Last year we saw Tomoko Okuda (7-3-2, 1) [奥田朋子] over-come Miyo Yoshida (15-2) [吉田 実代] for the WBO female Super Flyweight title, with a technical decision win. Today the two women faced off again with Yoshida looking to prove she was the better woman and Okuda looking to show her win over Yoshida last year wasn't some sort of freak win.
From the off Okuda looked to make the most of her size advantages, using her jab at range and catching the shorter Yoshida with uppercuts when she got inside. It was a solid start from the champion, but Yoshida was show real determination and managed to get inside in round 3 as her pressure slowly began to see her claw her way into the bout. That pressure began to have more of an effect in rounds 4 and 5 as Yoshida refused to back down, despite being caught by some solid jabs from Okuda.
Despite Okuda's brave effort Yoshida managed to have one of her both rounds in round 6 as she managed to get close and force a fire fight that got the attention of the fans, who broke out into applause for what the women were giving us. It was a relatively short moment of sustained success for Yoshida, before Okuda came back really well in round 8, preventing Yoshida from getting in the pocket for the round. Okuda's ability to keep the fight at range was, however, not something she could do for ever and the final round saw Yoshida going all out with pressure, unleashing shots with both hands up close forcing Okuda to fire back.
The huge effort from Yoshida provide vital when we went to the judges, with the former champion reclaiming the WBO title via a split decision, with scores of 96-94, twice in her favour and once in favour of Okuda.
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.
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)
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)