In the UFC right now there seems to be one major draw and that's unbeaten female fighter Ronda Rousey, the UFC Women's Bantamweight champion who has managed to combine beauty and skill to become a genuine star in an typically male oriented testosterone based environment.
The combination of beauty and fighting skills isn't something that is unique to "Rowdy" Ronda and in fact through time there has been notable female fighter who have been able to both kick ass and look great doing it. Previous examples include Russian-Kazakh Natascha Ragosina and Regina Halmich who both helped to popularise female boxing in parts of Europe.
In Japan their is, of course, the rise of Tomomi Takano (5-0, 4), a fighter who is having her career managed very well so far and a fighter who manages to get more media attention than many of her male counter parts. The reason Takano has had her popularity is certainly more due to her looks than her skills, though both the fighter and her team are working hard to improve her in ring ability so that she really can break through into becoming a real star.
For Takano the first big test of her boxing ability will come on June 24th when she battles Kai Johnson (4-5-3, 1) in what is a very well matched bout. Win or lose Takano is still years away from having a chance of winning a world title. She has the physical attributes to go a long way, with her rangy and tall body being perfect for an outside fighter, but technically she isn't nearly ready to fight anyone close to world level.
Although Takano isn't ready for a world title fight there is one female fighter in Japan who has not only the looks of a fashion model but also the skills of a world champion, in fact she is already a world champion. That fighter is current WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (11-4-1, 6) who lacks the unbeaten record of Takano but has the much coveted green and gold belt of the WBC.
At 23 years old Kuroki is a boxing baby yet is already a world champion and with her looks a potential major cross over star who is just as capable of beating world class fighters as she is strutting her stuff on the catwalk. Better yet she seems to realise the potential that her image has and is confident enough to play on it. She has shown her awareness of this part of her life more than once, though the most notable example was at the weigh in prior to her world title winning effort against Mari Ando back in May. For that weigh in she looked stylish, fashionable and, we dare say, hot.
Whilst the others at the weigh in came in wearing typical casual street clothes such as jeans or jogging bottoms Yuko appeared on a short skirt and high heels. It was as if she wasn't just thinking about the fight that was coming up but also the potential long potential of her image. It was almost like she was using the weigh in as an advertisement of herself to any and all fashion labels in Japan.
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