Earlier today Japanese fans in Osaka unfortunately saw Nana Yoshikawa (4-1, 2) suffer her first professional defeat as she came up short against world class Mexican warrior Anabel Ortiz (17-3, 3) in a bout for the WBA female Minimumweight title.
The 36 year old Yoshikawa knew she had to be fast tracked due to her advanced age though unfortunately she lacked the development and experience that she needed to be competitive with a world class Ortiz fighter like, who was simple too good for Yoshikawa.
The opening round was relatively even though Ortiz did land a nice right hand late that probably stole the round for her. From then on the bout wasn't ever close to being competitive with Ortiz being too aggressive, too good, too fast, too rugged and too experienced for the Japanese novice who forced on to the back foot round after round.
Time and time again Ortiz managed to land her stinging right hands and left hooks and repeatedly Yoshikawa was left unable to answer. Even when Ortiz tired in the later rounds Yoshikawa couldn't mount much of an assault with her shots missing whilst the Mexican managed to catch the challenger.
Yoshikawa did get some good luck late in the bout when Ortiz was deducted a point in round 9 for low blows but that was effectively the only thing that went her way in a bout that showed the gulf in class between the two fighters.
At the final bell there was no doubt about who the winner was, with the only questions being just how wide the judges had it. The closest was 96-93, whilst the others read 98-91 and 99-90. It's fair to say the 96-93 was the absolute closest that a judge could have scored it with 99-90 being the most accurate score.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Week in and week out we see one scorecard that isn't just questionable but is downright wrong. It seems it's now commonplace for one judge to dial in a card without watching the fight and without caring about the integrity of the sport that they are supposed to be officiating in. Sadly for Etsuko Tada (13-2-2, 3) the "odd judge" in her bout this past Saturday night scored the bout 99-90 to Anabel Ortiz (16-3, 3) and helped the Mexican to a successful but controversial defense of the WBA female Minimumweight title.
Last year Tada had lost the belt to Ortiz in Japan by split decision. This time around Tada had gone to Mexico in an attempt to reclaim the belt but found the judges, especially the "odd" judge, to be less than helpful in her attempt to become a 2-time world champion.
The bout started at a hectic pace with both going all out in a fast paced and highly exciting fight. It wasn't so much boxing as a fight with both unloading shots on one another. It was was entertaining as you could get with Tada pinging in lighting fast right jabs whilst Ortiz tried to turn the fight into an inside brawl and neutralise the height and reach of the challenger.
Through 4 rounds the fight was brilliant with Tada seemingly getting the much better of it.
From round 5 on wards the fight began turning in favour of the Mexican who was given some help when Tada was deducted a point for head clashes and rounds 6, 7, 8 and 9 all seemed to competitive with Ortiz just doing enough to take them overall, however they were all competitive and no one would have batted an eyelid had one gone to Tada.
The fight ended on a real high with both trading shots through the final round, blood dripping from the faces of both women as they put it all on the line in the hope of winning a close fight. It really was a round that deserved to decide the fight and in the end it was the sort of round that fans deserve to watch. Sadly the judge who scored 99-90 had already made up their mind on who had won and lost well before the round, the other judges however each seemed to watch the fight and make a fair decision.
Given the action and the number of close and competitive rounds no one really knew which way the bout had gone until the cards we read out. Sadly they favoured Ortiz with scores of 99-90 and 96-93 whilst a dissenting judge had it 95-94 to Tada in what was a very tight bout though one that likely left Tada asking what she needs to do to earn favour with the judges who have now given her two split decision losses to Ortiz.
When Mexican fighter Anabel Ortiz (13-3, 2) defeated Etsuko Tada for the WBA Minimumweight title in July many expected to see her returning to Asia. She had, after all, been connected to the Kameda brother's promotional company which had possibly helped her to claim the title.
Ortiz's return to Asia didn't take long as the Mexican traveled to South Korea and took on Korea's very own Hye-Soo Park (3-7-1, 1).
Ortiz, a two-time world champion who had previously held the WBC title, was always the favourite here and within a round it was obvious why. Park, unfortunately, had no right to be a world title challenger.
Ortiz took the the lead in the opening round using her much more complete skill set and never looked back as she bagged up round after round. Although the Mexican failed to drop, or even really hurt Park, the fight was never in any doubt. In fact the biggest shocks seemed to be when Park managed to have some time amount of success in what was, for all intents and purposes seemed to be a public sparring session for Ortiz. The one sided nature of the contest was reflected in score cards that reflected the one sided nature of the contest, 100-90 across the board.
We're hoping that next time out Ortiz will be fighting someone with some sort of a pulse. A rematch with Tada would be the most obvious contest though Ortiz could of course face a genuine Korean threat in the form of either Su-Yun Hong or Ji-Hyun Park. Either of those bouts would be much, much more interesting than this total mismatch was.