Earlier this week news from Japan broke announcing that former world title challenger Masae Akitaya (13-6-2, 4) [秋田屋まさえ] had retired from the sport, with the Futur Jim making the official announcement on October 5th.
The fighter, who last fought in August 2018, spoke to Boxmob.jp following the announcement and stated that "I met a lot of people through boxing. It was a really irreplaceable boxing life."
Akitaya revealed that she has been suffering from severe issues with her eyes. She has poor eyesight now a days, and has suffered cataracts in both eyes due to trauma from her career. She explained "I had traumatic cataracts due to the accumulation of damage in games and sparring. I decided to make a decision considering my future life,"
During her her call with Boxmob she explained that she began boxing because she wanted to be active, and has been fighting for almost 20 years, but she was absorbed by the sport and that the time has flown by. Her most memorable bout was her 2016 clash with Momoko Kanda, who she's close friends with and has had dinner with.
As for what's next, that's unclear, though Akitaya's family do run the Akitaya Ryokan, which was set up by her grandparents and she may end up in the family business, which is run by her cousins.
Earlier this week it was revealed that former female world title challenger Masae Akitaya (13-6-2, 4) [秋田屋まさえ] had transferred the Futur Gym in Kyoto.
The 40 year old is a multi-time world title challenger who has had a bit of an Indian summer in recent years, winning her last 4 bouts, and is unbeaten since the start of 2016. Whilst she has lost all of her world title bouts, coming up short to Momo Koseki, Ayaka Miyao, Nao Ikeyama and Yuko Kuroki, she has managed to win an OPBF title and may well find herself getting one more big shot before her career ends.
The Futur gym is well known as one of the best gyms for female fighters and signing up Akitaya, even at this stage in her career, is a good signing to get given how they have managed to get fighters in the later stages in their career to have their greatest successes, particularly Nao Ikeyama.
Akitaya is quote on Boxmob as having said "Since I am a little time left in my boxing life, I will restart my emotions afresh and I will try my best not to have regrets", making it seem clear that she is willing to give this her all until her career comes to an end.
Earlier today Japanese fight fans had the chance to see and OPBF female Minimumweight title bout, as champion Masae Akitaya (12-6-2, 4) [秋田屋まさえ] took on fellow Japanese fighter Akari Arase (5-4, 1) [荒瀬あかり]. The bout, which had been slated by including ourselves, ended up being more competitive than the records of the two fighters would have suggested though ended in frustrating fashion due to a clash of heads.
The opening round was a good one for the defending champion however the challenger proved she wasn't there to make up the numbers and took the second round. The aggression of Arase seemed to make Akitaya step up and she took rounds 3 and 4 as she began to get a foot hold in the contest.
Up by 2 points on all 3 cards after 4 rounds the fight looked to be going Akitaya's way but then Arase managed to find her feet and seemed to do enough to take the round and begin to make Akitaya show some doubt.
Unfortunately in roudn 6 the two fighters clashed heads and Akitaya suffered a nasty looking cut over the right eye. That cut would pass the first doctor's inspection, but a second look at it forced the doctor to stop the fight. That saw us go to the score-cards which all favoured Akitaya, with scores 58-56, and 58-57, twice, to let her retain her title and record her first defense.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today saw the announcement that OPBF female Minimumweight champion Masae Akitaya (11-6-2, 4) [秋田屋まさえ] would make her first defense of the title on August 11th in Osaka.
The champion, who won the title back in March 2016 when she beat Momoko Kanada with a majority decision, will be up against fellow Japanese fighter Akari Arase (5-3, 1) [荒瀬あかり], who will be fighting in her first title fight.
The 39 year old champion, who has fought at world level before, is looking to continue her reign which has been a frustrating one impeded by a lack of viable opposition. It's not been an unwillingness to defend the title but a lack of suitable dance partners.
The challenger, aged 35, lost her first 2 bouts before rolling off 5 straight wins. She was beaten last time out, narrowly losing a split decision to Chie Higano, but is fully aware that this is a huge opportunity, and she may not get another one like this in the future.
So far the under-card for the bout hasn't been revealed, but it does seem unlikely to feature many bouts of note.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Ealier today fans in Osaka saw 38 year old Japanese veteran Masae Akitaya (11-6-2, 4) [秋田屋まさえ] score one of the quickest wins of her career so far, blowing away over-matched Thai Sornsawan Sarakarngym (0-3) in the third round of their bout.
Akitaya, the current OPBF female Atomweight champion seemed to over-whelm her Thai foe from the early stages,landing hard body shots that had the Thai in trouble in round two. In round 3 that assault continued with the Thai down twice before being stopped.
The win sees Akitaya scoring a second successive win after a horrible 1-4-1 run between 2012 and this past May, and whilst she's unlikely to get another world title fight she is building some success later in her career and certainly can't be written off having seen the success of Nao Ikeyama, who won a world title in her 40's.
Whilst this win was expected from Akitaya it's still good to see her refusing to end her career whilst she still has something to give the sport.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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