This coming Monday WBO female Super Flyweight champion Miyo Yoshida (15-2) looks to make her first defense of her second reign, as she takes on battle hardened veteran Tamao Ozawa (16-5, 6), in what is likely to be Ozawa's final crack at a major world title.
The 34 year old Yoshida first popped on to the radar in 2017, when she beat Tomomo Takano for the Japanese female Bantamweight title, before adding the OPBF title and then dropping down in weight to win the WBO belt in 2019. She made a single defense of that WBO belt until losing it in 2020 to Tomoko Okuda, via technical decision. She reclaimed the belt a few months later when she took a split decision over Okuda in a rematch, and it seemed like rubber bout would make sense, but sadly that's not occurred and instead Yoshida will be against Ozawa.
In the ring Yoshida is a fighter who wants to apply pressure, set a good tempo and get inside where she can smother her opponents power and let her own hands go. She's not the prettiest or the tidiest, but she is physically strong, sets a good work rate and looks to turn things into a fight on the inside. For someone without any stoppages in her first 17 bouts it would seem fair to say she's not a puncher, but she does have enough on her shots to get respect from opponents and her work rate is a real nightmare for many opponents, even those who are more technically skilled than her.
Aged 37 Oazawa has been around for years, having debuted back in 2011. Her career started well, but in 2013 she stepped up to OPBF title level and was stopped inside a round by Tomoko Kawanishi. She would then be stopped just 2 fights later by Kai Johnson. Despite those set backs she get her career back on track, winning the OPBF title in 2015 and getting the chance to fight on the round in 2015 before facing female star Mariana Juarez in Mexico in 2016. Following that loss she would twice fight for world titles, coming up short against Su Yun Hong and Raja Amasheh. Sadly she has been out of the ring for more than 3 years, and her last 3 bouts have all come at a low level.
As a fighter Ozawa is experience, she knows her way around the ring, and she knows how to box. Sadly though she is slow, and as she ages that's not going to change, she has nice timing, but there's real snap on her shots, and she doesn't like to put them together too much. She can also be seen backing up in relatively straight lines, which will be a problem against a pressure fight, like Yoshida. To her credit she is very composed in the ring, but can also be too patient at times, and be caught waiting for a mistake that never comes. At her age it's hard to imagine her keeping up with the work rate of Yoshida, and despite being the more technical fighter it does seem unlikely she'll have the tools to deal with the champion.
We expect Ozawa to have success early on, but as Yoshida gets going her work rate and style should prove to be too much for Ozawa, as the champion scores a clear and wide decision win.
Prediction - UD10 Yoshida
Here we preview the key female title bouts involving an Asian fighter.