A real female superfight takes place this coming Saturday in Mexico as Japan's Etsuko Tada (13-1-2, 3) attempts to avenge her sole defeat and reclaim the WBA female Minimumweight title in her rematch with Mexico's talented Anabel Ortiz (15-3, 3). The bout, which comes a little over 15 months after their first clash, will be Tada's first in Mexico and will give her a huge opportunity to reclaim the position as the best female fighter at 105lbs on the planet.
When the two fighters first met, in later July 2013, it was in Japan and Ortiz claimed a very narrow split decision win. It was the type of bout that could have gone either way though judges from Mexico and Panama gave the bout to Ortiz with scores of 96-94, which over-ruled the Japanese judge who had it 97-93 to Tada. It was one of those bouts that was competitive enough to have come to either of those scores though it did seem like Tada would have been the more deserving winner.
For Tada the loss was a painful one and ended her championship reign that had began more than 4 years earlier when she had defeated the then unbeaten Cho-Rong Son. That 4 year reign had included 9 defenses of the title prior to the loss to Ortiz and had seen Tada fight to draws in unification bouts with then WBC champion Naomi Togashi and then WIBA champion Ria Ramnarine, as well scoring wins over Ibeth Zamora Silva, Naoko Shibata and Yuko Kuroki, all of whom currently hold world titles themselves.
Sadly for Tada she is now 33 and her 11 world title bouts have seen her take part in a staggering 110 world title rounds with many of those rounds being tough ones, despite her skill and very sharp southpaw jab. In comparison to compatriot Naoko Fujioka, aged 39, Tada is a relative baby however Fujioka, who fights Susi Kentikian in the other female super fight of the night, has got the power to make her life easier. Tada's lack of power has sadly seen her recording just a single stoppage in the last 6 years and that has seen her number of rounds climb as she's been forced to go the distance time and time again.
At her best Tada is talented boxer who can fight when she needs to or rely on her height and reach to get her southpaw jab in to play. There flaws, obviously her power, but she can do a bit of everything other than bang opponents out and, with this fight being in Mexico, we may see her putting more meat onto her shots to try and convince the judges that she deserves the win this time around.
As for Ortiz she's another fighter who has been in with a who's who of female boxing. In her 18 fight career she has shared the ring with Ibeth Zamora Silva, Carina Moreno, Naoko Fujioka, Yesica Yolanda Bopp and of course Tada. The only fighter to have stopped her is the previously mentioned Fujioka whilst Bopp took a dominant 10 round decision against her, other than those two losses, to two of the best out there, she has proven her ability as a fighter.
Wins over Moreno, in 2009 for the WBC Minimumweight title, and Tada, in 2013 for the WBA title, have seen Ortiz become a 2-time world champion. Since beginning her second reign she has gone 3-0 (1) and defended her title twice, though a joke defence against Hye-Soo Park, on the under-card of Koki Kameda's bout with Jung-Oh Son, really was scraping the barrel for what should be considered a defense.
Stood at 5'0” Ortiz is a diminutive fighter, even in the Minimumweight division, though makes up for it in heart, desire and determination. She's scrappy and hard working, and refuses to accept defeat. In fact in her loss to Fujioka she was down 3 times before finally being retired at the end of round 8 needing a KO with no chance of getting it. Whilst stylistically different from Tada she too lacks the power that's sometimes needed to gain the opponents respect but she has the fire that often makes up for her relatively feather fists.
Due to the fact this is a rematch and it's in Ortiz's native Mexico we are expecting a somewhat fiery encounter with Tada knowing she'll really need to make it clear she's winning rounds whilst perhaps being forced out of her usual style of fighting. We still suspect to see the Japanese fighter using her sharp jab but we imagine she'll have to follow it through more with flurries and whipping in more straight lefts. Sadly we're unsure she can convince the judges that she deserves the decision in her opponents back yard. In her only previous fight outside of Japan Tada was held to a very unfair draw and we wouldn't be surprised if Ortiz took a debatable win here, like she did in their first meeting.
(Image courtesy of notifight.com)
Here we preview the key female title bouts involving an Asian fighter.