Earlier today we were informed that former WBO female Minimumweight world champion Mako Yamada (7-0, 2) [山田真子] was returning to the ring, as she heads back to kick boxing after years out of the sport.
Yamada is one of combat sports true enigma's. She was just 19 when she travelled to South Korea and beat the previously unbeaten Su Yun Hong to claim the WBO female Minimumweight title in 2014. The bout was an a big upset, as Hong was highly regarded and Yamada wasn't just a teenager but had really not score any wins of note up to this point, and was on the road.
After her big win it seemed like doors were set to open for the youngster but instead she pretty much vanished from combat sport as an active participant. She still did things in the background, but didn't actually fight herself.
Prior to boxing Yamada had been involved in other combat sports, such as kickboxing and karate, but had essentially put them on the back burner when she turned to pro-boxing in 2012. She turned that boxing career into a short success and although there's no recorded bouts on her record since her win over Hong she did, in 2018, take part in an exhibition with Tomomi Takano.
After the Takano exhibition she decided to return back to kickboxing and began training for her return, which will take place tomorrow on "K-1 KRUSH FIGHT.107" against 17 year old debutant Takahashi Moe.
Whilst it is, on paper, an easy bout for Yamada's return, coming against a debutant, this is still an interesting bout and a good way for Yamada to return to the sport ahead of bigger and better challenges in the future.
Every so often we get a weird story of an exhibition bout or something similar that just looks off. Things like things like the 2015 fight between Eagle Den Junlaphan and Era Toshihiko, or the "rematch" between Koki Kameda [亀田 興毅] and Pongsaklek Wonjongkam [พงษ์ศักดิ์เล็ก วันจงคำ].
The latest of these weird match ups is a "semi professional" bout between former WBO female Minimumweight world champion Mako Yamada (7-0, 2) [山田真子] and former 2-time world title challenger Tomomi Takano (11-4, 8) [高野 人母美] .
The bout will take place on November 18th and will be a 3 round bout, with rounds of 2 minutes, at an agreed weight of 53.5KG's. It's also worth noting that the bout will not be listed on boxrec due to ti's "semi professional" status, similar to that of a white collar bout in the UK.
For fans interested in attending the contest will be part of a deep show with around 20 other bouts takings place at the Kokura Kita Gym in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka.
For more details on the bout and the show in general the official website of the promoter can be found here https://knuckles-fight.com/
We have just been informed that WBO female Minimumweight champion Mako Yamada (7-0, 2) has retired from professional boxing in a move that has genuinely shocked us.
Yamada made history this year when she travelled to South Korea and beat Su Yun Hong for the WBO title becoming the youngest female Japanese champion, the first WBO female champion from Japan and the first Japanese female to win a world title in South Korea. It seemed, aged 19, that she was set for a huge future in the sport though with this retirement it looks like her plans have changed drastically and she has walked away from the sport without even making a defence of her world title.
From what we understand Yamada indicated her retirement back in May to the JBC. It was the JBC who made the announcement known earlier today though no reason has yet been given for the surprising move. In fact the only thing we know is that no injury caused the retirement.
We hope to get more details on this shock announcement soon though from we understand the details will never be fully released and instead Yamada will become one of the greatest "what if?" in boxing history.
(Image courtesy of Boxrec.com)
Earlier today the WBO announced the officials for this weekend's WBO female Minimumweight title fight between Su-Yun Hong and Mako Yamada.
The referee will be Filipino Danrex Tapdasan, who was last in the ring on February 1st. He was also the referee in Hong's most recent bout against Mari Ando last August.
The judges will be Joong-Suk Kwon, from South Korea, Katsuhiko Nakamure, from Japan, and Salven Lagumbay, from Philippines. Meaning each fighter is given one judge from their homeland whilst the third judge is neutral.
The WBO supervisor for the bout will be Thai based, American born Filipino Leon Panoncillo, who also supervised on the Hong/Ando fight last August.
This past week or so has been an interesting one for unbeaten teenager Mako Yamada (6-0, 2) who has been busy preparing for her upcoming fight WBO Minimumweight title fight with unbeaten Su Yung Hong (9-0, 5).
The 19 year old Yamada, widely regarded as one of the best young female fighters on the planet, has been sparring with WBC Atomweight champion Momo Koseki (17-2-1, 4) and as a result has been getting arguably the best sparring she could in and around her weight.
Koseki, who has held the WBC Atomweight title since 2008, is similar to Hong in several ways. Firstly they are both around the same height with Hong standing at 5'3" whilst Koseki is 5'4" and secondly both are southpaws. Stylistically they are different, of course, though those 2 features of Koseki are likely why Yamada has picked her as a sparring partner.
Yamada, who knows she'll be in for the toughest test of her career when she takes on Hong, will know that this level of sparring is invaluable to help her cope with the skills of the champion. Unfortunately however no level of sparring can prepare you for needing to travel to a champions backyard which is exactly what she'll be doing when she meets Hong in February. If she can perform well with the crowd against her, then Yamada could well announce herself on the world stage as a major force in and around the Minimumweight division.
Hong, who has been the WBO world champion since June 2012, will be seeking the 3rd defense of her title when she meets Yamada in Chuncheon.
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