't been officially announced as of yet, though the main event has been, and it's a genuine doozy for fans of female boxing.
The bout in question will see former WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (17-6-1, 8) [黒木優子] take on former WBO Atomweight champion Nao Ikeyama (18-5-3, 5) [森脇恵子] in what is a must win bout for both fighters, who both suffered 2 recent losses.
Kuroki, who had held the WBC Minmumweight title from 2014 to 2017, lost the belt on December 17th 2017 when she was out pointed by Momo Koseki. She would fail in an attempt to claim the IBF Atomweight title in September, losing in her third bout to Saemi Hanagata.
Ikeyama on the other hand has suffered back to back losses. She would lose the WBO Atomweight title in July 2018, losing to Mika Iwakawa by split decision, before losing in a WBA "interim" Atomweight title bout to Ayaka Miyao in November. At 49 years old this really is a must win if she is intending to keep her career alive.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On January 10th the JBC, along with members of the Tokyo Boxing Press, announced the nominations for the 2018 Japanese boxing awards.
The highest award is the Best Fighter, or MVP, award. The nominations for this award are:
Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] - The current WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion
Kosei Tanaka (12-0, 7) [田中恒成] - The current WBO Flyweight champion
Kenshiro (15-0, 8) [拳四朗] - The current WBC Flyweight champion
and Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13) [伊藤 雅雪] - The current WBO Super Featherweight champion
The Skills Award again includes Kenshiro and Tanaka but also:
Tomoki Kameda (36-2, 20) [亀田和毅] - The current WBC "interim" Super Bantamweight champion
Hiroto Kyoguchi (12-0, 9) [京口 紘人] - The current WBC Light Flyweight champion
and Jorge Linares (45-4, 28)
The Special award sees Ito and Tanaka being nominated
The KO award see's Naoya Inoue being joined by:
Satoshi Shimizu (8-0, 8) [清水 聡] - The current OPBF Featherweight champion
and Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登] - The current Japanese Middleweight champion
The Newcomer award has seen a nice number of candidates, the nominees here are, Takesako along with:
Tsubasa Koura (14-0, 9) [小浦 翼] - The current OPBF Minimumweight champion
Hiroaki Teshigawara (18-2-2, 11) [勅使河原 弘晶] - The current OPBF Super Bantamweight champion
Shuichiro Yoshino (9-0, 7) [吉野 修一郎] - The current Japanese Lightweight champion
Ryota Yada (18-4, 15) [矢田良太] - The current Japanese Welterweight champion
The "strive", which appears to be an achievement type of award, has seen the following nominations:
Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0, 12) [中谷正義] - The current OPBF Lightweight champion
Valentine Hosokawa (24-6-3, 11) [細川バレンタイン] - The current Japanese Light Welterweight champion
Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之] - The former Japanese Flyweight champion
and Tetsuya Hisada (33-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也] - The former Japanese Light Flyweight champion
The best fight, at world level has seen 3 bouts being nominated:
Sho Kimura [木村翔] Vs Kosei Tanaka [田中恒成] - WBO Flyweight title fight
Jorge Linares Vs Vasyl Lomachneko - WBA "super" Lightweight title fight
and Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥] Vs Juan Carlos Payano - WBA "Regular" Bantamweight title fight
The best fight that wasn't at world level has 4 nominations:
Yusaku Kuga [久我勇作] Vs Shingo Wake [和氣 慎吾] - Japanese Super Bantamweight title fight
Valentine Hosokawa [細川バレンタイン] Vs Vladimir Baez - Japanese Light Welterweight title fight
Hironori Mishiro [三代大訓] Vs Masaru Sueyoshi [末吉 大] - OPBF / JBA Super Featherweight unification bout
Hikaru Nishida [西田 光] vs Kazuto Takesako [竹迫司登] - Japanese Middleweight title fight
The female Fighter of the Year nominations are:
Tenkai Tsunami (26-12, 15) [天海 ツナミ] - The current WBO female Light Welterweight champion
Etsuko Tada (18-3-2, 5) [多田悦子] - The current WBO female Minimumweight champion
Naoko Fujioka (18-2, 7) [藤岡 奈穂子] - The current WBA female Flyweight champion
The female Fight of the Year nominations were:
Tenkai Tsunami [天海 ツナミ] Vs Chaoz Minowa [チャオズ箕輪]- WBO female Light Flyweight title fight
Nao Ikeyama [池山直] Vs Mika Iwakawa [岩川美花] - WBO Atomweight title fight
Naoko Fujioka [藤岡 奈穂子] Vs Irma Sanchez - WBA female Flyweight title fight
Kayoko Ebata [江畑佳代子] Vs Etsuko Tada [多田悦子] - WBO female Minimumweight title fight
Voting will take place in January with the winners being awarded at a ceremony on February 8th.
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