EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
This coming Wednesday we see attention turn to the the EDION Arena in Osaka for a show from Shinsei Gym, and it's a rare all female card with all 4 bouts on the card featuring fighters. They include a world champion in a non title bout, an OPBF title fight, an interesting debut and the third bout in the career of a very talented young fighter.
The main event will see WBO female Minimumweight champion Etsuko Tada (20-3-3, 7) battle in what is essentially a stay busy bout, as she takes on Sana Hazuki (8-5-1, 2) in an 8 rounder fought above the Minimumweight limit. Tada won the title in thrilling fashion last year, knocking out Ayaka Miyao in the 9th round of a brilliant fight last December, and it's a shame she's not defending it here, especially given that Hazuki is world ranked, albeit by the IBF, at the weight. As for Hazuki, she was last seen losing a wide decision to Yokasta Valle back in January, in an IBF title fight and given how easily she lost that one, she isn't expected to be a real test for Tada here.
In the title fight we see Yumi Narita (5-4-3, 1) clash with the once beaten Kaoru Iga (4-1-1) for the vacant OPBF Female Light Flyweight title. On paper this looks like a bout where Iga will be strongly favoured but in reality Narita is more tested, more proven and likely to be the fighter coming into the bout with more hunger, especially as most will be writing her off. Although we don't think either of these two are stars in the making their styles and hunger should gel to provide a bit of a treat at Oriental level. Our full preview of this one can be read here Narita and Iga battle for OPBF crown!
Former Japanese amateur standout Makoto Kikuchi (0-0) will be making her debut as she takes on Aka Ringo (1-0, 1) in a scheduled 6 rounder. Interestingly Kikuchi holds a JBC ranking coming into this bout, despite having never fought as a professional before, and it seems clear her team are going to be looking to move her very aggressively with title fights likely to come in the next year or two. The 34 year old debutant will likely be looking to secure a title fight if she can get past Ringo here. As for Ringo she's looking to build on a debut win in April, but this is a huge step up in class for her.
The only other bout on this card will see Sumire Yamanaka (2-0), the younger sister of former world champion Ryuya Yamanaka, take on Rin Murai (1-0-2) in an interesting looking 4 rounder. Yamanaka has shown herself to be a really talented boxer, but still a very young fighter and it could be a long, long time until we really see what she can do in the ring. Murai on the other hand is a 36 year old who's only win came more than 2 years ago, and it's going to be interesting if she can keep up with the much, much younger Yamanaka.