Earlier today fight fans in Fukuoka got the chance to see Atomweight great Momo Koseki (24-2-1, 9) [小関 桃] show how great she is as she claimed her third world title, and became the WBC female Minimumweight champion, out pointing the talented Yuko Kuroki (17-5-1, 8) [黒木 優子].
The bout looked a great one on paper, with Koseki moving up in weight to take on a fighter who had been regarded as one of the best female Minimumweights on the planet. The competitiveness that we expected was seen in the early stages, with Kuroki having some good moments early on. The ability of Kuroki saw her claiming the opening round on one card, claiming the second on another and the 4th on two cards. From then however it was almost all Koseki.
The challenger had set the early pace, pressing the action and forcing the pressure. This caused Kuorki some real issues, but the champion did manage to land a number of counters and did enough to keep Koseki honest. Despite the counters the scoring was heavily favouring the aggressive Koseki with scores of 39-37 on two cards, and 38-38 on the third.
Through the middle portion of the fight Koseki really poured it on and extended her lead, to the point where she was leading 69-64, 68-65 and 67-66 after 7 rounds. By then it really was all Koseki and Kuroki was struggling to really put up much of a fight back as she was simply out worked, out fought and struggled to ever get off through the shots of Koseki.
Round 8 was a rare good one for Kuroki, who took the round on all 3 cards, but the final 2 rounds were both Koseki rounds as she easily took the decision, with scores of 98-92, 97-93 and a bizarrely close 96-94.
After the bout Koseki revealed she would be taking a break before deciding her next move, whilst Kuroki accepted that she was a fighter who was going to have to rebuild, but still has dreams of becoming a unified champion.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fight fans saw WBC Atomweight champion Momo Koseki's (23-2-1, 9) [小関 桃] continue her lengthy and record the 17th defense of the title, as she stopped the horribly over-matched Chie Higano (6-5 2) [日向野 知恵] in 4 rounds. And by 4 rounds we mean 4 one-sided rounds.
Higano looked like one of the biggest under-dogs of the year on paper and unfortunately the limited challenger was up against the longest reigning active world champion in the sport today.
From the opening round Koseki took charge and quickly began to beat up Higano who suffered a damaged nose early in the bout and continued to get beaten up until the refeee made a mercy stoppage.
The stoppage didn't appear to be at the best time, and Higano had been in more problems at times, but it was clear that she had no chance and was didn't seem that unhappy to be saved from more punishment by a fighter several leagues above her.
With 17 defense under her belt the question now seems to be whether or not Koseki is targeting a 2-weight reign or the record for most defense of a world title, and she is quickly approaching that record.
For Higano the bout was a moment in the spot light, but did end in a bit of a beating that showed the difference between herself and world class.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Many boxing fans tend to ignore two things. Female boxing, and boxing at the lower weights. Despite that Japanese fans on Thursday got a genuinely brilliant treat as females fighters at 102lbs, the Atomweight limit, fought in a thrilling contest to unify the WBC and WBA titles. The bout, the first unification bout in the divisions history, turned out to be probably the best fight the division has ever seen and a fight that really did sum up everything great about our fantastic sport.
From the first round to the last we saw high level competition as long reigning WBC queen Momo Koseki (21-2-1, 7) took on the fearless Ayaka Miyao (20-6-1, 4), who unfortunately lost her WBA belt despite the performance o a life time.
The fight started fast, neither had great power but they had the fire and will to win that drove them immediately to action. The pace was intense and hectic and although neither was hurt Miyao did score a knockdown in the openign round, albeit one that appeared to be a slip. The knaockdown encouraged the fighters to really go for it and in round 2 Koseki began to bleed from her nose. It was the perfect start for Miyao.
In round 3 it Koseki who began to have the momentum swing her way and by the end of round 5, when the scores were publicly announced, the early knockdown had been cancelled out with the two women being all level at 47-47, on all 3 cards.
Unfortunately for Miyao that was as good as it got as an aggressive Koseki brought the pressure and forced Miyao on to the retreat, where she was less effective than she had been earlier on. Whilst Miyao did have her successes they were out numbered by those of Koseki who did enough in the second half to secure a clear, but very hard fought, win.
The win, which saw the judges turning in cards of 96-96, twice and 95-94, was one of the toughest of Koseki's career and saw both fighters coming away with real credit and if a rematch occurred in early 2016, after a good rest for both fighters, we'd certainly not complain.
(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)
The Atomweight division (102lbs) is the smallest weight class in professional boxing and is a division that only has females compete in it. Despite being the smallest division it has one of the longest reigning world champions in all of professional boxing, Momo Koseki (18-2-1, 5).
Koseki, the WBC Atomweight champion, is unbeaten since 2007 and has been a world champion since 2008. Earlier today she recorded her 13th world title defense, equalling the national record held by Yoko Gushiken, as she stopped the previously unbeaten Thai Angor Onesongchaigym (5-1, 3) in impressive and one-sided fashion.
Angor, reportedly a former elite level Muay Thai fighter, was seen as the big under-dog before the opening bell and by the end of the opening round things proved to be as one sided as we expected.
Koseki looked confident from the off and swiftly took control of the bout. She applied careful and intelligent pressure and swiftly forced Angor on to the back foot. Although this was expected it was simply happening too easily for Koseki who had quickly began to assert her dominance on the Thai youngster.
Angor, looking out of her depth, tried at times to fight back but she simply couldn't do anything to dissuade the teak tough Koseki from walking her down. It was obvious that this was a girl against a woman and when Koseki continued to walk through the bigger shots of Angor it really didn't look good for the Thai challenger who resorted to holding. It had quickly turned from Angor trying to fight back to Angor trying to survive.
The Thai's bravery was impressive though it was all in vein. She was a mile down on the scorecards, wilting and being beaten up by Koseki through the middle and later rounds. With her domination of the bout it seemed that Koseki felt the urge to hunt a stoppage and put an exclamation mark on the performance.
It seemed that the challenger was going to reach the final bell but then Koseki turned it up, launching a huge attack in round 9 that eventually forced the referee to step in and call a halt to the proceedings to save the Thai who was taking shots with out throwing much left. It was late in the day though with another round to go it was a stoppage that saved the out classed Angor from further punishment
Although Koseki accepted that her 13th defense was impressive she also accepted that it wasn't as important as Gushiken's record and suggested that there was a big difference between men and women. Although that's true it's still a very impressive achievement from Koseki who hinted that she wants to return to the ring soon to make her 14th title defense and make a new record breaking that of Gushiken.
This fight was part of all female show "G Legend 6"
(Picture courtesy of http://boxingnews.jp/)
Just a day after Naoko Fujioka announced herself on the Super Flyweight division her compatriot Momo Koseki (17-2-1, 4) showed why she is regarded by many as the best Atomweight on the planet.
Fighting mandatory challenger Nora Cardoza (8-5-2, 4) of Mexico, Koseki recorded her 12th defense of the WBC Atomweight title, which we believe is actually a divisional record.
The 31 year old Koseki, who won the title way back in 2008 was in charge of the bout from the off and although she was cut she was never in danger of losing the bout which was fought at an excellent high pace.
The early part of the bout was impressive from both. Koseki, whilst in charge, was being forced to take some shots in return. Later on however the pace began to take it's toll on the challenger who was unable to keep up with the impressive champion.
By the time we got to the final bell there was only one winner and the clarity of the contest showed on the scorecards with Koseki taking the decision 97-91 (twice) and 96-92 showing the clear victory that Koseki had earned.
With Ayaka Miyao set to defend her WBA Atomweight title in the coming weeks there is a big Atomweight clash that everyone wants to see. Miyao/Koseki. It's a bout that we'll certainly have on our Christmas list and a bout that would deserve a TV slot due to the intrigue of having the #1 against the #2 in a unification bout. Hopefully we get that, if Miyao gets past Gretchen Abaniel in a couple of weeks time.
Note-This bout was the headline bout from "Earnest Efforts"