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)
The “Dangan” cards have been going on for years but today Japanese fans had a first as they got the chance to see inaugural “Dangan Ladies”. The card, which featured only female bouts, turned out to be a solid card by promoter “reason” and featured many of the top names in Japanese female boxing.
The two man bouts of the card were OPBF female title bouts.
One of those OPBF title bouts saw Saemi Hanagata (12-6-2, 6) [花形冴美] reclaim the OPBF Minimumweight title as she scored a 5th round TKO win over Mika Oda (6-8-1, 1) [小田美佳] and avenged an upset loss from 2014. Oda had beaten Hanagata in September 2014 for the title in an upset but had been inactive since that bout and that ring rust showed from the off with Hanagata setting the pace. After 4 rounds the bout was a shut out but Hanagata wasn't done and she continued to onslaught until Oda's team threw in the towel.
The other title fight was an OPBF Atomweight title fight that also saw the title change hands, and in many ways it has lead to a real feel good story. That's because 37 year old Masae Akitaya (10-6-2, 3) [秋田屋まさえ] finally claimed a belt, in what was her 6th title fight. The veteran narrowly over-came Momoko Kanda (9-9-2, 3) [神田桃子] with a razor thin majority decision. Sadly for Kanda this ends her reign that began back in June last year.
It wasn't just the title fights that had fighters of note involved in them. Another fighter of real note who was in action was Tenkai Tsunami (22-11, 11) [天海ツナミ] who made light work of the 35 year old Emika Himuro (5-2-1, 1) [氷室笑香]. Himuro retired from the bout citing and eye injury, but it did seem unlikely that she was going to last long with the world class Tsunami, who has one of the sports most misleading records.
Former multi-time world title challenger Kayoko Ebata (9-6, 5) [江畑佳代子] also recorded a win as she stopped Sornsawan Sarakarngym (0-2) in the 5th round. It now seems that the 40 year old Ebata wants another shot at a world title, and there's a good chance she'll get it.
One other bout of some note saw novice Ayumi Goto (2-0, 2) [後藤あゆみ] stop Asami Jinnari (3-2, 1) [神成麻美]. The bout may not look notable but Goto is tipped as one to watch and is a natural athlete who has come to boxing after having had a solid background in basketball. Here she looked very good for a novice and stopped Jinnari with a badly swollen eye. We'd not be surprised if she went on to become a top contender in the near future.
(Image courtesy boxingnews.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!