On august 11th we'll see a new OPBF female Light Flyweight champion being crowned as Yumi Narita (5-4-3, 1) and Kaoru Iga (4-1-1) battle for the currently vacant title in Osaka. On paper this doesn't look like the most competitive of bouts, given the respective records of the two women, but in reality it should be a much more compelling bout that the records suggest.
Of the two fighters the more well known is Narita, who debuted in 2016 and has 12 professional bouts to her name, including 4 Japanese title level. Notably she is 2-1-1 at Japanese title level, having won and defended the Japanese female Minimumweight title in 2020. Although she lacks in terms of notable wins, she has held Chie Higano to a draw and did beat Mont Blanc Miki last time out, in her sole Japanese title defense.
In the ring Narita isn't a particularly tidy fighter, her defense is open, she can be hit and does get hit. She is however the sort of fighter who looks have her say in every exchange, and if you hit her you better be expecting to take one back in exchange. Sadly for her however her lack of power, her only stoppage came in 2016 in her first professional win, does mean that having exchanges doesn't result in getting respect from her opponents.
Iga on the other hand has only been a professional since 2019, and she actually failed to win either of her first two bouts, drawing on debut and losing in her second bout. After that disappointing start she's gone on to win her last 4 bouts, though has yet to beat a fighter with more wins than losses. She was last seen out in April, beating Sachiko Kondo in a 6 rounder and that bout will serve her well here, but she is still stepping up significantly from that win, and her competition really has been poor so far.
In the ring Iga is certainly inexperienced, and light punching, but is aggressive, comes out to fight, launches a lot of shots and and seems to enjoy an actual fight. Sadly for her she's not very polished, and is really reliant on her hunger and stamina rather than her skills, but it does make for fun to watch action fights.
Watching the two women in action one this is clear, there is more to Narita's game than there is to Iga. Iga is very much aggression, and throwing a lot, whilst Narita does know her way around the ring a bit, she can box or move, and whilst both are crude there is a clear difference in skill set between the two women. We suspect that, and the experience edge of Narita, will be the difference maker here, with Narita doing enough to earn a very close and competitive decision, and claim the OPBF title.
Prediction - SD8 Narita
Here we preview the key female title bouts involving an Asian fighter.