Earlier today fans at the Korakuen Hall had the chance WBO female Minimumweight champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (9-1-2, 3) [池原シーサー久美子] retain her title with a split decision win over veteran Kayoko Ebata (9-7, 5) [江畑 佳代子]. Whilst this was the second time Ikehara had over-come Ebata, following a split technical decision last year, the bout really was something special.
The fight started hot and both were happy to trade shots almost from the off. Their was head clashes, punches from both hands it was just a war with both regularly meeting in the centre of the ring. The pace and action was tremendous with both unloading, until the later stages when the 40 year old Ebata began to show her age.
With Ebata slowing Ikehara seemed to do enough in the later stages to take over those rounds, though the question was really how close the cards were going into the championship rounds.
Sadly for Ebata her slow down may well have cost her the bout with scorecards of 96-94 for Ikehara, twice, and a card the same way for Ebata, who has now come up short in 5 world title bouts, and likely gave this bout her all.
With 4 defenses to her name Ikehara has cemented her place as a genuine champion, but it's fair to say that other fighters will be targeting her title. For Ebata this probably will be the end of her career, a career that has seen her become the bridesmaid but never the bride.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This past Wednesday saw two female world title bouts in Japan. One of those saw the popular Tomomi Takano being stopped in 4 rounds by Daniela Romina Bermudez at 115lbs, the other was an all Japanese title fight, between WBO female Minimumweight champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (8-1-2, 3) and Momoko Kanda (9-8-2, 3). Unlikle the Super Flyweight bout, this one, went the distance featured some competitive action, though did end up with a clear winner.
To begin with it was the champion who took control however Kanda managed to mount a spirited fight back and seemed to show her best in rounds 3, 7 and 10 as she managed to make Ikehara answer a number of questions.
Unfortunately for Kanda's effort she never quite found the consistency that she needed to really push Ikehara who was well worth the unanimous decision, with scores of 97-93, twice, and 98-92.
For Kanda this was a loss in her first world title bout whilst Ikehara now has 3 defenses of her title and is likely hoping to secure a bigger profile bout next time out.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
WBO female Minimumweight champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (7-1-2, 3) made the second successful defense of her title earlier today as she took a split technical decision against veteran Kayoko Ebata (8-6, 4). Sadly, much like Ikehara's first defense, this bout ended with the champion having a nasty cut and bringing an early conclusion to what was an exciting looking contest.
From the opening round this bout was engaging with both fighters giving their all and being competitive with each other from the opening bell. Ikehara seemed to have the edge in power whilst Ebata seemed the speedier, but there was little to distinguish the two who were really putting on a show early on.
It seemed that every time one fighter had some success the other would fire back and have some of their own. It was competitive and exciting.
Then, suddenly and unfortunately, the bout came to an end with both fighters being cut badly from a headclash. Although both were cut Ikehara certainly ended up with the worst of it and it was her cut that caused the early conclusion to the action.
The competitiveness of the contest made the arena tense as we awaited for the cards which read 67-66, 67-66 and 66-67 giving Ikehara the narrowest of narrow decision wins.
Earlier this year we saw the fantastic Mako Yamada win the WBO female Minimumweight title with a sensational performance against Su Yun Hong. Sadly instead of defending that title and proving she was as good as she looked in that performance Yamada announced her retirement from boxing to focus on other things in life.
Yamada's retirement left the title vacant. Earlier today saw that vacancy filled as Japan's Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-1, 3) took a split decision over Gretchen Abaniel (15-6, 6).
The fight saw Abaniel intensely coming forward though Ikehara did well to unload her shots in a very active contest that saw both women unloading shots. The bout's all action back and forth saw both giving as good as they got in most rounds though in round 8 Ikehara made her size and power count.
The power and strength of Ikehara seemed to be enough to take the decision though unexpectedly the bout was ruled a split decision with scores of 98-92 and 97-93 both in favour of Ikehara whilst the third, the dissenting voice, gave the bout to Abaniel with a card of 96-94 for the Filipino. What made these cards a little bit strange is, from what we understand, the one judge who scored it to Abaniel was Japanese judge Katsuhiko Nakamura whilst Filipino judge Salven Lagumbay actually scored the bout for Ikehara. The one neutral judge came from Thailand.
For Ikehara this was a crowning glory of her career and saw her becoming a world champion at the first time of trying. She isn't the fighter Yamada was but still winning a world title is a great achievement. As for Abaniel this is her second world title defeat in Japan inside a year. She's not at the end of the line though she will perhaps realise that she needs to stay at Atomweight, where she has fought in the past, and needs to pick an easier mark for her next bout.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
On a show headlined by a scrap for the WBC female Minimumweight title there were several female contests. Not only did fans get the chance to see Mari Ando (11-6, 5) claim the WBC Minimumweight title with a decision over Jasseth Noriega (16-3-1, 5) but they also got the chance to see 4 other female contests, which made the bulk of the 6 fight show.
The card opened with Emi Kitawaki (3-4-1, 1) taking a 4 round decision over Misaki Hirooka (2-3) in a very competitive and closely scored contest. This was later followed, after 2 male bouts, by the return to action of Nao Ikeyama (13-3-1, 4). The 44 year old Ikeyama, who had been inactive for more than 3 years, managed to take a 6 round majority decision over Mika Iwakawa (3-2-1, 1). Interestingly, given Ikeyama's break from action, this was Iwakawa's 3rd bout of the year.
The card also featured 2 bouts scheduled for 8 rounds. Of those one went the distance, as Tamao Ozawa (6-1, 2) defeated Thailand's win-less Tanyakorn Sor Thammajak (0-4) via a clear decision. The other 8 round bout lasted just 107 seconds as Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (4-1-1, 3) swiftly took out the debuting Supa Tor Narong (0-1).