Japan Reporting: All Female Fight Card in Tokyo
By Yuriko Miyata
Reason Promotion brought its third version of the all-women show “VICTORIVA ” to boxing’s holy ground Korakuen Hall in Tokyo Tuesday evening.
The main event was a 10 round contest for the vacant WBA interim atomweight championship, and former WBA regular title holder Ayaka Miyao won a clear unanimous decision over ex-champion of WBO Nao Ikeyama with the scores of 97-92 by two and 96-93.
It was the first victory for Miyao against Ikeyama in three tries since 2006 when female boxing was not authorized yet by the Japan Boxing Commission.
Miyao kicked off strongly this battle with solid counter punches against the determined attacker Ikeyama from the opening bell and she connected with a right hook to the head to knock down the former WBO queen in the opening minute. Miyao, who used to be a boxer of bouncy steps, was not backing away this time. She stayed in the middle of the ring and did not let Ikeyama get inside by using consistent and accurate combinations to dominate the contest.
From the fourth round on Miyao used hit and run counters. Ikeyama kept going forward full throttle to draw some points from judges while Miyao used more step work in the later rounds, but there was no shot to save the day for Ikeyama.
This victory meant a lot to Miyao, who lost by TKO to Ikeyama for the WBO title due to a torn right ACL in the ring two years ago. The terrible injury took her away from the boxing ring for 18 months. When she returned to the gym, she restarted with a new boxing style with new trainer, former Japanese champion Koji Umetsu. The goal was to win a world title again in the second fight of the comeback. It was the first championship fight for her since losing the WBA belt to current WBC titlist Momo Koseki in the unification bout in 2015.
“Ikeyama was really tough and insistent more than I thought. She fought a long, long time and she is a legend, but I will do my best to be called a legend too. I know this is an interim title. Please support me until I reach the true belt again.”
There was another story on Ikeyama in the fight. After she gave up her belt of six defenses to a prospect Mika Iwakawa in July, she once mentioned her retirement but took it back in a week. Passing by her 49th birthday, she still found some room of improvement in the gym. Although she failed to capture crown this comeback fight, she’s not thinking of retirement.
Miyao expanded her record to 23-7-1 with 6Kos (19-3, with 6 KOs under JBC). Ikeyama’s is now 18-5-3, with 5 KOs (10-4-2, with 2Kos under JBC). And between the two, 2-1 with 2 KOs by Ikeyama.
In a semi-final six round bout for the Japanese atomweight title defending champion Nanae Suzuki (8-2-1, 1 KO) defeated JBC #2 challenger Sayaka Aoki (4-4-2, 3Kos) by majority decision to win her second defense.
Rated #1 by the Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation, Suzuki showed her confidence in a very busy battle with the smooth moving Aoki. The champion Suzuki connected with left hooks to the body in endless combinations. She got off balance with Aoki’s straight rights at first, but was not discouraged, and in the final round, she shook Aoki with solid right hands to the head at the end of the fight. It was revenge for Suzuki who loss to Aoki by TKO two years ago. The champion Suzuki looks toward bigger titles next year.
There were other three of six-round and four of four-round contests on the card.
Rated #8 in minimumweight by JBC, Mont-Blanc Miki (4-1, 1KO) defeated #5 Yumiko Shimooka (4-7, 1KO) via unanimous decision with scores of 59-55 by 2 and 58-55. Mont-Blanc made the most of her long straight rights to bother the brave fighter Shimooka from the beginning. In the fifth round, she knocked down Shimooka who rallied back in the last round, but could not win the fight. Shimooka is 37 years old.
A debutant with amateur pedigree Mizuki Chimoto grabbed a successful TKO victory at 0:51 in the third round of the scheduled six rounds at minimumweight over Thailander Kannika Bangnara (1-1, 1KO). Chimoto showed off her sophisticated boxing style through 67 amateur fights (45-12). She handled the journey lady with constant jabs and accurate body shots. In the third round she connected with a right to the stomach to knock down Bangnara along the ropes. Referee stopped the fight after seeing Bangnara hurt.
In a spectacular fight featuring multiple knockdowns Marina Sayama (4-1-1, 2KO) won by knockout over Cahn Mi Lim. Sayama who is rated by JBC #4 at flyweight, moved up to a six rounder and beat Korean fighter Lim (3-6-1, 3Kos) by KO at 1:31 in fourth round. It was a savage fight with each decking the other. Sayama knocked the opponent down with an accurate right counter. Aggressive Lim got even with a right hand in the third round. But Sayama captured the win over the Korean with a perfect short right cross. Lim stood up on her feet but the referee counted her out.
A four round contest at a catch weight of 56.5㎏ saw JBC bantamweight #5 Akane Fujiwara (3-1, with 1KO) defeat JBC featherweight #8 Rimin Shimano (2-2, 1KO by majority decision. Fujiwara showed solid combinations to head and body of Shimano, who came forward with the size advantage from the beginning and won the majority decision with the scores of 39－37 by 2 and 38－38.
A 19-year-old prospect Nanako Suzuki (3-1, 1KO), rated #6 by JBC in flyweight, did well behind the jabs against JBC #7 Sachiko Kondo (1-3-1) in a four round bout at light flyweight. She slowed down slightly in third round but came back strong in the final round with appearing combinations to win the scores of 39-37 by 2 and 39－38.
JBC featherweight #7 Aira Midorikawa (3-0, 1KO) got into a competitive four rounds at 118 lbs against JBC bantamweight #9 Rena Koizumi (1-1, 1KO) to win a unanimous decision by 39-36×２ and 38-37. While shorter slugger Koizumi tried hard to land her powerful left hooks and right straights, Midorikawa made the most of her long shots with her height. In a busy battle Midorikawa connected with a short right to floor Koizumi in the third round. Koizumi chased the taller lady with a barrage of punches for the next two minutes straight.
A doctor grasped her first victory in professional boxing after two defeats since debuting a year ago. Rena Takahashi (1-2, 1KO) who is working as a physician stopped Watcharin Khodam (1-1, 1KO) at 0:34 in the second round of the four round scheduled bout at minimumweight. Takahashi fired a one-two combination late in the first round and ended it up by sending the opponent to the corner as the referee stopped the contest.