Early on Monday there was a show announced for February 28th in Japan. The announcement wasn't a bit one, or a high profile one but it was a significant one and regarded two world title bouts as well as another notable clash. The reason the announcement didn't get much attention is because it regarded female fights, however they were all worthy of attention.
One of the title bouts announced will 45 year old Nao Ikeyama (15-3-1, 4) attempt to record her second defence of the WBO Atomweight title. Ikeyama, the inaugural champion of that title, will be up against the significantly younger Norj Guro (7-3-1, 4), a challenger from the Philippines. The young challenger has won just 2 of her last 6 fights however she has competing as high as Bantamweight and will perhaps feel more suited to the 102lb divisional limit of the Atomweight class.
The other title fight will see Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-1, 3) defending her WBO female Minimumweight title for the first time. Like Ikeyama we'll the champion defending her belt against a Filipino challenger, in fact Ikehara will be defending against a former Ikeyama foe in the form of Jessebelle Pagaduan (7-1, 4). Pagaduan fought Ikeyama in the inaugural WBO Atomweight title fight and although she came up short she'll be hoping it'll be second time lucky here.
The other notable bout on this card will see former 2-weight world champion Mari Ando (11-7, 5) fighting against the highly experienced "Bad Girl" Jujeath Nagaowa (12-13-1, 8) in a 6-round bout. For Nagaowa this will be her 5th bout in Japan whilst Ando will be fighting for the first time since losing the WBC female Minimumweight title to Yuki Kuroki last May.
(Image, of Ikehara, courtesy of http://www.zukunft.co.jp/futur)
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