Earlier today boxing fans at Korakuen Hall had the chance to see a new Japanese female Bantamweight champion being as 35 year old Makoto Kikuchi (2-1, 1) [菊池真琴] took a decision over Marina Sayama (4-4-1, 2) [佐山万里菜] to claim the previously vacant title.
Kikuchi came out looking to set a high pace form the off and Sayama looked to respond, giving us an action packed fight from middle of round 2. Unfortunately for Sayama it seemed that Kikuchi was the more accurate puncher and that was shown on the scorecards when they were made public after 4 rounds, with two cards having her in the lead 39-37, with the third judge having the bout even.
Having established a lead after 4 rounds Kikuchi then built on that success, winning 3 of the last 4 rounds on two of the scorecards, with her straight left hand being a particularly good weapon as she used her reach well. Sayama never gave up, but she was unable to match the overall success of Kikuchi, who took the win with scores of 77-75, twice, and 78-74.
Also on the card was the return of former WBA Atomweight champion Yunoka Furukawa (9-3-2, 6) [古川夢乃歌], who was shocked in a notable upset by Michiko Abiru (4-6, 1) [阿比留通子]. Furukawa, who hadn't fought in almost 5 years, looked rusty and slow through the bout, and it was also clear she wasn't a natural Flyweight, with her power not having the effect here that we'd seen it have down at 102lbs. Instead it was the skills, and determination of Abiru that stood out as she took a career defining majority decision win over the former world champion.
Last year we saw Yunoka Furukawa (9-1-2, 6) [古川 夢乃歌] claim her first title, the WBA Atomweight title, and move in to the realm of being a world champion. Yesterday it was announced that she would get the chance to become a 2-weight champion in October, with the announcement of next bout.
That bout will see the Watanabe gym fight travel to Argentina to take on IBF Flyweight champion Leonela Paola Yudica (12-0-3), who will be making her 5th defense of the title.
For Furukawa the bout is a huge one, full of firsts, but it's also an exciting challenge and a chance for her to fight at possibly her most natural weight, getting the chance to really fill out her frame rather than drain down. The bout will see moving from 102lb all the way uip to 112lbs, where she actually won the OPBF crown at the start of 2016. It won't be her first bout outside of Japan, but it does mark her first bout outside of Asia, with the Japanese puncher having fought twice in Thailand.
For Yudica, who is a talented by light punching fighter, the bout will see her looking to continue her solid run as champion, which began back in December 2014 when she beat Gabriela Bouvier. Her lack of power could prove to be an issue here, but she will have home advantage. She is said to be a battler and whilst she lacks power her opponents certainly know they've been in a fight with her, with head clashes being a regular thing in her bouts.
The bout will take place on October 14th with the venue for the contest yet to be announced though it does seem likely that TV Publica will carry the bout in Argentina, as they have broadcast many of Yudica's recent contests and will almost certainly look to continue that for this battle of champions.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Furkawa and Iwakawa make weight!
Tomorrow Japanese fans in Tokyo will get the chance to see WBA Atomweight champion Yunoka Furukawa (8-1-2, 6) [古川 夢乃歌] defending her titleagainst OPBF female Light Flyweight champion Mika Iwakawa (6-4-1, 2) [岩川 美花]. Today the two women weighed in for the bout, with both making weight for the contest.
On the scales the champion, who was dwarfed by the challenger, was well under the limit, clearing the weight and coming in around 101¼lbs, well underthe 102lb limit. Despite being the shorter fighter the champion looked full of confidence and seems to be full of self belief with her power likely to be the key.
The challenger was slightly heavier coming in at 101½lbs for the bout, well under the weight. Although the heavier fighter the key thing that was clear was her huge height advantage with the challenger boasting a 4cm height advantage, a massive amount at the lowest weight in professional boxing.
For fans wanting to watch the bout it will be aired on delay as part of the Boxingraise service, and will likely be added to the On Demand service on Wednesday.
Furukawa seeks first defence as she takes on battle hardened Iwakawa
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Japanese promotional outfit Watanabe announced a key December show that will feature two world title bouts and one of the most exciting female prospects on the planet.
The main event of the show will see WBA Atomweight champion Yunoka Furukawa (8-1-2, 6) [古川 夢乃歌] defending her title for the first time, as she takes on OPBF female Light Flyweight champion Mika Iwakawa (6-4-1, 2) [岩川 美花]. The 22 year old Furukawa claimed the title back in August when she stopped Satomi Nishimura in 3 rounds and will be looking to score an 8th straight win here. For Iwakawa the bout will see looking to build on her OPBF title win, also in August, but she will be seen as the big under-dog here.
The co-feature will see Furukawa's stablemate, and former WBA Atomweight champion, Ayaka Miyao (21-6-1, 5) [宮尾 綾香] battle reigning WBO Atomweight champion Nao Ikeyama (17-3-2, 4) [池山 直]. For Miyao it's a chance to become a 2-time world champion and become one of the few fighters to claim multiple Atomweight champions whilst Ikeyama will seek to extend her reign and record her 5th defense, whilst further extending her record as the oldest world champion.
On the under-card we'll see the fast rising Chaoz Minowa (2-0, 2) [チャオズ箕輪] battle Filipino Carleans Rivas (5-3-3) for the OPBF female Flyweight title, with Minowa looking to move into world title bouts next year!
For those interested this card will be held at the Korakuen Hall on December 13th and will be on a title "Dangan Ladies III", promoted by reason promotions.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Takeshi Hamano, the mayor of the Shinagawa Ward, had a special visitor form two of Japan's reigning world champion, as the Watanabe gym continued their association with the local wards in Tokyo.
The world champions in question were WBA Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi (25-2-1, 11) [田口良一] and WBA Atomweight champion Yunoka Furukawa (8-1-2, 6) [古川 夢乃歌].
For Taguchi these type of visits have become a regular thing since winning his title at the end of 2014 whilst Furukawa was taking part in her first, and both proud of not only their championship status but also the honour of meeting their mayor and being part of a special event.
Although not yet announced it's widely accepted that Taguchi will be defending his title on December 31, a date that would mark the 2nd anniversary of his title win. Furukawa may also be included on that show if Watanabe are wanting to make it a triple world title show, with a rematch between Takashi Uchiyama (24-1-1, 20) [内山 高志] and WBA Super Featherweight "super" champion Jezreel Corrales (20-1-0-1, 8) also pencilled in for that date.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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