This coming Saturday fans in Osaka will get the chance to see OPBF female Minimumweight champion Mizuki Chimoto (4-0, 1) faces limited Korean challenger Hye Soo Park (6-8-3, 1). On paper this is a mismatch for the fast rising Chimoto, who will be looking to secure herself a world title fight in the near future, however the bout is also a chance for her to get some valuable rounds under her belt before a potential shot at world honours next year.
Aged 28 Chimoto is proving to be one of the top young talents in female boxing, though that's hard a surprise given she was a very, very well regarded amateur. In the unpaid ranks she came runner up in the 2015 All Japan Championships, came 3rd the following year and was part of the 2011 World Jr Youth National team for Japan. That amateur background has given her a great footing for her professional career, which began in 2018. Sadly for Chimoto her career, like that of many others, was slowed drastically by Covid19, and she ended up sitting on the sidelines for almost 2 years. On her return to the ring in summer 2021 she shocked Yuko Kuroki, out-pointing Kuroki over 8 rounds to claim the OPBF Minimumweight title, which she defended back in May, with a win over Kaori Nagai.
In the ring Chimoto is a talented outside fighter, who likes to create distance, keep some range between herself and her opponents then have raiding 2-handed attacks. She lacks power, and isn't the most accurate, but she's calm, relaxed, composed and makes opponents miss, a lot. She is certainly a talented fighter, but does lack the physical side to her game that we think is something her team will look to develop. Although quick and relatively sharp, she also has solid balance, and always looks like he feet are well set for anything. Sadly she is lacking polishing, but that's expected for someone who has had so few fights and such little activity since turning professional.
Park on the other hand is a 34 year old who really struggled when she turned professional. She debuted in 2009 and lost her first 4 bouts, and 6 of her first 7. Since then she has done well to turn things around, relatively speaking, but her 4-2-3 run since that early start hasn't exactly set the world alive. She has drawn with limited novices, such as Jinyan Gao and Min Jung Kim, and her wins have come against some very, very weak opposition. Her losses on the other hand have mostly come to novices, though she did face opposition last time she fought in Japan, losing a decision to Tamao Ozawa in 2019.
Sadly footage of Park isn't too widely available, though from what is out there she is a very negative fighter, who creates space not so much to box at range but more to stay safe and not risk getting his clean. Her offense is incredibly limited, with her really lacking any crispness in her shots at all. She's crude, her balance is poor and she doesn't look confident in the ring. She actually looks somewhat scared at times and this is a big problem when a fighter feasts on F grade opposition, as when they step up to face a C or B level fighter they don't really know what to do.
Sadly for Park we really don't see her having anything to test Chimoto with. Chimoto is a talent, but she needs rounds, and she needs time in the ring and we expect her to get that here. Her style isn't the best, but experience could help her work on that and that's what expect this bout to do. Get her some rounds, get her some ring time, and get her an easy defense against a limit, but stubborn and awkward opponent, who will struggle to take a round from Chimoto.
Prediction - UD8 Chimoto
Earlier this year we saw Costa Rican fighter Yokasta Valle (25-2, 9), the IBF Atomweight champion, score her most widely seen win to date, scoring a very clear and decisive win over Lorraine Villalobos on DAZN. That win saw her impress everyone, and put her hat in the mix to be consider a top 10 pound for pound female fighter, with the performance showcasing her speed, skills, movement and the natural fluidity she has to her in ring style. This coming Thursday we'll see her return to the ring to defend her title in a unification bout against WBO champion Thi Thu Nhi Nguyen (5-0, 1), from Vietnam.
Valle really is a sensationally talented fighter who appears to be able to do it all. She might not be the explosive puncher that Seniesa Estrada, but she certainly hits harder than her record suggests and is such a clean, accurate puncher and is a smooth, natural boxer, with an excellent style. Whilst she does have two losses on her record, it is worth noting that she's gone on an excellent run since them. They occurred in late 2017, to Naoko Fujioka, and mid 2018, to Tina Rupprecht, both in her opponents back yard. In both of those fights she made a great account of herself, and showed there was a real talent there, which has been nurtured really well as she's become the face of Costa Rican boxing.
As for Nguyen , the Vietnamese fighter is the first ever world champion from Vietnam, but also someone who has had more than her fair share of good luck. In just 5 fights she has raced to a world title, but her rise has included questionable wins over the very limited Kanyarat Yoohanngo and the talented Etsuko Tada, who she beat for the WBO world title last October. In both of those bouts, which took place away from Vietnam, she was afford some very nice judging. In the ring she's certainly not bad, but nothing about her screams word class. Instead she's been fortunate, with Cocky Buffalo protecting her some what. She's fast, and she's skilled, and gutsy, but lacks power and lacks that know how and experience needed to legitimately compete at the highest level.
Coming in to this we expect to see Nguyen not having favourable judges in her corner, for once, and that will be a major issue against someone as versatile, rounded, and consistent as Valle. Valle will likely take a round or two to see what Nguyen really has to offer and is bringing to the table. She will respect her, as a fellow world champion, but after a few short rounds Valle will have scouted her foe, and begin to find her own range, timing and rhythm, and begin to land at will. Nguyen is quick, and she used that speed well against Tada at times, but Valle is not a late 30's fighter with slow feet. Instead she's a quick, sharp, well school fighter who will close the ring and find her range and do what she wants with the Vietnamese fighter.
Prediction - UD10 Valle
Here we preview the key female title bouts involving an Asian fighter.