Earlier today the Green Tsuda gym held a notable press conference to talk about their potential female star of the future, and a former female world champion who announced their retirement.
The rising star was school girl fighter Fuka Komura (5-0, 2) [小村楓香], who was there to talk about her November 20th bout with fellow unbeaten Jun Yabuki (8-0,4) [矢吹純]. The bout, for the Japanese female Minimumweight title, will see a new champion being crowned, and will push the winner as one of the faces of female boxing in Japan.
The young Komura seemed confident at today's event, a long way from the young teenage who rose eye brows a few years ago when she debuted and seemed a bit of an emotional mess. She seems to have grown as a woman and a fighter and looked very much like a fighter looking to really announce her self to a wider audience. The bout with Yabuki isn't a career maker, but it's a major bout all the same, and will be a bout which will push her towards a potential world title fight.
As well Komura there was also an appearance from former WBC female Flyweight champion Shindo Go (16-4, 11) [真道ゴー], who now goes by the name Masaru Hashimoto. The former female fighter, who has under-gone gender realignment and is now a man, announced that they had retired from boxing, but didn't call a total end on their career, stating that he now has a dream of fighting as a man. The reality is that Go knows a win against a professional man whould be an achievement, and it seems like it's a dream that is seriously in play, but just not at the moment. He stated that they don't think they can beat a man, but he won't know without trying and want to go up against the challenge.
Although retired there is still hunger for the sport, whilst helping run a company whilst attempts to improves the lives of disabled children, and a comeback cannot be ruled out for the 30 year old.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
Last year we reported that former WBC female Flyweight champion Shindo Go (16-4, 11) [真道ゴー] was closing the door on her female boxing career to under-go sex realignment surgery to become a man. At the time the story caused a bit of a buzz, with Go suggesting she would try to fight with men after the surgery.
Following the news Go fought once, losing in a WBO female Bantamweight title fight to the brilliant Naoko Fujioka [藤岡 奈穂子], with Go having previously announced that that bout would be her last as a female.
Following the bout with Fujioka things went really quiet in regards to Go and her life. That was until earlier today when several Japanese sources reported that Go had indeed gone ahead with her gender realignment surgery, and was now living as a man. In fact not only is Go, now going under the name of Hiroshi Hashimoto, living as a man but has actually gotten married to long term partner Ayaka, after 7 years of being together.
Although Hashimoto hasn't officially announced their retirement from boxing, they are now expected to hand in a retirement notice to the JBC and begin a post boxing life whilst continuing to run a fitness gym.
Prior to having had realignment surgery Hashimoto had long battled with gender identity disorder and has openly thanked those who have respected the decision to have such drastic surgery.
We'd like to with Hashimoto and Ayaka a happy future together, and congratulate the happy couple on their marriage.
Tomorrow fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see two female world title bouts. One of those, by far the more notable, is at Bantamweight where the incredible Naoko Fujioka (14-1, 6) [藤岡 奈穂子] will be defending her WBO title against former WBC female Flyweight champion Shindo Go (16-3, 11) [真道ゴー], who will be under-going sexual realignment following the bout.
Today the weigh in for that bout took place and both fighters made the weight.
At the weigh in the champion, the shorter fighter, was the lighter coming in at just over 117.25lbs. Despite being light at weight Fujioka looked in good shape and it's clear she hasn't over-trained and is in fact fighting at a weight that feels natural.
Go on the other hand was closer to 117.75lbs, and appeared to tower over the champion at the weigh in. Despite being the bigger fighter Go also appeared to make weight with no issue at all.
For fans wanting to watch this one Sky A will air it in Japan in July, sadly no one appears to be airing the bout live.
Fujioka and Go clash in career defining contest!
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Last month we reported that Naoko Fujioka(14-1, 6) [藤岡 奈穂子] would be defending her WBO female Bantamweight title against former WBC female Flyweight champion Shindo Go (16-3, 11) [真道ゴー] on June 13th. Today it was revealed that that bout will now be aired in Japan with the bout now set to be shown on Sky A Sports +.
Sadly whilst it has been revealed that the channel will be airing the bout, and co-feature bout between WBO Atomweight champion Nao Ikeyama (17-3-1, 4) [池山直] and determined challenger Saemi Hanagata (12-6-2, 6) [花形 冴美], the broadcast hasn't yet got a set date or time and it seems clear that the bouts will be aired on tape delay.
Hopefully this will begin a resurgence on Sky A's coverage of boxing though it does seem likely to be a one-off, unfortunately.
Earlier today the Japanese papers broke a notable, though likely hugely over-looked in the West, story in regards to Japanese fighter Shindo Go (16-3, 11) [真道ゴー].
According to Go the up coming bout against WBO female Bantamweight champion Naoko Fujioka (14-1, 6) [藤岡 奈穂子], on June 13th, will be the fighter's final one as a woman. Following the bout Go will head to Thailand where the fighter will under-go sex realignment surgery to become a man, ending years personal issues with sexual identity.
Go's issues with sexual identity have been well reported in the Japanese press with the fighter being open about those problems in the past. In fact Go has said gender identity disorder has caused problems throughout their life, and really got a lot worse from the age of 20 when thoughts began to turn towards having this surgery.
From the reports Go will be getting their eggs frozen before under-going the surgery so that kids are a possibility in the future along with a life that Go feels comfortable living and forwarding a long term relationship.
Talking to the press Go, who will go by the name Shindo Hashimoto following the transition, said "人生はこれから。同じように悩む人に勇気を与えたい" ["Jinsei wa korekara. Onajiyōni nayamu hito ni yūki o ataetai"], a paraphrased translation of which says "I want to give courage to those who suffer the same in the future".
Given the plans to have surgery, by the end of the year, the bout with Fujioka is expected to be Go's final contest as a female boxer. The JBC have have stated they will consider an application to have Go fight as a man, but that they will need a doctor to assess the situation. Go stated that she would like to fight as a man at least once, though again it will depend on what the JBC, with doctors advice, rule.
Of course Go won't be the only combat sport related figure to under-go sexual realignment surgery, following in the footsteps of British promoter Kelly Maloney and cage fighter Fallon Fox, however Go's story has been a public one in Japan and the surgery, potentially whilst holding a female world title, is somewhat unique given that Go was still recognised as a top level fighter before deciding to transition.
We would like to wish Go the best, whether the surgery goes ahead as planned or not.
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