Whilst Momo Koseki's successful title defence against Denise Castle wasn't a shock at all we'll actually admit we were shocked by the other female world title bout in Japan as IBF female Light Flyweight champion Naoko Shibata (13-3, 4) stopped Mexican veteran Ana Arrazola (20-10-2, 13) and made the second successful defence of her belt.
Arrazola had come in to the bout with the reputation of being a really tough fighter and had never been stopped despite having shared the ring with some genuinely top tied fighters, such as Yesica Yolando Bopp. When you add Arrazola's perceived toughness to the fact Shibata wasn't viewed as a puncher, afterall she hadn't scored a stoppage in 4 years, this one was expected to go the distance and be tough for the champion.
What we got instead was a dominant performance from Shibata who ended up showing off what she is really capable of as she beat down and stopped Arrazola in 9 rounds.
For Shibata this is the sort of win that really cements her standing in the Light Flyweight division. Some had felt she had been lucky in her previous 2 bouts but this time around she seemed more confident than ever and managed to really impress. It was as if holding the title has instilled a new found confidence in her and right now she has to be thinking about a rematch with Etsuko Tada, a bout that Tada herself seemed to hint at earlier this year.
For Arrazola the travel home will be a long one though we would assume she's not going to fade away despite this loss.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)