Earlier today former IBF Atomweight champion Saemi Hanagata (16-7-5, 7) [田中冴美] took part in her retirement ceremony, as part of Victoriva 8.
The former world champion, who is now 37, spoke about her future, and also had her former promoter, Susumu Hanagata, talk about thee now retired fighter.
Susumu Hanagata, who isn't related to Saemi but gave his former student the "Hanagata" name, stated that before boxing the fighter was a person who gave up at the sight of a challenge. However thanks to boxing become stronger and developed into a world champion, bouncing back from various set backs along the way.
The fighter herself is now looking to become an elementary school teacher, and is expected to begin teaching next year. She stated that from now on, she was to become a teach and help make children smile.
We would lie to wish Hanagata all the best in her post-boxing life, and career.
Earlier today news from Japan broke confirming that Saemi Hanagata (16-7-5, 7) [田中冴美] had officially vacated the IBF Atomweight title and was retiring from boxing, confirming what she had previously stated.
Hanagata was last seen in action defending her title against Eri Matsuda (4-0-1, 1) [松田恵里] back in March and had stated going in that that was going to be her last boyt regardless of the outcome, though hadn't officially handed in her retirement notice, or stated her intention to the IBF.
It appears the reason she hadn't done either of those things is that she was waiting for April 10th, the birthday of her husband.
Hanagata got married last November to a Japanese boxing judge and it seems very much like it was an active decision for Hanagata to delay her announcement to her husband's birthday, seemingly as a gift to her partner.
Previously Hanagata stated that she's going to become a teacher and wanted to start a family. With that in mind we want to wish her all the best in her post boxing life, and hopefully she does still make som appearances in boxing venues, something that seems likely given her husband's role in the sport.
Tomorrow at Korakuen Hall fight fans will get the chance to see IBF Atomweight champion Saemi Hanagata (16-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] defending her title against the skilled Eri Matsuda (4-0, 1) [松田恵里], in a bout which will later be be made available on Boxing Raise for subscribers to their service.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two fighters took part in their weigh in, and both fighters came in comfortable under at 102lb Atomweight limit.
On the scales the defending champion, seeking her second defense, was around 101.2lbs whilst Matsuda, in her first world title fight, was 101.4lbs
After making weight the two fighters spoke to some of the media, and there was some really interesting comments given to the media. Including Hanagata's revelation that tomorrow's fight will be her last. Win or lose, she's going to retire from the sport. She explained that "This is the last time, so I enjoyed adjusting without feeling strange pressure. Weight loss is always difficult, but this time it fell to the limit a week ago. I ate again this morning and headed to the weighing venue." She also added that she is studying to become a teacher and wants to have a child.
Matsuda on the other hand explain that this bout was going to be the beginning for her, and it seemed like she was really respectful of Hanagata's career. She explained she had with Hanagata and that Hanagata has taught her a lot. Despite the respect it seemed clear she was confident of victory, and taking the proverbial mantle, along with the physical title.
Related - IBF Queen Hanagata takes on unbeaten challenger Matsuda
(Image credit - Hanagata Gym)
The usually brilliant Boxing Raise has had a notable downturn this year, with no new shows at all in February and until today they also had nothing official on their schedule for March.
Thankfully that changed today when they revealed their schedule for the month, and it's a mix bag.
Firstly it appears they won't have any live streams this month, which is a massive shame and a real negative for the service. Second they only have 3 shows the entire month. Thankfully however they are all good shows, and the first of those is already available for fans.
The first of those shows, the one now online, was Green Dream Vol 14, headlined by a Japanese Super Bantamweight youth title fight between Satoru Hoshiba [干場悟] and Tom Mizokoshi [溝越 斗夢]. This was a genuine great fight and for those with the service this is well worth watching.
The second show will be Victoriva 6, which takes place on March 18th. This card will be headlined by the much anticipated IBF Atomweight title bout, pitting champion Saemi Hanagata (16-7-4, 7) [田中冴美] against the skilled Eri Matsuda (4-0, 1) [松田恵里] and will also feature the long awaited debut of Narumi Yukawa (0-0) [湯川成美].
The final show on the service this month will be Slugfest 18 from Kadoebi Gym. This will be headlined by a contest between Seiya Tsutsumi (5-0-2, 4) [堤聖也] and Tulio Kuwabata (3-1-1, 2) [桑畑凜生] and will feature a genuine who's who of the Kadoebi Gym, including Yuichiro Kasuya (13-3-2, 4) [粕谷 雄一郎], Takuya Kogawa (30-5-1, 13) [粉川拓也], Yoji Saito (2-1-2, 2) [齊藤陽ニ] and Jukiya Iimura (1-0, 1) [飯村 樹輝弥].
For subscribers it's a decent line up, though it's a huge shame that nothing is being shown live.
Outside of Boxing Raise Japanese fan will have plenty to watch over the remained of the month with the Splendid Boxing show on March 21st being shown live on YouTube via Sakana and Seki Chan, with a live feed here, the March 25th Dynamic Glove card will be live on premium Japanese TV channel G+ and the March 28th "Real Spirits 71" from Shinsei Gym being shown live on YouTube channel BOXING REAL.
(Image credit - Boxing Raise)
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.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!