Whilst Momo Koseki's successful title defence against Denise Castle wasn't a shock at all we'll actually admit we were shocked by the other female world title bout in Japan as IBF female Light Flyweight champion Naoko Shibata (13-3, 4) stopped Mexican veteran Ana Arrazola (20-10-2, 13) and made the second successful defence of her belt.
Arrazola had come in to the bout with the reputation of being a really tough fighter and had never been stopped despite having shared the ring with some genuinely top tied fighters, such as Yesica Yolando Bopp. When you add Arrazola's perceived toughness to the fact Shibata wasn't viewed as a puncher, afterall she hadn't scored a stoppage in 4 years, this one was expected to go the distance and be tough for the champion.
What we got instead was a dominant performance from Shibata who ended up showing off what she is really capable of as she beat down and stopped Arrazola in 9 rounds.
For Shibata this is the sort of win that really cements her standing in the Light Flyweight division. Some had felt she had been lucky in her previous 2 bouts but this time around she seemed more confident than ever and managed to really impress. It was as if holding the title has instilled a new found confidence in her and right now she has to be thinking about a rematch with Etsuko Tada, a bout that Tada herself seemed to hint at earlier this year.
For Arrazola the travel home will be a long one though we would assume she's not going to fade away despite this loss.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Japan's legendary female fighter Momo Koseki (19-2-1, 6) created history earlier today as she retained her WBC Atomweight title and became the first ever Japanese fighter to record 14 world title defence, thus breaking the long standing record of Yoko Gushiken.
The tough Japanese fighter retained her title with an easier than expected victory over Britain's Denise Castle (2-1, 2), a former Muay Thai legend who simply came up short against one of the toughest and roughest female fighters in the sport.
Koseki attacked the body of the challenger from the get go and the intentioned seemed to be to win a battle of attrition rather than to box on the move with Castle. At 42 years old the stamina of the challenger was a big question mark despite her hard training regime and attacking the body seemed an intelligent game plan against the WBC #2 ranked challenger.
Castle, to her credit, hung in their and fought back, even forcing Koseki back occasionally though she never looked all that threatening to the younger, more experienced champion who looked in control for vast swathes of the bout.
With Castle slowing down, as a result of the body shots,Koseki started to look up top and in round 8 she started to land clean head shots that forced the referee to step in and Castle from taking any further punishment.
Whilst Castle had been fast tracked due to her Muay Thai experience she did lack the needed skills and experience to really test someone of Koseki's ability and experience. At 42 however Castle didn't have the time to waste getting more experience and took this opportunity whilst it arose, unfortunately for her it arose too early in her career but too late in life for her to even come close to testing the champion.
Although no one will really consider Koseki's title defence record as a more impressive feat than Gushiken's it is still a very impressive feat and we'd actually expect her to continue her run as champion for as long as she wants. There is simply no one at 102lbs who can beat her, including compatriot Ayaka Miyao, the current WBA champion.
(Image courtesy of http://blog.livedoor.aokiboxinggym)