Earlier today at the EDION Arena Osaka fans were able to see two different shows, with the second of those being headlined by a WBO female Super Flyweight title bout between defending champion Miyo Yoshida (14-2) [吉田 実代] and unheralded challenger Tomoko Okuda (7-2-2, 1) [奥田朋子].
Going in to this Yoshida, a single mother who's story has really connected with the Japanese media, was seeking her second defense of the title she won last year, when she beat Casey Morton. For the challenger however this was likely to be her one and only shot at a world title, given she was 37 and father time waits for no one. It was also expected to be a physically draining effort for Okuda to make weight, coming down from her natural Bantamweight to Super Flyweight, a tough ask for a woman who looked massive at 118lbs.
Despite the stories going into the bout, it was Okuda who proved to be too good, too strong and too powerful.
From the off Okuda looked to be the aggressor, and looked to take the initiative, dropping Yoshida with a big right hand in the opening round. It was the perfect start for the challenger who continued to be the bully in there, using her size, strength, power and physicality when she needed to, and her big right hand as often as she could.
After starting in a hole Yoshida began to find her groove in round 4, using her speed to get in and out with some success. She seemed to be on the verge of building some moment as we entered the middle rounds though a head clash in round 5 left Okuda badly cut, and time began to tick down on Yoshida's chances of turning the bout around, with the bout being stopped in round 6.
Given the cause of the cut we went to the scorecards which favoured Okuda 59-54, twice, and 57-56, and saw the title change hands.
Although not currently available to watch on demand the bout will be uploaded to Boxing Raise in the coming days for fans to enjoy.
The first of 3 world title bouts being held at the Ota City General Gymnasium today saw Japan's Miyo Yoshida (14-1) [吉田 実代] successfully defending her WBO female Super Flyweight title, as she comfortably out pointed and out landed Chinese challenger Li Ping Shi (5-3, 2).
From the opening moments it was Yoshida looking to close the distance, slipping the jab of Shi, getting up close and working away. When up close Yoshida made the most of the opportunities to bang the drum, slowly grinding down at Shi's will and desire.
Having proven the boss up close Yoshida then began to dominate the battle of the jabs as well, out boxing Shi with her own jab. Whilst Shi had the edge in reach it was the accuracy, timing and snap on Yoshida's that was the difference maker. Sadly for Shi the battles she was expected to come out on top of, weren't going her way and there was little she could do to turn things around, as Yoshida continued to rack up the rounds.
It wasn't really until round 9 that Shi really changed things around, letting her hands go more. Sadly for Shi she was now too tired to do much in terms of actually turning the fight around.
After 10 rounds we went to the scorecards, and there was never any question on the winner, with Yoshida taking the decision 99-90, 98-91 and 97-92 and recording her first defense.
Earlier today in Chiba Japanese female fighter Miyo Yoshida (13-1) [吉田 実代] claimed her third professional title, the WBO female Super Flyweight title, as she out pointed Casey Morton (8-2-3, 1) over 10-rounds, in what was a totally one-sided fight.
The naturally bigger Yoshida took control from the opening round using her speed and movement to neutralise Morton, who looked game but out of her depth. The jab of Morton was failing to land clean, and when it did it did little to slow the Japanese fighter who got inside as and when she wanted.
Morton was well behind as we entered the middle section of the fight, but she tried to turn things around in round 4. Sadly the Morton tried, and the more she upped her work rate the worse her defenses got and she was being tagged at regularly by the light but sharp punching Yoshida. Sadly Morton had no answer, she couldn't up the tempo without taking more shots, she couldn't win the bout defensively and she couldn't battle toe-to-toe with Yoshida, who was quicker, stronger and and more technically sharp.
Morton continued to try new things, but she was never really able to establish her fight, with one judge giving her the 9th round in what seemed a decision made from sympathy of her effort than much else.
After 10 rounds the judges had the bout scored 100-90, 100-90 and 99-91 to Yoshida, who has now added a world title to her collection that previously included a Japanese and OPBF title. For Morton this is a second loss at Super Flyweight and it feels really obvious that she should be competing at Flyweight, not Super Flyweight.
This past Saturday in Switzerland fans had the chance to see Swiss based Japanese fighter Aniya Seki (34-4-2, 5) fight in the most significant bout of her career. The veteran took on WBA female Super Flyweight champion Maribel Ramirez (13-9-2, 3) and unfortunately she came up short, losing a clear decision to the Mexican fighter.
Ramirez took control of center ring and from the opening moments and scored a knockdown in round 2 that really allowed her to take clear early control of the bout.
To her credit the 39 year old Seki didn't just roll over and instead she fought back, though was always on the back foot and regularly came off second best to the under-rated Mexican champion.
At the end of the 10 round bout there was no doubting that the Mexican had won, and the judges, from Switzerland, France and Spain, all scored the bout to Ramirez with scores of 98--91, twice, and 97-92.
Sadly it's unlikely Seki will get another shot at the top, but for Ramirez this was a great win. She made her first defense and has now scored notable back-to-back wins on the road, having won the title in Peru this past May by defeating Linda Laura Lecca.
(Image courtesy of www.20min.ch)
Last night in Germany fight fan saw Japan's Tamao Ozawa (13-5, 5) [小澤瑶生] put on a stirring performance, but come up agonisingly short against German veteran Raja Amasheh (21-1-1-1, 4) in a bout for the vacant WBO female Super Flyweight title.
The details from the contest are scarce but officially the bout was scored 96-94 to Amasheh by all 3 judges, in what sounds like a very debabteable decision.
From what we understand Ozawa was aggressive through out, and took the fight to Amasheh, though with the crowd behind the local fighter it wasn't to be for the visitor, who is now 0-2 in world title bouts, having previously lost to Su Yun Hong in a Light Flyweight title fight. As for Amasheh the bout sees her secure a career defining win, though it would like her reign will e a short lived one, given she only just managed to get the win here.
Ozawa will clearly go back to the drawing board wnd will likely look for another world title fight, though the former OPBF female champion will know that she won't get many more shots following two recent losses at the top level, even though both were very close decisions on the score cards.
(Image courtesy of Futur Gym)
Late on Saturday fight fans in Argentina saw Japan's Terumi Nuki (9-3, 6) [ぬき てるみ] challenge IBF female Super Flyweight champion Debora Anahi Dionicius (27-0, 6), with the local easily retaining her title with a wide decision.
The Japanese fighter, fighting in her second world title bout, looked hungry and had travelled as a fighter with a lot of belief. Tha belief was shown in the way she fought, but unfortunately she lacked the skills and speed to neutralise the champion, who was too quick, too sharp and too good.
Nuki came out looking for a fight but the footwork of Dionicius was too smart and she she managed the distance brilliantly, getting in and out and letting her shots go with ease. There were moments where Nuki had some success, but those moments were few and far between with the local really just doing things at her tempo.
At the end there was no arguing about the winner, with Dionicius taking the decision 99-91, 99-91 and 98-92.
For Nuki this was her second set back in a world title fight, following a previous loss to WBC female Bantamweight champion Mariana Juarez last year. As for Dioinicus this was her 11th successful defense of the title.
(Image courtesy of Hiroki Ioka Gym)
It's often said that boxing is about levels. That was seen on Wednesday when Tomomi Takano (8-2, 5) found herself coming a long way short of world class, as she was battered by WBO female Super Flyweight queen Daniela Romina Bermudez (18-3-2, 6) in just 4 rounds.
The bout was Takano's first world title bout and her inexperience at this level as she was completely with out an answer to Bermudez.
In the opening round Takano looked uneasy despite having some success. Her success, from her straight punches, seemed to come as much from what she was doing as from what Bermudez was doing, with the challenger easing herself into the bout and trying to ease herself into the bout.
In round 2 Bermudez got out of neutral and it looked like that alone scared Takano who did well to hold her own at times, was made to look very uncomfortable by Bermudez who was finding her way inside all too easily.
In round 4 Bermudez stepped it up again and this time she landed a combination that ended only when Takano was dropped. The knockdown swiftly resulted in the towel being thrown in.
Following the loss Takano was said to be planning to rest and would then consider her future. From this performance however it could well be that her skills have reached their limit and her short reign as an OPBF title holder may well be the high point of her career.
For those wanting to watch the final moments of the fight, we've included the video below.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today fans at the Korakuen Hall got the chance to see the highly skilled Naoko Fujioka (12-0, 6) successfully retain her WBA female Super Flyweight title as she repelled the challenge of the talented Tomoko Kawanishi (9-2, 4).
The bout started pretty well for the challenger who used her superior reach and height to great effect early on by letting loose with her jab and straight shots. Not only was Kawanishi using the right tactics but she was also looking very sharp, in fact some would suggest she had never looked so good in the ring.
Although Kawanishi had clearly stepped up her game it still wasn't enough to over-come Fujioka who managed to find her rhythm in round 2 and began to cut the distance a little bit. On the inside it was Fujioka landing the hooks and uppercuts and neutralising the difference in size. It was great back-and-forth between two fighters who were trying to prove their world class skills and for the first half of the fight it was brilliantly competitive 2-way action.
The proof of a fighters skill is their ability to adapt, to change their tactics and to take over a bout. In the second half of the contest it was Fujioka who managed to adapt whilst a tiring Kawanishi began to unravel and tire. The heart was still there from the challenger but by round 8 it was clear that Kawanishi was begin to show signs of fatigue and this seemed to spur on the champion who found the time and space to dominate the final few rounds and put the bout beyond any doubt.
Despite the competitive action early on the judges all agreed on the score of the bout awarding the decision to Fujioka with scores of 97-93 to allow her the first defence of her title.
Although Kawanishi came up short here she did show enough to suggest that she has the ability to win a world title somewhere down the line. As for Fujioka it still seems that she's effectively unbeatable at 115lb and hopefully a big name opponent will be her next challenge.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
It's not often a female fight can genuinely get the attention of a filled venue but that's exactly what happened earlier today as Japanese boxing had one of the few major female fights of the year.
In one corner we had the destructive and big hitting Naoko Yamauchi (22-4-3, 18), the defending WBA Super Flyweight champion, in the other we had Naoko Fujioka (11-0, 6), a fighter who was jumping up from Minimumweight where she had previously held the WBC title.
The general view seemed to be that Yamaguchi went in to this bout as the power puncher whilst Fujioka would be the cautious fighter using her movement and speed to try and over-come Yamaguchi's natural strength and power. What we got however was a masterclass of boxing from Fujioka who showed all the skills of a genuine elite level fighter.
From the opening round it was obvious that these two were in totally different classes. Fujioka, boxing and moving, was landing her jab, her straight and her hook almost at will. It was obvious that she was wary of Yamaguchi's much vaunted power, especially in the defending champion's right hand, though she was avoiding it with ease before firing back her own shots.
As the rounds went on Fujioka became more and more confident. She continued to land her shots at will but became less and less worried about the power of Yamaguchi, in fact when they did trade it was Fuijioka's power that had the lasting effect and not Yamaguchi's with Fujioka scoring a knockdown in round 3 as she continued to dominate.
Whilst Yamaguchi was struggling to land her punches round 4 did see her hurting Fujioka, albeit from a headclash which was one of the few times we saw Fujioka in any sort of pain at all. Unfortunately for Yamaguchi she was punished by Fujioka for the clash of heads and staggered late in the round.
By round 7 it appeared that Fujioka was set on taking Yamaguchi out. The challenger had Yamaguchi staggering several times as she hunted a second knockdown though Yamaguchi showed great heart in seeing out the storm and hearing the bell. By then though the fight was a lost cause.
After a strong Fujioka round in the eighth it really was all over barring Yamaguchi scoring a knockout, something that had seemingly become impossible due to the fact Fujioka took her shots so well. Despite that Yamaguchi did manage to arguably claim the final two rounds which included a scrappy round 9 and a good back-and-forth round 10.
By the time we got to the final bell there was only ever one winner. With or with out the knockdown Fujioka had clearly taken the decision and the title as she scored arguably the most notable victory of her career and took home her shiny new title.
-The official scores were 98-91, 97-92, 97-92. We had it 98-91.