Whilst many boxing fans will be turning their attention to the FujisanMesse to watch Ryuji Hara's OPBF Minimumweight bout with Donny Mabao their is also an OPBF female title bout in the IMP Hall in Osaka. This bout, an over looked one for the OPBF Super Flyweight title, will see the once beaten Tomoko Kawanishi (8-1, 4) fighting against Thailand's Jubjang Lookmakarmwan (3-6).
Kawanishi is the defending champion and will be making the second defense of her title having won it last year by stopping
Although relatively unknown by boxing fans at large Kawanishi is a talented and brave fighter who has already shared the ring with some very credible fighters, including Riyo Togo, the only woman to have beaten her, and the then unbeaten Tamao Ozawa who was stopped inside a round.
With very credible power, good skills and real determination Kawanishi is going to be hard to beat and in fact only Naoko Fujioka would be clearly favoured over her in regards to Asian fighters in and and around the 115lb division.
In Jubjang we have a fighter whose hopes really can be written off before the first bell. The 25 year old Thai has lost her last 6 bouts and is currently without a win since August 2008. This would suggest that Jubjang isn't really suitable for an OPBF title fight, especially not with someone as talented as Kawanishi.
Although we're sure the Thai will put up a good fight we can't help but view this as an easy "gimme" defense for the Japanese fighter who is likely to move into world class in the next year or two.
When we talk about misleading records in boxing we, as a site, tend to look at the Filipino's who are thrown in hard early in their careers. The same too could be said about Mexicans who can often be thrown in deep whilst only teenagers and although some top Mexicans have a lot of losses they do tend to use those early career defeats as a building block towards their future.
One such Mexican is Ibeth Zamora Silva (19-5, 8) who has a record befitting of a fringe contender on paper though in reality she is one of the truly elite Light Flyweights and a very deserving WBC champion at 108lbs.
The reason Zamora Silva has such an mediocre looking record is because she has fought everyone of note in and around her division. Going through her 24 fight record resembles going through a who's who of who and features fighters such as Esmeralda Moreno, Jessica Chavez, Anabel Ortiz, Yesiva Yolanda Bopp, Etsuko Tada, Irma Garcia, Naoko Shibata and Ava Knight.
The fact Zamora Silva has lost just 5 times is a testament to her skill and not many fighters would have managed to beat half the fighters she has beaten as she's grown in to one of the best fighters in her division.
This coming Saturday sees Thailand's Hongfah Tor Buamas (17-5, 2) attempting to dethrone the Mexican great and claim one of the biggest upsets of the year.
Unfortunate for Hongfah she has the deck well and truly stacked against her. Firstly she will have to go over to Mexico for the fight, a country she has fought in once, losing to Ava Knight via 10th round TKO, secondly she lacks power and thirdly she really does have the track record of proven skills needed to defeat a fighter like Zamora Silver.
Aged 20 Hongfah is already a ring veteran with 22 fights to her name though unfortunately she has been unable to really score a notable victory. She has mixed in good company fighting not just Ava Knight but also Kanittha Kokietgym though both have beaten Hongfah who has been shown to be shy of world level though she is very good as a domestic fighter.
Against a fighter like Zamora Silva you need to be genuine world class, strong, tough and with either lights out power or an amazing work rate. Whilst Hongfah is tough she lacks the skill, power and energy to stand any chance of a victory here sadly. We imagine she'll be game through out though never really capable of putting a dent in the very talented Mexican youngster.
(Photo courtesy of boxrec.com)
Professional records rarely tell us the the whole deal about a fighters experience in the ring. A great example of is that Saensak Muangsurin, who took just 3 fights win win a world or Vasyl Lomachenko who came amazingly close to winning a world title in just his second professional bout.
The reason that some elite fighters don't need numerous professional fights before stepping up in class is usually because they have a lot of experience in something similar to professional boxing. In Muangsurin's case if was Muay Thai whilst in Lomachenko's case it was his amateur amateur boxing career.
With that in mind you need to realise that Yoshikawa Nana (2-0), pictured, is no typical 2-0 fighter. She is, instead, a very accomplished amateur stand out who knows that time is against her and that she can't waste time with "developmental fights" to improve her skills. Instead she has had to fight in "live" fights early in her career and hope that she can rely on her amateur schooling to help her through the problematic patches of a fight.
Nana's record of 2-0 as a pro needs to be considered alongside her amateur record, which is a reported to have consisted of 77 fights including 55 victories and appearances at two world amateur championships. Nana may be a professional novice but she's a boxing veteran. Sadly though her amateur experience has come at a cost and she is now 35 years old with no more time to spend developing her skills. She has had 2 bouts and must now get on the fast track to success, or failure.
For Nana her next bout is a sink or swim contest as she moves up from fighting novices to fighting for the OPBF Light Flyweight title, albeit a title vacated by Naoko Shibata.
Nana, the OPBF #2, goes from fighting opponents no wins between them to taking on former world title challenger Krikanok Islandmuaythai (4-3-1, 2) who is, herself, ranked #3 by the OPBF.
Krikanok may not be that well known but she has mixed in great company, much better than that of Nana. After starting her career 4-0-1 she was unfortunate enough to be sent in to a match up she simply wasn't ready for against WBC Atomweight champion Momo Koseki. Koseki showed the gulf in skills and experience between herself and Krikanok by stopping the Thai in just 5 rounds. Since then Krikanok has lost back to back fights to Masae Akitaya and Kanittha Kokietgym. Admittedly though both of those women are world class, unfortunately though Krikanok that is 3 straight losses on her record.
Although more experienced than Nana with 8 bouts under her belt and the experience of a world title fight already under her belt Kirkanok won't be seen as the favourite. Instead it will be Nana, with her amateur background will be expected to win, a view we share with many out there.
Although Nana has a lack of world class power she does have very advanced skills for such a novice and it's those skills that we imagine will take her to the OPBF title. Hopefully, if she wins, she will continue with aggressive match ups and will manage to move on to a world title fight in the next year or two before she is physically on the slide. She has the skills to be a top fighter but father time is certainly against her.
(Picture courtesy of http://www.ynana.jp/)
Here we preview the key female title bouts involving an Asian fighter.