Last week we looked at some little known facts of Japanese boxing, and today we're going to follow that up with a similar article, this time focusing on the often overlooked women of Japanese boxing, who also have some interesting records of their own!
1-Momo Koseki holds the Japanese record for most world title defenses, with 17. That's not just a female record but a Japanese record, with Koseki defending the WBC Atomweight title 17 times from August 2008, when she won the belt, to her final defense in November 2016. During her reign she also won the WBA Atomweight title beating Ayaka Miyao. The run included 1 wins and a draw and included victories over almost every notable Atomweight of the time, including Nao Ikeyama, Saemi Hanagata and Miyao. She eventually gave up the belt and in 2017, in what was her final bout, she became a 2-weight champion.
2-The oldest Japanese world champion was Nao Ikeyama, who lost the WBO Atomweight title on July 29th 2018, 48 years, 10 months and 9 days. She not only holds the record for the oldest Japanese world champion when she lost the title, but also when she won it, winning the belt at 44 years 7 months and 29 days, and she has the trifecta as she also holds the record for being the oldest for a successful world title defense, coming when she was 47 years, 9 months and 23 days.
3-The Japanese record for the fewest fights to a female world title is a disputed record with 3 different claimants depending on definition.
The fewest fights, as recognised by the JBC, sees Momo Koseki holding the record with 3 sanctioned bouts, however she had fought several times in Thailand prior to that in bouts not recognised by the JBC. Similarly Naomi Togashi the "interim" WBC female Light Flyweight title in her third bout recognised by the JBC, though of course that's an interim title. Togashi would however receive the full version of the title before her 6th professional bout.
The record, as seen on boxrec, is actually held by Kasumi Saeki, who won the WBO female Minimumweight title in her 4th professional bout earlier this year. All of her bouts came after the JBC officially recognised female boxing and there is no confusion over the legitimacy of her bouts or title win.
4-The shortest recorded height of a Japanese female fighter is Yuri Kobayashi, who was 4′ 10½″, or 149cm. She fought from 2006 to 2017 and racked up a 4-4-4 record. Interestingly she is taller than Kazunori Tenryu, who was the shortest Japanese male to fight in a professional bout.
5-The Japanese fighter to win world titles in the most divisions is Naoko Fujioka, who is Japan's only 5 weight world champion. The talented Fujioka began her career at Minimumweight, winning the WBC female Minimumweight title in 2011, when she stopped Anabel Ortiz. She would skip all the way up to Super Flyweight for her second title, dethroning Naoko Yamaguchi in 2013 for the WBA female Super Flyweigth title. Her third title came at Bantamweight, when she captured the WBO female Bantamweight title. Her 5th title saw her dropping to Flyweight, to claim the WBA title in 2017 against Isabel Milan, before dropping down to Light Flyweight for the WBO towards the end of 2017.
Interestingly Fujioka didn't take a Flyweight title until her third shot, losing to both Susi Kentikian and Jessica Chavez in bouts for titles at 112lbs.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).