Last night in Mexico fight fans in Mexico saw a second bout between WBC female Bantamweight champion Mariana Juarez (50-9-4, 18) and Japanese challenger Terumi Nuki (10-4, 7) [ぬき てるみ], and as with their first bout Juarez successfully defended her title.
Nuki had lost the first bout due to being out worked, out boxed and out moved. She had promised to let her hands go more this time around and seemed to do that at times. Sadly for the challenger however the champion was regularly out landing her, hitting the better combinations and moving away from the power shots of Nuki.
Nuki had some early success, hurting Juarez in the early going, and again towards the end of the bout as Juarez's foot work began to slow, but by then the Mexican had built up a hefty lead. That lead was then extended with Nuki being deducted a point for an accidental headclash in round 10, with the headclash giving Juarez a pretty nasty cut.
At the end of the 10 round distance there was no real argument about the winner, with Juarez clearly taking the victory, but Nuki certainly did show signs of improvement from her first loss to Juarez.
After the bout it was confirmed that Juarez will return later this year to face Jackie Nava, in what will be a female super fight. Nava also picked up a win on this very same card to help build that match up further.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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)
Yesterday in Mexico fans had the chance to see Japanese fighter Terumi Nuki (9-2, 6) [ぬき てるみ] face off with WBC female Bantamweight champion Mariana Juarez (46-9-4, 17). Sadly for Nuki she came up short, as Juarez retained her title in front of her local fans.
The talented Juarez never looked like she had any problems against Nuki and was too good, too busy and too quick for the challenger who looked second best through out.
Although second best and in front of a very pro-Juarez crowd the Japanese fighter never showed any hints of quitting and tried to turn the fight around. Sadly though she could never come close to turnign it around.
At the end of 10 rounds all 3 judges had it 98-92 to the Mexican, who adds Nuki's name to a of Japanese fighters that she's beaten, including Tenkai Tsunami, Shindo Go, Riyo Togo and Asami Shikasho. As for Nuki she'll have learned a lot from this bout, despite being widely beaten. She'll take a lot of valuable experience and will likely bounce back to fight for a world title again, somewhere down the line, and likely at Super Flyweight which is her natural weight class.
Earlier today the WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (17-4-1, 8) [黒木 優子] scored her 5th defense of the title as she defeated former champion Mari Ando (13-10, 6) [安藤 麻里] with a unanimous decision, just as she did when she won the title back in May 2014.
The exciting champion made made a perfect start winning the first round and then dropping Ando in round 2 to establish a clear lead. Ando however showed her fighting spriting and fought back hard to win round 3 and get a small foot hold in the fight. Sadly for Ando that success was short lived and she would be down for a second time in round 5 as Kuroki took a huge lead on the cards and left Ando with a lot to do.
Knowing she was well behidn Anod could have just folded, she didn't ever seem to have the power, strength or speed to worry Kuroki, instead however she bit down on her gum shield and refused to just give in. Instead she earned round 6 on all 3 cards, bouncing back well from the knockdown and did enough to claim a share of the later rounds as she gritted out a gutsy performance.
Despite the gutsy effort Ando was a clear loser with all 3 of the score cards reading 96-92 in favour of Kuroki.
After the bout Ando announced that she was retiring, and that she had given the bout her all, something that was clear to fans in the arena. With this being Ando's 5th defense attention may turn to the Japanese fighter facing more notable international names in the future with some tipping her to be one of the "faces" of female boxing over the coming years.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.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)
Late on Saturday night in Mexican fight fans had the chance to see two of the top female fighters face off in a bout that promised a lot, but really failed to deliver.
The bout in question saw 3-weight world champion Naoko Fujioka (15-2, 6) [藤岡 奈穂子] battle against WBC female Flyweight champion Jessica "Kika" Chavez (28-4-3, 4) in a bout that was plagued by negative tactics, poor officiating and a frustrating amount of holding from a champion who often looked afraid to fight and preferred to spoil than actually box, fight or punch. That was despite the fact Chavez is an extremely talented boxer who was much quicker than Fujioka.
Before the fight it seemed like Fujioka knew the score and stating, clearly, that she was hunting a stoppage. She seemed to be aware that if the bout went the distance she would struggle to get the rub of the green, what she may not have anticipated was how difficult it would be to have luck inside the actual ring.
The opening round was a good one for the challenger, who found her range and had the champion on the back foot from the early going. It seemed clear by the end of the round that Chavez wasn't wanting to fight with the visitor and was relatively worried by the physical aspect of Fujioka's game. That worry was more evident through round 2 when Chavez made the action frustratingly stop-start with a lot of spoiling, holding and general negative tactics. It was a way to neutralise the power of Fujioka but she failed to really ever attack her self with only a single flurry in the second round.
The holding continued through much of the rest of the fight and by the end of round 4 it was clear that the tactic had frustrated and unsettled the challenger, with the referee basically allowing the champion to hold every time the two were close. Not only was Chavez able to get away with the holding but she was also able to get a way with a shot on the break in round 4 and seemed happy to use frequent headlocks through the fight. Chavez, when she let her hands go, had success but the reality was that she seemed happier to hold than to actually fight which made a sloppy fight sloppier whilst Fujioka looked for a KO shot with everything she threw, landing some and missing others.
It wasn't until round 6 that Chavez seemed happy to actually have an exchange, in fact there was several through the round. One of which saw the fighters heads collide with Fujioka going down following the head clash. Despite the referee having a great view of the action he called it a legitimate knockdown, securing a 10-8 round for the home fighter who had been leading on 2 of the cards when the open scoring kicked in at the end of round 4, opening up a wider lead with the knockdown call.
The headlocks returned in round 7 ad the bout broke down into a real mess of a contest with more holding and clinching than punching. It was ridiculous that the referee seemed to do nothing about the action, or lack of, an gave neither fighter any warning about the holding which had destroyed a bout that promised a lot. Despite destroying the "fight" it was a tactic that had impressed the judges who all had Chavez leading after 8 rounds, with cards of 78-73, twice, and 77-74. It was clear that Fujioka would need a KO in the final 2 rounds.
Fujioka had some great success in round 9, a round in which she managed to shake up Chavez on two occasions, but follow up attacks were thwarted by the spoiling of the champion who saw out the round, and was inexplicably given the round by at least one of the judges. Fujioka's hunt for the KO continued into the final round, but it was clear she wasn't going to get it, the best she got was the referee finally deducting a point for holding from Chavez, to give the challenger a 10-8 round. By then however it was too little too late.
At the final bell Fujioka's frustrations were clear, as was the result, with Chavez taking the unanimous decision with cards of 95-93, 94-93 and 96-92. Cards that ended up looking close, due to the eventual point deduction. Were it not for the awful refereeing of the contest however we could have had a very, very, different outcome.
For Chavez the victory further enhances her great legacy. The performance may have been an embarrassing one for such an amazing boxer, but that doesn't change the result and it adds Fujioka's name to the other great names that litter her record, and it also sees her making the 4th defense of her title. When she let her hands go she looked the world class fighter that we all know she is, unfortunately those moments were few and far between with more spoiling than fighting from the Mexican star.
For Fujioka it's a second failed attempt at a Flyweight title title, and the second loss in a close bout on the road at the weight. It's fair to say that she may not decide to take the next offer to face a champion on the road after this bout, and although she failed to become Japan's first 4-weight world champion we suspect she'll continue to hunt a Flyweight title before hanging up her gloves.
On Monday Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw WBC female Minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki (16-4-1, 8) [黒木 優子] record the 4th defense of her world title as she stopped Filipino challenger Norj Guro (7-6-1, 4) in the 8th round.
The champion seemed to take the initative from the opening round and used her speed and skills from the early stages landing at will on Guro, who was dropped in round 3.
Aftwr 4 rounds two of the judges had Kuroki in a very comfortable 40-35 lead, whilst the dissenting judge gad Kuroki winning winning "only" 39-36.
In the mid rounds of the bout Kuroki upped the pace and looked, in round 7, as if she could smell a stoppage battering Gurok against the ropes. The challenger, by then, looked about all in and the following round saw Kuroki finally see off he over-matched challenger.
After the bout Kuroki hinted that she was wanting to fight in either a unification bout or a bout against former world champion Ayaka Miyao, in what would be a thrilling match up.
Sadly for Guro this is likely the end of her hopes to become a world champion.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Late last night Mexican fans so local starlet Ibeth Zamora Silva (25-5, 10) successfully defend her WBC Light Flyweight title, as she became the first fighter to stop Japan's Mari Ando (12-9, 5) [安藤 麻里], who had sought a title in a third division.
From the early moments it seemed clear that Ando was up against it with the crowd firmly behind the champion. Not only was the crowd against Ando, but so to was the Mexican who used he jab early to establish control of the bout. That control allowed Zamora to see what Ando had, before upping the tempo herself.
As Zamora upped the tempo it became clear Ando had no answer, and the more Zamora went through the gears the more Ando struggled.
Although Ando tried to answer back when the Mexican let her hands go she really began to take a bit of a hammering in round 3 as Zamora's accuracy and work rate began to be too much for Ando, who was backed on to the ropes several times.
By round 5 Ando was starting to look like a beaten woman and her team seemed to realise it, throwing in the towel in round 6 as Zamora continued to dominate the brave, but completely outmatched challenger, who was unable to match the skills, or work rate of the very talented Zamora
(Image courtesy of Pepe Rodriguez)
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)
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)