Tomorrow in Kagoshima fans will see WBO female Light Flyweight champion Tenkai Tsunami (26-12-1, 15) [天海 ツナミ] defending her title against Filipino challenger Jessebelle Pagaduan (12-1-1, 5).
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in and both fighters made the 108lb limit with no issues at all.
On the scales the defending champion was 107.75lbs whilst the champion was 107.5lbs, showing that neither was even close to struggling to make the limit.
Notably the bout will take place in Tsunami's home town and she seemed to suggest that she was wanting to give fans a show due to the home support, with 1,200 fans expected to fill out the Uchinoura Ginga Arena.
Related - Tsunami and Pagaduan clash in WBO world title fight!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier this month we reported that WBO female Light Flyweight champion Tenkai Tsunami (26-12-1, 15) [天海 ツナミ] would be defending her title in December against a then un-named opponent. At the time we had the when, December 14th, and the where, Kagoshima, but not the who.
Today that changed with sources informing us that Tsunami's opponent for the bout would be 2-time world title challenger Jessebelle Pagaduan (12-1-1, 5) from the Philippines.
The 35 year old Pagaduan has twice failed in world title challenges in Japan, losing widely to the then WBO Atomweight champion Nao Ikeyama in 2014 and suffering a technical draw against Kumiko Seeser Ikehara in a WBO female Minimumweight title bout in 2015. Those two set backs aside she's 12-0 though has been picking up wins against mostly abject opposition.
Although her competition hasn't been great Pagaduan does enter this bout unbeaten in 7, and riding a 5 fight winning run, which has included wins over domestic foes Aisah Alico and Charimae Salvador.
For Tsunami this will be her second defense of the title, as she looks to build on a July 2018 win over Gretchen Abaniel. The Japanese veteran was last seen in the ring fighting to a split decision draw in a 10 round thriller against Naoko Fujioka this past July in a bout for Fujioka's WBA female Flyweight title, though will be moving back down in weight for this bout at 108lbs.
As well as the world title fight the show will also see 30 year old Japanese stalwart Naoya Haruguchi (15-11, 6) [春口直也] take on Thai foe Sanchai Yotboon (6-3, 6) and 2018 Rookie of the Year Sora Takeda (5-1, 1) [竹田宙] will be up against unbeaten Thai teenager Phanuwit Siriwong (7-0, 6)
On paper any world title defence is good. Not all fighters reach the pinnacle and even few get to stay there for more than just a fleeting moment. Sadly however some title defenses aren't as good as others, and they certainly aren't as happy as others.
Many of the most disappointing defences come courtesy of headclashes, accidental fouls or issues outwith the typical rules of boxing.
That disappointment was a feeling felt by WBO female Minimumweight champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-2, 3) who made the first defence of her earlier today, though was left with a huge gash on her head following a brutal headclash with Filipino challenger Jessebelle Pagaduan (7-1-1, 4).
The bout had hardly began when the fighters clashed but it was clear that the action wasn't going to carry on. The cut on Ikehara's forehead opened up almost instantly and bled quickly.
The 2" cut is said to have required 10 stitches after the fight.
Although the bout was a painful one for Ikehara she managed to keep her title by virtue of a technical draw. It's not an ideal outcome but it's better than losing the title.
After the fight it was hinted that the two may have a rematch later in the year with the inconclusive and disappointing ending being frustrating not just for the fans but for the fighters who were both hoping to show their skills. Hopefully a rematch will allow them to do just that.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
Earlier today in Japan saw the weight in for tomorrow's female world title double header. That included the WBO female Minimumweight title fight which will see Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-1, 3) making the first defence of her title as she takes on Filipino challenger Jessebelle Pagaduan (7-1, 4).
On the scales Ikehara, pictured, was the heavier fighter coming in at 104¾lbs, just inside the 105lb limit. As for her challenger, Pagaduan was 103¾lbs, more than a full lb inside the divisional limit.
For Ikehara this was the lowest weight in almost 2 years. The last time she weighed this was was her narrow win over recent world title challenger Saemi Hanagata back in March 2013. It however only slightly lighter than her weight for her title winning bout against Gretchen Abaniel last September.
Pagaduan is more than 3lbs lighter than she was for her most recent bout, a decision over Florivic Montero in December, She is however more than 1lb heavier than she was in her last visit to Japan, a decision loss to Nao Ikeyama in a WBO Atomweight title bout. Sadly Pagaduan's weight has been relatively all over the place in the past and it's hard to know what her weight will mean come fight time.
(Image courtesy of http://www.hochi.co.jp)
On Friday Japanese boxing fans will have the chance to watch a couple of female world title bouts as Japan and the Philippines collide. Today saw the 4 fighters involved in those bouts undergo their physical checks.
We've unfortunately not been given all the details regarding those checks though we have been advised that all 4 women passed the checks and both the fights will take place on Friday, if the fighters all make weight tomorrow.
The more interesting of the two bouts, at least on paper, will see WBO female Minimumweight champion Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-1, 3) defending her belt for the first time and taking on once beaten Filipino challenger Jessebelle Pagaduan (7-1, 4). On paper this looks an even bout with the fighters having identical experience, in terms of fights, and a similar record in terms of wins and losses.
As for the other bout it's a bit more one sided on paper as the WBO Atomweight champion Nao Ikeyama (15-3-1, 4) battles Norj Guro (7-3-1, 4) in what will be Ikeyama's 2nd defence of the title. Ikeyama's experience is likely to be a big difference maker here however at 45 years old there is the chance that father time may bring her reign to a premature ending.
Japanese veteran Ikeyama looks to continue her reign at 45 as she battles Filipino under-dog [preview]
Kumiko Seeser Ikehara battles Jessebelle Pagaduan in first WBO title defence [preview]
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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