Every so often we get a bout that we just know will be good, today we had one such bout as WBO female Bantamweight champion Naoko Fujioka (15-1, 6) [藤岡 奈穂子] took on former WBC female Flyweight champion Shindo Go (16-4, 11) [真道ゴー], and the two fighters gave us possibly the female fight of the year.
The bout started with Go on the offensive and in both of the opening two rounds it seemed the challenger hurt the champion. Fujioka was forced to hold and ride out the early storm whilst looking like an ageing fighter. From round 3 however the champion began to figure out the challenger, time her assaults more carefully begin to take over the bout, whilst Go had to fight with a badly damaged born around the eye.
Whilst Fujioka was racking up the rounds through the middle of the fight Go always looked dangerous, until the end of the 8th round when Fujioka finally scored a knockdown, and almost a knockout with the bell essentially saving Go.
Coming out for the final two rounds the challenger gave everything but couldn't deter the wonderful champion who recorded her first defense of the title with scores of 97-92 and 98-91, twice
Following the win Fujioka noted that her new target in the sport was to become a 5-weight champion before retiring. Sadly for Go this could potentially be a career ending bout, with the fighter set to under-go sexual realignment surgery later in the year.
Notably Go was taken straight to hospital after the bout due to the eye injury.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Japanese fighter Shindo Go (14-3, 9) must be wondering why she ever breaks out her passport. This past weekend the Japanese fighter lost WBC female Flyweight title by split decision to Mexico's Arely Mucino (21-2-2, 10). This was Go's second fight outside of Japan and her second narrow loss in bouts on the road.
The Japanese fighter started slowly here and seemed to be showing ill effects of the travel. It was a disappointing start that saw her in a hole very early in the bout. It was an unnecessary hole but one she had, effectively, dug for herself by staying in neutral through the first few rounds whilst Mucino got off to a great start.
In the middle of the fight Go finally got going and started to rack up the points as she began a very spirited fight back and seemed to Mucino in the 8th round. Sadly however the Japanese fighter was unable to force the stoppage at that point and the opportunity never arose again for the defending champion.
Having started as slowly as she did it was clear that Go had made life hard for herself though a card of 99-91 in favour of the Mexican was a frankly ridiculous card. The other cards which were much closer, showed the respective nature of the fight. Unfortunately however they left Go on the unfortunate end of a split decision.
No one will argue that Mucino got a robbery, far from it, though the card of 99-91 failed to reflect the nature of the fight and Go certainly deserved more than a round from this fight.
Earlier today Japanese fans in Wakayama had a chance to see local hero Shindo Go (14-2, 9) in action as she successfully defended her WBC female Flyweight title, for the second time, with an excellent stoppage victory over Thailand's Kledpetch Lookmuangkan (6-3, 1).
Go, one of Japanese boxing's more under-rated fighters, started cautiously and tried to avoid the southpaw left of her challenger early in the bout. It was a case of seeing what the Thai had in her and trying not to make too many mistakes early on.
Sadly for Kledpetch it didn't take Go long to figure her out and from round 4 onwards Go began to move through the gears becoming more and more aggressive. It was as if Go realised that the Thai had nothing to trouble her and went for the kill.
The Thai did well to see off the increasing offensive action of Go though unfortunately the bout became more and more one sided. Go began hammering the challenger upstairs and downstairs whilst walking through what little resistance was fired back. The assault of Go was vicious and Kledpetch was wilting round after round.
In round 8 Go started very fast and swiftly the referee was forced to rescue the Thai who had taken more than enough punishment to justify the stoppage which was very much welcomed by the local crowd who were all there to see Go defending her title.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
When we think of the top Asian female fighters right now it's fair to say that no one matches Naoko Fujioka, the stand out Asian and one of the top pound-for-pound female fighters on the planet.
One of the chasing pack behind Fujioka is Japanese Flyweight Shindo Go (13-2, 8). Go, real name Megumi Hashimoto, showed why she is so highly regarded earlier today as she made the first defense of her WBC Flyweight title.
Defending the belt she took from Renata Szebeledi 7 months ago Go made a great start using her boxing skills and aggression to fight off Mexican challenger Judith Rodriguez (6-6, 4). Rodriguez, despite her record, proved to be a fighter unwilling to just lose and she tried to fight back and made life very difficult for Go with her Latino spirit keeping her competitive through the bout despite being behind on the cards.
Despite mostly looking in control Go did get stunned at one point as she faced a rare struggle. She managed to see it out and went on to take the unanimous decision by a closer than expected 96-94 scoreline across the board.
Whilst the cards did reflect a very close bout it was hard to see anyway in which Go was to lose the bout. She was in control for large portions and even seemed to be robbed of a knockdown early on, a knockdown that would have made the scores very clear on the cards. Thankfully though the right fighter won and few will complain about the result, despite the spirited effort of Rodriguez.