Yeterday we reported that a planned bout between Etsuko Tada (20-3-3, 7) [多田悦子], the WBO female Minimumweight champion, and Sana Hazuki (8-5-1, 2) [葉月さな] had to be cancelled at the 11th hour due to the WBO stepping in at the request of a Korean promoter. Today the two women took part in a spar at the EDION Arena Osaka, before Tada spoke about her future.
Tada explained that whilst she did only take part in a spar today, she did have fun, and it seemed clear that she wanted to keep the juices flowing before her next bout. We now know that that next bout is being arranged to take place in South Korea, in October, against Vietnamese fighter Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen (4-0, 1), who is the mandatory challenger for Tada and the WBO female Minimumweight title.
If she beats Nguyen, Tada revealed she wants to face Senseia Estrada in the future, with that bout potentially in her sights for 2022. As for Hazuki she revealed that she'd love to face Tada in a fight, rather than a spar, in the future.
Whilst the Tada Vs Hazuki bout was cancelled, the show went ahead with a different title fight. That was an OPBF female Light Flyweight title bout between Yumi Narita (6-4-3, 1) [成田 佑美] and Kaoru Iga (4-2-1) [伊賀 薫].
On paper it seemed like Iga would be the favourite on paper, though it was Narita who pretty much dominated the bout. She relied on her experience, jab, work rate and fighting spirit to take an early lead and never look back. Iga was landing good punches through out the contest, but Narita pressed the action, dictated the tempo and in the end ran out the clear winner as she claimed the title.
After 8 rounds the scores were 79-73 to Narita, twice, and 78-74.
For Narita this leaves her in a strange position. She's now the Japanese national champion at 105lbs and the OPBF champion at 108lbs. As for Iga this is going to be a real learning experience for her, and it will be interesting to see how she bounces back from such a wide loss.
Earlier today it was confirmed that Etsuko Tada (20-3-3, 7) [多田悦子] has had to cancel her next scheduled bout, which is set for tomorrow in Osaka due to the a mandatory obligation with the WBO, for whom she holds the female Minimumweight title.
Originally the plan had been for Tada to face Sana Hazuki (8-5-1, 2) [葉月さな], but that's had to be cancelled due with Tada having been ordered to defend her title instead. It was reported that the Korean promoter of the mandatory challenger had applied to the WBO to force an injunction, preventing Tada from fighting until she's made a mandatory defense of the title.
At the moment it's unclear when the supposed mandatory could take place, though it was known that Tada would have to defend against Vietnamese challenger Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen (4-0, 1), who was pencilled in to face Tada back in February before covid related travel restrictions prevented the bout from being staged.
It seems like that Nguyen, who is managed and promoted by a Korean, will be looking to make the most of her position, as the mandatory challenger, in the near future. It is worth noting however that she's been out of the ring since February 2020, and has seen a number of bouts fall through during the pandemic era, including the February 2021 bout with Tada and a 2020 date with Ayaka Miyao.
Due to tomorrow's bout being cancelled at short notice Tada and Hazuki will instead partake in a publci sparring session, rather than an 8 round non-title contest.
On Saturday night in Costa Rica we'll see Sana Hazuki (8-4-1, 2) [葉月さな] take on IBF Minimumweight champion Yokasta Valle (20-2, 9) in a mandatory title defense. For Hazuki this is a huge opportunity, and a massive chance for her to become a world champion, though she will enter the bout as a big under-dog against a very talented champion, looking to make her second defense.
On Friday the two fighters took part in their weigh in, and both fighters easily made the 105lb limit.
On the scales the champion, the shorter lady, was 104.7lbs, under the limit and easily so. She was however heavier than Hazuki, who was closer to 104.25lbs. Both fighters also looked in very, very good shape and condition.
Related - Hazuki takes on IBF champion Valle in Costa Rica!
(Image credit - YuKO Fitness Gym)
Earlier this month we reported that OPBF female Minimumweight champion Sana Hazuki (8-4-1, 2) [葉月さな] would be getting a shot at IBF champion Yokasta Valle (20-2, 9) in Costa Rica. We are now just a week away from that fight and we have some more details about the contest and a way for fans to watch it!
Hazuki left Japan at midnight on January 22nd, leaving from Haneda Airport. Prior to leaving she was working, in fact she worked the evening before she departed, though her work was unlikely to be an issue, as it was revealed she is a fitness instructor for the Just Fitness & Boxing Gym.
Although the arrangements for this bout appear to have been rushed, with the bout only having been planned late last year, Hazuki is expected to be in great condition. Part of that is that she had been pencilled in for a bout in December, which fell through. She didn't really get time to get out of shape, and given her day job keeping fit isn't going to be any sort of a problem.
According to comments made to BBM Sports the bout between Hazuki and Valle is not going to have fans. Hazuki mentioned how this was going to be an advantage, with no one cheering on the local favourite.
As for how to watch, the bout will be televised in Costa Rica on Teletica. From what's being reported in Japan the bout will be streamed live on the Teletica app and website. (Please note there is a possibility a VPN MAY be required, that is unclear at the moment).
Related - Hazuki takes on IBF champion Valle in Costa Rica!
Earlier today the YuKO Fitness Boxing Gym in Japan announced that OPBF female Minimumweight champion Sana Hazuki (8-4-1, 2) [葉月さな] will be getting a shock world title fight on January 29th in Costa Rica, as she takes on IBF champion Yokasta Valle (20-2, 9), in what appears to be a hastily put together bout.
Originally it seemed that Valle was going to be facing WBC champion Tina Rupprecht (10-0-1, 3) in an IBF/WBC unification bout, and a rematch of a 2018 clash won by Rupprecht, on January 16th though it's now being reported that that bout is off. It had a date shift recently to January 12th before being pushed to January 30th, and has now been cancelled all together.
The reasons for the changes seem to be unclear. Some news sites from Costa Rica have put it down to Covid19 and the issues that are affecting Germany whilst another website has stated that the IBF has ordered the fight, with the threat of stripping Valle for not facing her mandatory challenger.
Hazuki will enter the bout as the #1 ranked IBF contender and has won her last two bouts by split decision. Sadly however she was 2-4-1 in her previous 7 bouts. This will also be her first fight outside of Japan and she will be the very, very clear under-dog.
As for Valle this will be her second defense since beating Joana Pastrana in 2019 in Spain, and comes almost a year after her 2020 defense against over-matched Filipino challenger Carleans Rivas. Coming in to this she is currently riding an excellent 7 fight winning streak, though did lose last time she fought a Japanese fighter, losing to the brilliant Naoko Fujioka in 2017.
Sadly for Valle her bout with Rupprecht was supposed to see the IBF, WBC, IBO and Ring Magazine titles all being unified. To go from that to a mandatory defense will be a massive come down for the 28 year old Costa Rican, however she'll know she can't take her eyes off the ball here, of it could cost her that fight further down the line.
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