We reported earlier today that Golden Boy had announced that Japanese veteran Tenkai Tsunami (28-12-1, 16) [有馬真波] would be defending her WBO female Light Flyweight title against against the brilliant, exciting, and unbeaten Seniesa Estrada (20-0, 8) on July 9th. It's now been revealed, thanks to the excellent Carlos Toro, that Tsunami won't be the only Japanese female fighter on that show, as she will be joined by WBA female Flyweight champion Naoko Fujioka (18-2-1, 7) [藤岡 奈穂子].
As revealed in Carlos' tweet Fujioka will be up against American based Mexican fighter Sulem Urbina (12-1-0-1, 2) who gets her first world title fight.
The talented Fujioka, Japan's first ever 4 weight world champion, not Kazuto Ioka, and the only Japanese fighter to ever win world titles in 5 weight classes, has been one of the most important female boxing figures in Japan since making her debut back in 2009. Sadly however she hasn't fought since 2019, when she actually fought to a draw with Tsunami, and is now well into her 40's. Sure female fighters seem to age slower than their male counterparts, but she will turn 46 in August which is older for a fighter, male or female. Notably however an opportunity like this is somethign she has long waited for, and it will be her US debut. One final thing for her to tick offf the checklist for her career.
Urbina on the other hand is 30 years old, fit in two fights last year, including a loss in October to Marlen Esparza, and will be stepping up massive. She's not a bad fighter, but she would be a huge under-dog against a prime version of Fujioka. Saying that shee may well be getting the Japanese legend at the perfect time, and this could be a very, very good bit of match making from Golden Boy for Urbina.
Earlier today Golden Boy announced that Japanese veteran Tenkai Tsunami (28-12-1, 16) [有馬真波] would be defending her WBO female Light Flyweight title against WBA female Minimumweight champion Seniesa Estrada (20-0, 8), in what should be a thrilling match up.
The bout will be taking place on July 9th as part of a stacked card that will be headlined by Gilberto Ramirez taking on Sullivan Barrera and with a brilliant co-feature between Joseph "Jo Jo" Diaz and Javier Fortuna, for the WBC "interim" Lightweight title.
The 36 year old champion is a true veteran who has been a professional since 2005. Her 41 fight career has been thoroughly brilliant and has seen her involved in some absolute barn burners, such her 2019 bout with Naoko Fujioka.
Technically the champion is limited, she's slow, clumsy, and has flat feet, but is teak tough, has great work rate, and if a fighter stands their ground she will give anyone a tough fight. Sadly however we have seen her being out boxed by speedy fighters, and in 2015 she was almost shut out by Carolina Rodriguez in Chile, with Rodriguez usin her feet and speed to take an easy win over Tsunami.
Estrada on the other hand is one of the rising stars of female boxing. She's exciting, heavy handed, throws bombs, and is ultra-aggressive. Despite being aggressive "Super Bad" can box, and has under-rated boxing skills to go with her power shots and work rate. The 28 year old debuted in 2011 but has only really been able to get the big fights in the last few years, including big wins over Marlen Esparza and Anabel Ortiz, who she beat earlier this year in a career best performance.
Given the styles of the two women it's hard to see this as being anything but a barn burner and a potential female fight of the year contender.
Tomorrow in Sakai City we'll see WBO female Light Flyweight champion Tenkai Tsunami (27-12-1, 16) [有馬真波] defending her title against Shione Ogata (11-6-1, 3) [緒方汐音], in a really interesting match up between two fighters who like to let their punches fly.
Today, ahead of their bout, the two women took part in their weigh in, and both fighters made weight with no issues. In fact both fighters came in at 48.7KG's, which is 107.4lbs, comfortably under the 108lb limit.
Tsunami, sporting blonde hair for a change, sounded incredibly confident and seemed to determined to break down Ogata tomorrow. As for Ogata, who is taking a massive step up in class, she seemed to be surprised by how small Tsunami was, but stated that she felt an aura around her.
For Tsunami this will be her third defense of the title and a win here could open up doors to potentially much bigger fights on the road, as he career moves into it's final chapter. For Ogata this will be her first world title bout, though she had won 3 regional titles on her way to getting this shot, and she will be rightfully confident of continuing an impressive run of form.
For fans wanting to watch this live, it will be streamed for free on the Boxing Real YouTube channel.
Related - Ogata challenges WBO queen Tsunami
(Image credit - JBC)
Earlier today we had the announcement that WBO female Light Flyweight champion Tenkai Tsunami (27-12-1, 16) [有馬真波] would be returning to the ring on April 4th, to defend her title against fellow Japanese fighter Shione Ogata (11-6-1, 3) [緒方汐音].
Tsunami is a veteran at world level and has one of the most established careers of any female fighter in Japan. This bout will be her third defense since winning the title way back in 2018, when she stopped Chaoz Minowa. Since winning the title she has stopped her two challengers, Gretchen Abaniel and Jessebelle Pagaduan, and also attempted to claim the WBA female Flyweight title, fighting to a split decision draw in 2019 with Naoko Fujioka.
As for Ogata this will be her first world title fight, though she has previously won the WBA Asia female, WBO Asia Pacific female and OPBF female titles at Light Flyweight, and scored notable wins over Saemi Hanagata and Erika Hanawa.
Aside from the main event we'll also get a solid chief support bout between Daiki Tomita (15-2, 5) [冨田大樹] and Shota Asami (8-7, 4) [浅海勝太], who are both coming in to the bout with JBC rankings and should make for an exciting clash over 8 rounds.
For fans wanting to attend, this event will be in Sakai City and will take place early in the afternoon with ticket prices rankings from ¥10,000 to ¥30,000
Earlier today the annual Japanese boxing awards took place at the Tokyo Dome Hotel.
As previously reported unified Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] won the Best fighter award and the Best Fight at event, but was unable to attend due to illness. That however leaves the question "who else won awards?"
The Best Skill award was won by WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2, 14) [井岡一翔], who became the first Japanese male 4-weight champion in the summer, stopping Aston Palicte. He then defended the title at the end of the year against Jeyvier Cintron, putting in a very different type of performance against Puerto Rican challenger.
Like Inoue, Ioka also didn't attend the event.
The special award saw Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太] pick up the honours, after reclaiming the WBA Middleweight title and then defending it just before Christmas. He explained his next bout isn't yet decided, though reports are suggesting a May or June date is likely. Murata also picked up the KO award for the year.
The Effort award was won by Yuki Nagano (17-3, 13) [永野祐樹], who won the award for what he did in 2019 despite recently losing the Japanese Welterweight title.
The Newcomer award was win by Junto Nakatani (20-0, 15) [中谷 潤人], who is now reportedly set to fight for the WBO Flyweight title in Spring.
As previously mentioned Naoya Inoue won the best fight in a world title fight, for his sensational bout with Nonito Donaire in the WBSS final. As for none-world title bout, that award, unsurprisingly, went to the brilliant war between Yuki Beppu [別府優樹] and Ryota Yada [矢田良太] for the WBO Asia Pacific Welterweight title. For fans who haven't seen that one, we genuinely implore you to give a watch!
There was a double award for female fighter Tenkai Tsunami (27-12-1, 16) [天海 ツナミ] who not only took the women's MVP award, for the second year running, but also the women's fight of the year for her bout with Naoko Fujioka [藤岡 奈穂子].
The excellent player award, which is given to every Japanese fighter who holds a world title at some point during the year, saw Inoue, Ioka and Murata receive the honour along with:
Kosei Tanaka (15-0, 9) [田中恒成]
Kenshiro Teraji (17-0, 10) [寺地 拳四朗]
Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑]
Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人].
The trainer award was given to Mr Kato from the Misako gym, who has been responsible for training Kenjiro Teraji.
There was also a number of special awards given out. These went to:
Kohei Kono (33-12-1, 14) [河野 公平]
Ryoichi Taguchi (27-4-2, 12) [田口良一]
Tatsuya Fukuhara (21-7-6, 7) [福原 辰弥]
And Hitoshi Misako
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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