Reporting from Japan: Miyo Yoshida Edges Takano in Bantamweight Final

Reporting from Japan: Miyo Yoshida EdgesTakano in Bantamweight Final


By Yuriko Miyata

TOKYO-The woman with a brand new white championship belt for Japan is a mother of a two-year-old girl.

Miyo Yoshida (8-1) ranked number two by the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC), won a unanimous decision over number one ranked Tomomi Takano (10-3, 3Kos) after six rounds in a close contest for the first national female bantamweight championship on October 6, at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.

The battle between two totally motivated women attempting to make history did not come out in very good way.

Takano, a 6-feet tall fashion model, splattered her long left jabs to keep the opponent at arms-length. Yoshida, a strong physical specimen with a lot of experience in MMA, Thai, and Shoot boxing, charged hard with right crosses to the head to get inside of the distance. She did not care about Takano’s counterattacks with right uppercuts and straight counters.

The fight was rough from the start and eventually Takano had no choice but to clinch and stop her opponent’s aggression. In the fourth round the referee warned Takano for her excessive holding and Yoshida for lowering her head too low, but it did not change the style of the fight. After six consecutive rounds of holding and hitting all three judges scored 58-57 in favor of Yoshida.

“I’m simply glad. I know I should have thrown more punches after right crosses to win more clearly, but I am so happy now. I must thank all the support of my manager, my trainer, and my friends. I could not keep training as a mother raising a two year old daughter without their consideration and help,” said the first Japanese female champion tearfully.

It was nine years ago when Yoshida found her passion in martial arts, that included devoting herself to many kinds of combative sports. But when she visited a boxing gym to ask multi-division world champion Naoko Fujioka for sparring to develop her punching skills, she was shocked and fascinated with the excellence of the one of the best female boxers in the world. That’s when Yoshida decided to turn toward boxing and swayed from other fighting sports.

Yoshida made her debut in the boxing world successfully in May 2014. But after two years of inactivity, she got married and gave birth to her daughter Miena. She finally came back to the ring last year.

It’s difficult for a single mother to feed and care for her infant daughter as a personal trainer and at the same time try to improve her fighting skills as a professional athlete. But she did not give up her dream and now has the bantamweight title of Japan.

“I want to be like Naoko, the best female fighter representing our country. I don’t think it was good enough today. I want to be stronger and stronger to deserve the name of the first Japanese female champion.”

That shining belt presented to her by the JBC will encourage her to be how she wants to be.

Other division finals

Soon there will be other female national champions in five other divisions beginning next month and should be concluded in 2018. Following the bantamweights will be the minimumweight title contest between JBC #1 Jun Yabuki and #2 Fuka Komura on November 20th.  The atomweight final will be between #1 Sana Hazuki and #2 Nanae Suzuki and the featherweights will be #1 Asami Jinnari versus #2 Wakako Fujiwara will that will take place on December 17th, and the postponed flyweight semi-final between #4 Ayaka Sato and #5 Yumemi Ikemoto is rescheduled on the same day.

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