Back in December we saw the announcement that IBF Atomweight champion Saemi Hanagata (16-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] would defend her title on February 26th against Eri Matsuda (4-0, 1) [松田恵里]. Sadly however there has now been a change to this bout.
Rather than taking place on February 26th, as originally planned, the bout will now take place on March 18th.
The rescheduling has been put down to changes caused by the recent State of Emergency in and around the Tokyo region.
The bout will be Hanagata's second defense of the IBF title that she won in September 2018, with a win over Yuki Kuroki, and will see her looking to build on her 2019 defense against Nao Ikeyama.
As for Matsuda this will be the first world title bout for the former Japanese and OPBF Atomweight champion, who has been out of the ring since defending the Japanese Atomweight title in September 2019 against Mong Blanc Miki.
Interestingly there are also reports that this will be Hanagata's final bout, though at the moment that is yet to be confirmed.
Earlier today it was announced that IBF Atomweight champion Saemi Hanagata (16-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] would be making her second defense on February 26th at the Korakuen Hall on a Dangan promoted event. In the opposite corner to the world champion will be former amateur Eri Matsuda (4-0, 1) [松田恵里], a former Japanese and OPBF champion
The aggressive Hanagata won the IBF title in September 2018, when she out pointed Yuko Kuroki for the previously vacant title, in what was their third bout together. That win came in Hanagata's 5th shot at a world title and is very much a career defining win for the protege of former WBA Flyweight champion Susumu Hanagata. She made her first defense almost a year later, when she took a split decision win over Nao Ikeyama, to end their trilogy of razor thin bouts.
Having been a professional since 2008 Hanagata has genuine faced a who's who of female boxing, with 3 bouts against Kuroki and 3 against Ikeyama, as well as bouts against Momo Koseki, Kumiko Seeser Ikehara and Naoko Shibata. Through her entire career she has proven to be rugged, aggressive, tough and a solid puncher.
Matsuda on the other hand turned professional in 2018 following a 33 fight amateur career. She was fast tracked like few others in the sport, winning an OPBF title in her second bout and unifying that with the Japanese title just 3 months later. She made a single defense of the Japanese title in 2019, stopping Mont Blanc Miki, but sadly hasn't fought since September 2019.
In the ring Matsuda is very much a textbook boxer, looking to get behind her jab, establish range and use her foot work. Although not a puncher she hits hard enough to get respect, and with against Sana Hazuki, Nanae Suzuki and Mont Blanc Miki have shown that she can cope with aggressive fighters.
Although yet to be confirmed, it seems likely this will be shown on Boxing Raise.
Tomorrow fight fans at Korakuen Hall will see the third bout between IBF Atomweight champion Saemi Hanagata (15-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] and Nao Ikeyama (18-5-4, 5) [森脇恵子], following draws in their previous 2 meetings.
Just a few moments ago the two fighters took part in their weigh in and both came in under the 102lb Atomweight limit.
On the scales the champion was bang on the limit, for what will be her first defense. This is her first bout since her thrilling title win last September, when she narrowly out pointed Yuko Kuroki in what was also a bout to end a 3 fight series, and she'll be hoping the long break from action will have helped her recharge the batteries. She confident of securing her first defense, and seemed like a woman who was desperately wanting to notch up a win over her veteran rival.
Ikeyama, who turns 50 in the near future, came in comfortably under the limit, weighing in at just under 101lbs. She seemed more motivated than confident though at 50 it's clear that she's not the fighter she once was. It's worth noting that in their 2 previous bouts Ikeyama had entered as the WBO Atomweight champion, though lost that title last year to Mika Iwakawa, and is win-less in her last 4.
Related - Hanagata and Ikeyama set to meet for third time, following two draws! [Preview]
Earlier this week we learned that the Victoriva Vol 5 main event would be the WBA Atomweight unification bout between "interim" champion Ayaka Miyao (23-7-1, 6) [宮尾 綾香] and WBA's regular champion Monseratt Alcaron (12-4-2). The bout was the second title bout announced for the September 12th show, following the IBF Atomweight title bout between Saemi Hanagata (15-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] and Nao Ikeyama (18-5-4, 5) [森脇恵子].
Today we saw a third bout being confirmed for the card, with the fast rising Eri Matsuda (3-0) [松田恵里] defending her Japanese title on the show against Mont Blanc Miki (4-2-1, 1) [田中美樹].
For Matsuda this will be her first defense of the Japanese title though strange it seems that Matsuda's OPBF Atomweight will not be on the line here.
The Victoriva cards do tend to be pretty stacked and with 3 title bouts, including 2 world title bouts, it's clear that this card is well worth some attention if you follow female boxing, especially given that there so much Atomweight talent on show for this card, with all 3 announced title bouts taking place at 102lbs. We may well see at least some of winners facing off in the near future.
Earlier today the main event of Victoriva 5 was announced and it's a match that was originally planned for last November before cancelled due to an injury of one of the fighters. Now, close to a year later, the fight will go ahead.
The match up question will see WBA "interim" Atomweight champion Ayaka Miyao (23-7-1, 6) [宮尾 綾香] take on the WBA's regular champion Monseratt Alcaron (12-4-2) in a bout to unify the title on September 12th at Korakuen Hall.
Originally the bout was set for last year, though Alcarron suffered an injury, forcing her out of the bout. She was replaced by Miyao's nemesis Nao Ikeyama [森脇恵子], in a bout for the interim title. Miyao would win the decision over Ikeyama, in what was the third bout between the two veterans and the first that Miyao had won.
Since winning the Interim title Miyao hasn't fought at all, likely waiting for Alcarron to be ready to face her. As for the Mexican she actually defended her title in April, with a decision win against fellow Mexican Nora Cardoza, in her only bout following her injury late last year.
The bout will be one of two Atomweight title fights on the show, joining the previously announced contest between IBF champion Saemi Hanagata (15-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] and Nao Ikeyama (18-5-4, 5) [森脇恵子], who will be fighting for the third time following 2 previous draws.
For those unaware the Victoriva shows are female only cards, and are a festival of female boxing, providing high level female fights, and showing that cards of female bouts can be wonderfully entertaining. Given the double main event here it should be clear the quality of these shows really is fantastic and we suspect the two title bouts will both be thrillers.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!