A busy day of action in world boxing seemed like it would never come to an end and after the action in Macau, and the action in the UK we turned out attention to Germany as Korea's Dan Bi Kim (9-3-1, 2) challenged German boxing queen Susi Kentikian (33-2-0-1, 17) in a WBA female Flyweight title fight.
Sadly for Kim, a rough and tough street fighter from Anseong City, this was a mismatch and it showed early on as she charged at Kentikian, a very well schooled German, and was punished with combinations. It was true matador versus bull type of fight early on with the matador being faster and more intelligent than the Korean bull.
As we all being punched in the face slows a fighter down, and takes it's toll on someone. This effect started taking it's toll on Kim early on and although she was still game she was having to take a lot of bombs, including 3 absolute beauties at the end of the 3rd round that shook Kim's head in every which way. It was impressive Kim was taking them and firing back but the Korean was more swinging her arms wildly and hoping to land as opposed to punching with belief in her shots.
Kentikian's control of the bout grew round after round and she became less scared of what the Korean was throwing back at her. It appeared that the matador wasn't just in control but was starting to abuse the bull even standing toe-to-toe with Kim and landing wonderful flurries of shots that all seemed to hit the target with lightning speed and accuracy. The flurries of Kentikian were wonderful to watch and the sign of a very skilled and confident fighter.
After 8 rounds it appeared Kentikian's high out put was taking it's toll on on her and she began to look tired in the corner. If Kentikian was tired then Kim was spent and it showed in round 9 as Kentikian went for the kill and unloaded flurry after flurry after flurry on the Korean who was out on her feet and being force fed leather as if it was a dietary supplement. Thankfully for Kim her corner knew she was in trouble and threw in the towel with 24 seconds of the round left.
With Kim miles behind, looking out on her feet and taking a genuine pounding the decision was the right one by her corner who gave her every chance but correctly saved her from lasting punishment that could have affected her health. Kentikian, although not a big puncher, was landing clean and repeatedly and those shots do a lot of accumulative damage.
(Image, of Kim, courtesy of boxrec.com)
Earlier today Japanese fans in Wakayama had a chance to see local hero Shindo Go (14-2, 9) in action as she successfully defended her WBC female Flyweight title, for the second time, with an excellent stoppage victory over Thailand's Kledpetch Lookmuangkan (6-3, 1).
Go, one of Japanese boxing's more under-rated fighters, started cautiously and tried to avoid the southpaw left of her challenger early in the bout. It was a case of seeing what the Thai had in her and trying not to make too many mistakes early on.
Sadly for Kledpetch it didn't take Go long to figure her out and from round 4 onwards Go began to move through the gears becoming more and more aggressive. It was as if Go realised that the Thai had nothing to trouble her and went for the kill.
The Thai did well to see off the increasing offensive action of Go though unfortunately the bout became more and more one sided. Go began hammering the challenger upstairs and downstairs whilst walking through what little resistance was fired back. The assault of Go was vicious and Kledpetch was wilting round after round.
In round 8 Go started very fast and swiftly the referee was forced to rescue the Thai who had taken more than enough punishment to justify the stoppage which was very much welcomed by the local crowd who were all there to see Go defending her title.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Today was an historic day for the WBO and the Atomweight division as, for the first time ever, the WBO crowned a champion the smallest division in professional boxing. Surprisingly we think they may also have crowned the oldest ever "first time" champion as recognised by one of the big 4.
That fighter was the 44 year old Nao Ikeyama (14-3-1, 4) who added the newly created WBO Atomweight title to the lightly regarded WIBA title she he held, for a short period, back in 2007-2008.
Ikeyama's victory was a real shock as she took on the previously unbeaten Filipino Jessebelle Pagaduan (6-1, 4) who was not only unbeaten going in to this bout but was also 15 years younger than Ikeyama.
We, like many, had thought this was a forgone conclusion and the younger, fresh Pagaduan was going to walk through the older fighter, out work her, out speed her and generally dominate with youth. Instead however it was a masterclass like a teacher gives a young student and Ikeyama, despite her age, was still too quick for Pagaduan, not only that but she was also too good for the younger fighter who was made to look completely out of he depth.
Although older and with a lot more miles on the clock this bout proved, a lot of Bernard Hopkins bouts do, that skills can over-come age, knowing how to box can be the key to winning. That's not to say that Ikeyama is half the fighter that Hopkins is but this was nothing short of a fighter proving that father time can be held off if a fighter is simply on another level to their opponent.
For Pagaduan this is embarrassing though probably less embarrassing than if she had faced Momo Koseki who would have mauled her, roughed her up and mentally broke her. As it was Ikeyama just took a clear decision with cards of 98-92, 99-91 and 99-91 again, there was no doubt over who deserved the victory.
With Ikeyama saying she would retire if she lost we're expecting to see her make at least 1 defence of the title, though we're unsure who the WBO will accept as an opponent for their newest champion. By the time of her first defence Ikeyama may well be 45 years old though if she can fight as well as she did here then there may well be no need for her to even consider retirement again any time soon.
(Image courtesy of http://www.zukunft.co.jp)
Earlier today Japanese fans got the chance to see two female world title fights. The more anticipated of those was a WBC female Minimumweight title fight between the defending champion Mari Ando (11-7, 5) and first time world title challenger Yuko Kuroki (11-5-1, 6). Surprisingly it was the first time challenger who came out on top taking a very well fought decision over the hard nosed Ando.
Ando, as she always does, was coming forward through out the bout but it turned out that the talented Kuroki managed to neutralise the aggression of the champion and find the distance to unleash her brilliant southpaw straight left.
The bout, which was competitive through out, saw a few momentum shifts but in the end it was Kuroki's accuracy and more refined shot selection that helped her over-come the determined and aggressive Ando who again lost a close one.
Sadly this is another set back for Ando against a world class opponent. For many her record now looks like that of a journey woman but the former WBC Minimumweight and WBA Atomweight is a 2-weight world champion and a very high-risk low reward fighter who may now struggle to get opponents. It's a shame as she has the style, which she showed again here, that is fun to watch even if it is some what crude and cave-woman-like. At 26 years old however there is a chance Ando will be able to get another chance and she will be able to smooth off the rough edges in her style that do let her down, as we saw again here.
The win for Kuroki puts her in to the frame for a big unification bout with teenage sensation Mako Yamada, the current WBO champion. Though we actually think she'll be more likely to face Saemi Hanagata or Etsuko Tada who both currently hold wins over the newly crowned world champion.
As for the WBC Minimumweight title it's unfortunately becoming a case of a hot potato with it's third champion in just 19 months. Hopefully Kuroki will manage to keep it around her waist for a while, as Naoko Fujioka did from 2011 to when she vacated the belt in 2013.
(Image courtesy of Joe Koizumi and features Kuroki on the left and Ando on the right)
This past Saturday saw a world title bout that could only be described as a mystery bout.
Originally we had understood that WBA female Super Featherweight Hyun Mi Choi (9-0-1, 3) was fighting a 0-1 novice who had been inactive for several years. What transpired however was that Choi fought Keanpetch Superchamps (6-8-1) in a bout that was unsanctioned by the Korean Boxing Commission, despite being a WBA title bout.
It took a while to figure out that Thailand's Keanpetch Superchamps was also known as Keanpetch Manopgym and Siriwan Thongmanit. It's the fact she had fought under 3 names that really confused matters with regards to her complete record, which we're still unsure about, and her activity.
As it turned out the experience didn't matter too for the Thai who simply wasn't good enough for the Korean fighter who had defected from North Korea.
From what we understand Choi appears to have been in control of the bout from early on and eventually forced a stoppage of the Thai fighter in round 8, becoming the second successive fighter to stop the Thai fighter who is now 0-4 outside of Thailand and 0-3 in South Korea following a pair of losses to Hee-Jung Yuh.
We hope to have more news on this bout at some point but details are incredibly scarce with the WBA not even having details on their website. In fact the only solid information from this bout, including the picture, has come from yonhapnews.co.kr who haven't really given much away on their own piece on the fight.
(Image courtesy of yonhapnews.co.kr/)