Female boxing does get over-looked in some circles, however every so often a female bout comes around that really should be given some serious attention. One such bout occurred earlier today when WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (15-4-1, 7) took on former 2-time IBF champion Nancy Franco (14-7-2, 4).
The bout was a match up between two of the top fighters in the division and on paper was really matched. In the ring however there was only one winner with Kuroki really shining in a genuine coming of age performance.
The champion used her footwork from the off the neutralise the wilder, more aggressive work of Franco, who was left hitting air and being countered by the southpaw straight's of the champion. Round after round Franco tried to bull the home fighter and as a result she continued to eat straights, and be made to look more like an amateur than a former champion.
At the final bell their was no doubting the winner with Kuroki recording her 3rd defense of the title with scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93. Despite her dominance however the champion didn't sound satisfied and made it clear that she'd like to put in a better performance next time out.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
This past Saturday in Sri Lanka fight fans saw history being created as the 46 year old Nao Ikeyama (17-3-1, 4) became the first world champion to successfully defend a world title in the country. The Japanese veteran claimed her place in history by taking a clear unanimous decision over experienced Filipino Jujeath Nagaowa (13-16-1, 8).
The bout, which took place in a stunning venue, was a competitive bout with Nagaowa not allowing Ikeyama to control the pace and instead the two were forced to trade shots. Although it wasn't Ikeyama's "style" the champion was able to out land and out work the cruder Filipino, who again showed why she keeps getting notable fights.
Whilst the bout did create history by becoming the first world itle fight in Sri Lanka, it does seem like that's not the only piece of history Ikeyama wan't to record and a rumour now is that she may be set to become the first world champion to defend her title in Myanmar, another country that has yet to really see professional boxing.
With the win Ikeyama keeps her WBO Atomweight reign alive whilst Nagaowa has once again proven that she will always force a fight and will almost certainly get another big one in the near future.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
On Friday fans in Hyogo had reason to celebrate as local fighter, and former WBA female Minimumweight champion, Etsuko Tada (15-2-2, 4) became a 2-time world champion
The talented Tada was really in a must win bout as she took on Mexican fighter Kareli Lopez (8-6-3, 2). If Tada lost it would have been a third loss in 5 bouts, and her third successive at the top level. She knew what was riding on the bout and fought as if her career depended on it.
Early on Tada tried to use her feet and movement to neutralise the aggressive Lopez. It was a tactic that she though would successful but Lopez was simple too hungry to be thwarted by just movement and instead Tada had to mix things up, boxing more aggressively and using her experience and ring smarts to try and blunt the offensive of the visitor.
The Mexican, who certainly doesn't sport a flashy record, wasn't going to be easily beaten and refused to ever cave in to Tada, despite the fact the crowd were certainly behind the home time fighter. In the end however Tada did just have that little bit extra as she claimed the title, with a unanimous decision and returned to being at the top of the proverbial mountain.
The final decision saw all 3 judges scoring the bout to Tada, with scores of 97-93 and 96-94, twice. It was however a performance that didn't satisfy the champion, who seemed to confess that she hadn't been at her best.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)