The Japanese scene has been full of ambitious former amateur standouts, especially in recent years with the likes of Naoya Inoue and Kosei Tanaka. Another ambitious fighter is former female amateur standout Chaoz Minowa (6-1, 5), who stated that she wanted to win world titles in a ridiculous 9 weight classes. That ambition was seen earlier this year when she faced Tenkai Tsunami for the WBO female Light Flyweight title, and despite coming up short few can doubt her desire to leave a mark on the sport.
We'll see Minowa get her second shot at a world title on November 17th when she challenges Mexican fighter Ibeth Zamora Silva (29-6, 12), the current WBC Female Flyweight champion. For Silva the bout will be her first defense of the title, that she won earlier this year, whilst Minowa will be getting he second shot to become a world champion.
The challenger was a top amateur, with notable international experience, who turned professional in 2016 with a fair bit of fanfare having inked a deal with Watanabe Gym. Her career started promisingly, and after just 3 fights she had claimed her first title, the OPBF female Flyweight title, and fought on foreign soil, stopping Chan Mi Lim in Korea. Sadly though there was flaws in what she was doing, and those flaws were exposed when she faced the tough and highly experienced Tsunami back in March. Tsunami basically let Minowa punch herself out, whilst tagging her with sharp, accurate shots and breaking her down.
In the ring Minowa is very much a fighter, not a boxer. She can box, and is well schooled due to her long amateur career, but is someone who seems to be taken over by emotion and looks to make every bout into a war. She sets off at a high tempo and looks to use her power, aggression and physicality to beat opponents down. Against lower level opponents that's fine, but against better fighters that's an issue for her, with those better fighters about to defend themselves better, counter better and pick holes in her leaky defense.
As mentioned earlier this will be Zamora's first defense, though she has long been a world class fighter. She really made a name for herself fighting at Light Flyweight, winning the WBC title in 2013 when she defeated Naoko Shibata in Tokyo. She would make 8 defenses of that title, beating the likes of Ava Knight, JEssica Chavez, Esmeralda Morema and Mari Ando before losing the title in early 2017, losing to the aforementioned Moreno. She then moved up in weight and beat Isabel Millan in a world title eliminator before beating Melissa McMorrow for the WBC female Flyweight title earlier this year.
Zamora, dubbed "Roca", is an aggressive and hard working fighter who comes forward, throws in combinations and backs up opponents. Despite being a busy fighter she is pretty solid, with a sharp jab and good, solid hooks, which she uses well on the inside. Notably she is a smaller fighter, but she has used her lack of stature well to get on the inside where she works best. She's not the crispest, but her work rate and intensity is great and her energy is fantastic.
Sadly Minowa's lack of proven world class stamina and energy, and the fact she's on the road for this bout, will not serve her well against Zamora, who is a really a little bundle of energy. Minowa will have moments but will come up short, likely making it over the finish line but looking exhausted and well beaten after 10 rounds. We would love to see Minowa fulfil her promise, but suspect she will come up short again here.
When we talk about misleading records in boxing we, as a site, tend to look at the Filipino's who are thrown in hard early in their careers. The same too could be said about Mexicans who can often be thrown in deep whilst only teenagers and although some top Mexicans have a lot of losses they do tend to use those early career defeats as a building block towards their future.
One such Mexican is Ibeth Zamora Silva (19-5, 8) who has a record befitting of a fringe contender on paper though in reality she is one of the truly elite Light Flyweights and a very deserving WBC champion at 108lbs.
The reason Zamora Silva has such an mediocre looking record is because she has fought everyone of note in and around her division. Going through her 24 fight record resembles going through a who's who of who and features fighters such as Esmeralda Moreno, Jessica Chavez, Anabel Ortiz, Yesiva Yolanda Bopp, Etsuko Tada, Irma Garcia, Naoko Shibata and Ava Knight.
The fact Zamora Silva has lost just 5 times is a testament to her skill and not many fighters would have managed to beat half the fighters she has beaten as she's grown in to one of the best fighters in her division.
This coming Saturday sees Thailand's Hongfah Tor Buamas (17-5, 2) attempting to dethrone the Mexican great and claim one of the biggest upsets of the year.
Unfortunate for Hongfah she has the deck well and truly stacked against her. Firstly she will have to go over to Mexico for the fight, a country she has fought in once, losing to Ava Knight via 10th round TKO, secondly she lacks power and thirdly she really does have the track record of proven skills needed to defeat a fighter like Zamora Silver.
Aged 20 Hongfah is already a ring veteran with 22 fights to her name though unfortunately she has been unable to really score a notable victory. She has mixed in good company fighting not just Ava Knight but also Kanittha Kokietgym though both have beaten Hongfah who has been shown to be shy of world level though she is very good as a domestic fighter.
Against a fighter like Zamora Silva you need to be genuine world class, strong, tough and with either lights out power or an amazing work rate. Whilst Hongfah is tough she lacks the skill, power and energy to stand any chance of a victory here sadly. We imagine she'll be game through out though never really capable of putting a dent in the very talented Mexican youngster.
(Photo courtesy of boxrec.com)
Here we preview the key female title bouts involving an Asian fighter.