When we talk about "under-rated fighters" we tend to be talking about fighters with records that don't truly represent a fighters capabilities. One such such fighter is Saemi Hanagata (9-4-2, 4) who earlier today proved she was better than her record indicated as she claimed the OPBF female Minimumwweight title and defeated the previously unbeaten Satomi Nishimura (6-1, 1) by 5th round TKO.
For her losses Hanagata has earned valuable experience. She has learned to pace herself, she had learned what to do when hurt, how fight again various styles and how to cope when things aren't necessarily going her way. She showed those traits today as she managed to adapt to the taller Nishimura after some initial problems.
Hanagata, who had previously fought Momo Koseki, Masae Akitaya and Yuko Kuroki may have been unsuccessful in previous title bouts but she will certainly savour this one an view the victory as the most meaningful of her career so far. It may only be an OPBF title but it will certainly help her earn another world title bout.
As for Nishimura her easy competition so far has certainly around to bite her. Her opponents to date were poor and whilst she was unbeaten she hadn't really learned much. Her inexperience was shown and she looked out of her depth when the stronger Hanagata managed to figure her out. There was no plan B for Nishimura and that certainly proved to be a proven, then again even with a game plan she would likely have still struggled here.
(Photo courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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