Back in the summer we saw the announcement that we would be getting a WBO female Minimumweight title bout between Japanese veteran Ayaka Miyao (23-8-2, 6) [宮尾 綾香] and unbeaten Vietnamese fighter Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen (4-0, 1). The bout was scheduled for September 27th, in Vietnam, and was, to our knowledge, set to be the first world title fight in Vietnam.
Sadly in September that bout was postponed indefinitely due to the on-going global situation, which has made international travel problematic, and made things very awkward for fighters that need to travel.
Now it appears the bout is completely on the back burner, with Watanabe Gym announcing that Miyao will instead take on Etsuko Tada (19-3-3, 6) [多田悦子] for the vacant WBO belt on December 3rd at Korakuen Hall.
The bout is actually a rematch of a contest the two women had earlier this year, when Miyao and Tada fought to a draw in a very good contest. A rematch here will be expected to be just as good as the first bout between the women.
Notably this announcement seemingly makes the December 3rd Watanabe show a triple title show. As well as the WBO female Minimumweight bout we'll also see a Japanese Minimumweight title bout between #1 ranked Masataka Taniguchi (12-3, 7) [谷口将隆] and the #3 ranked contender Hizuki Saso (12-6-2, 4) [佐宗 緋月], and a OPBF female Minimumweiht title bout between defending champion Sana Hazuki (8-4-1, 2) [葉月さな] and former Japanese national champion Mizuki Chimoto (2-0, 1) [千本瑞規]. With that in mind, we really do have a stacked card here!
Earlier this month we reported that there would be a Japanese Minimumweight title bout between #1 ranked Masataka Taniguchi (12-3, 7) [谷口将隆] and the #3 ranked contender Hizuki Saso (12-6-2, 4) [佐宗 緋月]. We also mentioned how that bout would be taking place on December 3rd at Korakuen Hall.
Today it was confirmed that that bout will be one of two of the show, with a supporting bout announced as being a female OPBF title bout at 105lbs between defending champion Sana Hazuki (8-4-1, 2) [葉月さな] and former Japanese national champion Mizuki Chimoto (2-0, 1) [千本瑞規].
For Hazuki, who won the belt in in November with a win over Eruka Hiromoto, this will be her first defense and at 36 years old who really can't afford a loss if she intends to remain in the title mix. As for Chimoto the bout is the next step forward after a very short reign as the Japanese national champion. She was a former amateur standout before turning professional and will, if she wins the OPBF title, likely be fast tracked to a world title fight.
Sadly no other bouts for this card have been confirmed yet, but with the show already being a title double header it's already worthy of some serious interest for those in Tokyo in early December.
Earlier today fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw a new Japanese female Minimumweight champion being crowned as former amateur stand out Mizuki Chimoto (2-0, 1) [千本瑞規] over-came Chie Higano (8-9-1, 2) [日向野知恵] to claim a 6th round majority technical decision, becoming a Japanese champion in just her second professional bout.
The talented Chimoto, uses her jab and footwork early on to try and neutralise the pressure of Higano, who looked to press the action from the opening moments. Higano's pressure came at a cost in round 2, when she was caught by several uppercuts that left her nose bloodied as the bout went on. Despite the damage Higano was taking their was no doubting her fire, and she had a strong round 3, pressing the action and getting shots off with Chimoto slowing down a touch.
Chimoto fought back well in rounds 4 and 5, though it did seem like Higano's experience and pressure was starting to take it's toll as we entered the 6th and final round.
Unfortunately a headclash early in round 6 saw us going to the scorecards after 33 seconds of the round. Those scorecards favoured Chimoto, with scores of 59-56, twice, and 57-57.
With her win today Chimoto seconds a Japanese national title record and draws level with the fewest fights for a Japanese fighter to win a title record, matching Eri Matsuda who won an OPBF title in her second bout.
Tomorrow fight fans at Korakuen Hall will see Japanese female Minimumweight champion Chie Higano (8-8-1, 2) [日向野知恵] looking to defend her title. In the opposite corner to the champion is touted former amateur stand out Mizuki Chimoto (1-0, 1) [千本瑞規], who looks to leave her stamp on the sport very early in her career.
Today the two ladies took part in their weigh in and both, thankfully made weight for the bout at 105lbs.
The champion was the lighter fighter, with Higano hitting the scales at around 104.5lbs and looking in great shape. The challenger, also in great shape, was slightly heavier at around 104.75lbs.
Higano spoke confidently and showed a real fire in her words, almost like a loss was unthinkable here against Chimoto. Chimoto on the other hand spoke more like a fighter who knew the tactics she was going to use, explaining that she had to be sharp and it seems like she's accept she will be fighting off the back foot against a typically aggressive Higano.
If Chimoto wins she will set a Japanese title record, fewest fights to a Japanese title, and tie Eri Matsuda's Japanese record of fewest fights to any title, which Matsuda set when she won the OPBF Atomweight title last year.
Related-Chimoto goes up against Higano in Japanese title fight!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On June 25th we'll see a pretty interesting Japan Vs Korea card, with 4 bouts pitting fighters from the two countries against each other. Whilst those are the main bouts there is a very interesting all Japanese bout set for the show, in what is actually the show's only title bout.
That title bout will see Japanese female Minimumweight champion Chie Higano (8-8-1, 2) [日向野知恵] defending her title against professional novice Mizuki Chimoto (1-0, 1) [千本瑞規].
For Higano this bout will be her first defense of the title, which she won back in February, by narrowly out pointing Yumi Narita over 6 round. As for Chimoto, a former amateur standout, the bout gives her a chance to become a champion in just her second bout.
A win would likely see Chimoto racing away to bigger and better fights very soon, but this is a genuine test for the Watanabe Gym hopeful.
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