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
This coming Saturday we'll get another female world title fight featuring a Japanese fighter, the third in just a few days. This time it's the turn of Tamao Ozawa (13-4, 5) who battles Raja Amasheh (20-1-1-1, 4) for the vacant WBO female Super Flyweight title, in Karlsruhe Germany.
For the 32 year old Japanese fighter this will be a second world title shot, following her 2017 bout against Su Yun Hong for the WBO female Light Flyweight title whilst Amasheh will be fighting for her first “big 4” world title, though is a former 2-weight WBF world champion, having claim the Flyweight and Super Flyweight titles.
Against Hong we saw Ozawa fight pretty well, but she was always just a step or two behind the talented Korean. That was arguably the second most notable bout of Ozawa's career, behind a 2016 bout with Mexican icon Mariana Juarez, who took a wide 10 round decision over the Japanese fighter. What those losses showed was that Ozawa has toughened up since her early career. In fact she was stopped twice in her first 8 bouts, an opening round TKO to the Tomoko Kawanishi and a 2nd round stoppage to Kai Johnson. Since then she has improved a loss, avenging the loss to Johnson and claiming the OPBF Super Flyweight title, as well as being competitive with Hong and going 10 rounds with Juarez.
Technically Ozawa is a pretty decent boxer but that's about as polite as you can be. She's slow, a little clumsy, her footwork isn't too sharp and defensively she has holes. She went the distance with Hong but her face took a toll, and her left eye was badly swollen from the consistent shots the Korean was landing, and although gutsy her defensive flaws could be an issue going forward.
Aged 35 Amasheh is possibly getting her only shot at a major world. The German based fighter, originally from Jordan, drew on her debut before going on an impressive run from 2009 to late 2016, going 19-0-0-1, with the only black mark being a split decision loss-turned-No Contest against Amira Hamzaoui. In 2016 we finally saw that unbeaten run come to an end, as Amasheh was defeated by the under-rated Ana Arrazola. She did bounce back from that loss by winning the WBC Silver Super Flyweight title last March, beating the limited Kleopatra Tolnai. Since then however Amasheh has been away from the ring, for almost a year.
From footage of Amasheh she is an aggressive fighter who rushes forward behind a tight guard and looks to fight behind combinations, thrown in flurries. She's defensively open when letting her shots go but seems to fight like she sees her best defense as her offense. When she's not on the front foot she is defensively tight, but looks like she can't transition from one to the other. She's defensive, or offensive.
Whilst we expect to see a bit of ring rust from Amasheh we also expect her to be more aggressive, more crisp and bustier than Ozawa. Ozawa will take a lot to be stopped, but that's not out of the question, especially not late on. We don't imagine Ozawa has the power or speed to be competitive, but she should be able to put up a decent and entertaining effort en route to a clear loss.
On May 14th fans in Kyoto get the chance to see two female fighters trading blows as they battle for the WBO female Light Flyweight title. In one corner will be local hopeful Tamao Ozawa (12-3, 4) whilst the other corner will have Korean visitor Su Yun Hong (14-1-1, 7), who looks to become a 2-weight world champion.
Of the two fighters the 30 year old Hong is the more well known. She debuted back in 2010 and become one of the more notable Korean's of recent years. She's a talented southpaw based in Hwaseong City and has been known on the world stage for around 5 years. Her first title was the WIBA Light Flyweight title but she really made her mark by winning the WBO female Minimumweight title in June 2012, when she beat Teeraporn Pannimit in Macau.
As the WBO female Minimumweight champion Hong was one of the faces of Korean boxing and made 2 defenses of the belt, including a split decision win over Mari Ando, before losing the belt to teenager Mako Yamada in 2014. Following the loss to Yamada Hong moved up in weight, and reclaimed the WIBA title which she has held since October 2014, defending it 4 times.
Although not well known by Western fight fans Hong does hold some decent wins, but her loss to Yamada showed her limitations, with Yamada ripping the title from the Korean. Also needs to be noted that her opponents since the Yamada bout haven't been great and she hasn't fought in over a year, since beating Filipino veteran Jujeath Nagaowa.
Aged 31 Ozawa is the slightly older fighter, and the one with the less impressive looking record. Despite that she probably starts the bout as a fighter full of hunger and as someone who will see this as their chance to win a world title, adding it to an OPBF title. Talking about that OPBF title that belt was up at Super Flyweight, where she beat Terumi Nuki for the belt, and it's worth noting that Ozawa has fought much of her career at 115lbs, where she has suffered all 3 of her losses.
Although Ozawa has been stopped 2 times during her career, including a blow out to Tomoko Kawanishi and a 2nd round loss to Kai Johnson, she did recently prove her toughness by going 10 rounds with Mariana Juarez in Mexico last May.
Ozawa hasn't proven herself at world class, yet, but moving down in weight to Light Flyweight might well help her do so, and her last two bouts where at Flyweight where she does look like a more imposing fighter than she had at Super Flyweight. If she can make Light Flyweight comfortably she could end up being a very imposing fighter at the weight class.
On paper Hong should be favoured, she has the better record and is the more proven fighter, but we suspect that the move down in weight by Ozawa will really help her here and we're predicting a win for the Japanese fighter, who will be strongly supported by the fans in Kyoto. Hong may be the more naturally talented fighter, but we're expecting to see the local take home the decision here.
Here we preview the key female title bouts involving an Asian fighter.