Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall fight fans will be getting a female world title double header. Today, ahead of those bouts, the fighters involved in them took part in their weigh in.
One of the two fights will see WBO Atomweight champion Mika Iwakawa (10-5-1, 3) [岩川 美花] take on Nanae Suzuki (10-4-1, 1) [鈴木菜々江], in a rematch of a bout the two had in 2020. On the scales the defending champion was 104.5lbs, easily under the limit. Notably she commented that she had breakfast today, which is certainly unusual for a fighter on the day of their weigh in. Suzuki was even lighter on the scales, coming in at 104lbs for the bout, though didn't mention anything about eating breakfast, just that she was glad to have this opportunity, thanking her team for the helping her getting this far.
The other fight will see Ayaka Miyao (24-9-2, 6) [宮尾綾香] battle against professional novice Eri Matsuda (4-0-1, 1) [松田恵里] for the vacant IBF Atomweight title. Like the WBO title fight both of the fighters here made weight, Matsuda came in bang on the limit and explained that she was able to lose weight without struggling with losing muscle mass. Miyao on the other hand was comfortably under the limit, weighing in at 104.75lbs, and seemed incredibly hungry to claim the IBF title, to add to the WBA she held earlier in her career.
For fans wanting to watch this it is available on PPV, though the excellent Boxmob.jp website, or via subscription service BoxingRaise.
Matsuda and Miyao clash for world title!
Suzuki seeks revenge in rematch against Iwakawa!
Earlier today saw the announcement of an Atomweight world title double header set for February 25th at Korakuen Hall, as the main bouts for Victoriva Vol 8.
One of the title bouts will see 38 year old veteran Ayaka Miyao (24-9-2, 6) [宮尾綾香] battle against professional novice Eri Matsuda (4-0-1, 1) [松田恵里], in a bout for the vacant IBF Atomweight title.
For Miyao the bout will see her looking to become a 2-time world champion. The veteran is a former WBA champion, who has, sadly, come up short a number of times in recent years, including a 2015 loss in a unification bout with Momo Koseki, a WBO title fight in 2016 with Nao Ikeyama, a WBA title fight with Montserrat Alarcon in 2019, and a loss and a draw to Etsuko Tada in WBO title bouts in 2020. Despite those set backs she has shown she belongs at the world level, and with her experience, skill and style she is still very much a handful for anyone in the division.
As for Matsuda, this will be her second world title bout, following a draw with the then IBF champion Saemi Hanagata back in March, in what was Hanagata's final bout before she retired. That was a great bout, and showed that Matsuda belonged at this level, even if she was denied by the judges, who had the bout a majority draw.
The other title bout will see WBO champion Mika Iwakawa (10-5-1, 3) [岩川 美花] take on Nanae Suzuki (10-4-1, 1) [鈴木菜々江], in a bout that was supposed to take place in October 15th but was cancelled when Iwakawa suffered an injury whilst training.
These two have fought before, with Iwakawa narrowly defending her title in 2020, when she took a split decision over Suzuki, and she will be seeking her second defense here, whilst Suzuki will be looking to win a world title in her second shot at a major belt.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall fight fans will get the chance to see IBF Atomweight champion Saemi Hanagata (16-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] defending her title against the skilled Eri Matsuda (4-0, 1) [松田恵里], in a bout which will later be be made available on Boxing Raise for subscribers to their service.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two fighters took part in their weigh in, and both fighters came in comfortable under at 102lb Atomweight limit.
On the scales the defending champion, seeking her second defense, was around 101.2lbs whilst Matsuda, in her first world title fight, was 101.4lbs
After making weight the two fighters spoke to some of the media, and there was some really interesting comments given to the media. Including Hanagata's revelation that tomorrow's fight will be her last. Win or lose, she's going to retire from the sport. She explained that "This is the last time, so I enjoyed adjusting without feeling strange pressure. Weight loss is always difficult, but this time it fell to the limit a week ago. I ate again this morning and headed to the weighing venue." She also added that she is studying to become a teacher and wants to have a child.
Matsuda on the other hand explain that this bout was going to be the beginning for her, and it seemed like she was really respectful of Hanagata's career. She explained she had with Hanagata and that Hanagata has taught her a lot. Despite the respect it seemed clear she was confident of victory, and taking the proverbial mantle, along with the physical title.
Related - IBF Queen Hanagata takes on unbeaten challenger Matsuda
(Image credit - Hanagata Gym)
The usually brilliant Boxing Raise has had a notable downturn this year, with no new shows at all in February and until today they also had nothing official on their schedule for March.
Thankfully that changed today when they revealed their schedule for the month, and it's a mix bag.
Firstly it appears they won't have any live streams this month, which is a massive shame and a real negative for the service. Second they only have 3 shows the entire month. Thankfully however they are all good shows, and the first of those is already available for fans.
The first of those shows, the one now online, was Green Dream Vol 14, headlined by a Japanese Super Bantamweight youth title fight between Satoru Hoshiba [干場悟] and Tom Mizokoshi [溝越 斗夢]. This was a genuine great fight and for those with the service this is well worth watching.
The second show will be Victoriva 6, which takes place on March 18th. This card will be headlined by the much anticipated IBF Atomweight title bout, pitting champion Saemi Hanagata (16-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] against the skilled Eri Matsuda (4-0, 1) [松田恵里] and will also feature the long awaited debut of Narumi Yukawa (0-0) [湯川成美].
The final show on the service this month will be Slugfest 18 from Kadoebi Gym. This will be headlined by a contest between Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0-2, 4) [堤聖也] and Tulio Kuwabata (3-1-1, 2) [桑畑凜生] and will feature a genuine who's who of the Kadoebi Gym, including Yuichiro Kasuya (13-3-2, 4) [粕谷 雄一郎], Takuya Kogawa (30-5-1, 13) [粉川拓也], Yoji Saito (2-1-2, 2) [齊藤陽ニ] and Jukiya Iimura (1-0, 1) [飯村 樹輝弥].
For subscribers it's a decent line up, though it's a huge shame that nothing is being shown live.
Outside of Boxing Raise Japanese fan will have plenty to watch over the remained of the month with the Splendid Boxing show on March 21st being shown live on YouTube via Sakana and Seki Chan, with a live feed here, the March 25th Dynamic Glove card will be live on premium Japanese TV channel G+ and the March 28th "Real Spirits 71" from Shinsei Gym being shown live on YouTube channel BOXING REAL.
(Image credit - Boxing Raise)
Back in December we saw the announcement that IBF Atomweight champion Saemi Hanagata (16-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] would defend her title on February 26th against Eri Matsuda (4-0, 1) [松田恵里]. Sadly however there has now been a change to this bout.
Rather than taking place on February 26th, as originally planned, the bout will now take place on March 18th.
The rescheduling has been put down to changes caused by the recent State of Emergency in and around the Tokyo region.
The bout will be Hanagata's second defense of the IBF title that she won in September 2018, with a win over Yuki Kuroki, and will see her looking to build on her 2019 defense against Nao Ikeyama.
As for Matsuda this will be the first world title bout for the former Japanese and OPBF Atomweight champion, who has been out of the ring since defending the Japanese Atomweight title in September 2019 against Mong Blanc Miki.
Interestingly there are also reports that this will be Hanagata's final bout, though at the moment that is yet to be confirmed.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!