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)
Some fighters are destined to never win a world title. Unfortunately for Japanese fighter Kayoko Ebata (7-5, 4) she seems likely to be one of those fighters having failed in her third world title challenge earlier today.
The 37 year old Japanese fighter, who had previously lost in world title fights to Samson Tor Buamas and Tenkai Tsunami came up against a very determined Nancy Franco (12-5-2, 4) and unfortunately was on the losing side as she attempted to claim the IBF Minimumweight title.
Franco fought like a woman possessed and refused to be intimidated by either Ebata or the Japanese crowd. Although Ebata had some success she couldn't slow down the challenger for long enough to establish herself in the contest and every time Franco took a shot she came raging back.
Unfortunately for Ebata she began to look her age in the later rounds as Franco really took over and made the decision clear-cut.
Although, as seen in the picture above, Franco was cut under the left eye and swollen herself she was certainly giving more than she was taking as she put on a performance to remember. By the time the final cards were read that was little real doubt over who had won, Franco, rightfully taking the decision with cards reading 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 all in her favour.
This bout, the chief support contest on the "47th Phoenix Battle" may well be the final time we see Ebata in a professional bout.