Eri Matsuda and Miyo Yoshida Win in All-Female Tokyo Card
By Yuriko Miyata
“The Victoriva” event celebrated its first anniversary with its fourth boxing card in a year at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo on March 13th. This all-women promotion has worked well and been settled as a regular series all in 12 months. Although there was no world title bout this time, competitive matches by new generations drew a good audience.
In the main event that Wednesday night Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) titlist Eri Matsuda（3-0) overcame Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) champion Nanae Suzuki (8-3-1, 1KO) by unanimous decision with the scores of 78-74 by 2 and 79-74, to unify the title at atom weight division in an eight round contest.
The Japanese champion Suzuki well known as an endless rusher did her job from the opening bell and gave Matsuda a nosebleed in the first round. But Matsuda, a smart southpaw with years of amateur experience, adjusted to the opponent’s aggression immediately the next round. The OPBF champ was forced back slightly and connected with combinations before Suzuki slugged back. When the official scores were opened after the fourth round – according to the OPBF rules – all were in favor of Matsuda by 40-36, 39-37, and 39-37.
Suzuki was not discouraged with the points deficit and kept trying to trouble the other champion. But Matsuda did not lose her composure and her accurate hits appealed to judges.
Matsuda defended her OPBF title for the first time at the same time she collected another belt. It was just her third professional fight.
“I know I am a developing boxer. I always train to be a better one. I watched Suzuki’s fighting since when I was still an amateur. She is a fighter of real spirit. I needed to train harder to beat a brave fighter like her clearly. I keep going to be ready for a world title anytime a chance is there,” said Matsuda who now has two titles and is rated #5 by the WBA.
Her superb technique showed that she is a strong candidate to be the next star.
Another anticipated card took place as a co-main event. Current OPBF and JBC bantamweight title holder Miyo Yoshida (12-1 dominated JBC #1 contender Yoshie Wakasa (6-1, 2KOs in a six round bout for the JBC title only with the scores of 59-55, 59-55, and 60-54.
Fans have wanted to see this matchup of the experienced champion against the undefeated challenger with fascinating power punches.
Defending champion Yoshida, also rated #15 by WBC, has acquired skills step by step in a busy year and this time demonstrated that she topped clearly the undefeated hard hitter. The champ’s straight rights captured the judges over the heavy rights coming from the opponent. Yoshida baffled Wakasa with timely jabs, right hands and did not hesitate to clinch when needed. She never allowed the challenger to do what she wanted.
Wakasa suffered her first loss but she has a lot room to improve, as it was just the first attempt for any title for her. The champion looked relieved when victory was confirmed.
“This time my goal was to secure a win as the opponent is known as a hard puncher. But I sought a KO victory that I have never had yet. Please keep supporting me as I am trying to be stronger and stronger in each fight. I would like to challenge for the world title when an offer comes. The dream motivates me a lot,” said the single mother and champion Yoshida with a smile.
There were five four-rounders for the undercards, as two were canceled.
Though JBC #11 featherweight Airi Motoki（1-0-1,1KO is a possible prospect after she scored a 3rd round TKO victory in her debut fight five months ago, this time she tied with #6 rated Chisa Tanaka (2-6-1 1KO）with scores of 39-37 and 38-38 by two. Motoki used long jabs and one-two combinations but seemed too careful and that let Tanaka gain momentum with right straights in later rounds.
In a minimum weight four-round contest, a southpaw Haruko Kaneko (1-3) captured her first victory over JBC #10 rated and well known as a “fighting doctor” Rena Takahashi（1-3,1KO）by unanimous decision of 40-36, 40-37, 39-37. Kaneko watched Takahashi’s aggression well and connected left straights and right hooks constantly. It was a clear and pleasant decision.
A bantamweight bout was one of the most competitive of the night as #7 rated by JBC Natsumi Shimauma（3-1, 1KO) overcame #9 bull-like fighter Rena Koizumi （1-2, 1KO）with accurate and busy punches both inside and from middle range to have scores of 39-38, 39-37, and 37-39.
An atomweight match saw Honoka Karino stop Ai Oki (0-2) at 1:12 in the second round of a four-round scheduled bout. Karino was very composed for her professional debut and used her basic skills to stumble Oki, who was short on her defensive work.
A flyweight clash between Ayaka Kikuchi and Miyuki Katsutani ended up with a split draw with the scores of 38-38, 37-39, 39-37. Their battle provided four rounds of quality fighting. It was a game debut for both Kikuchi and Katsutani. The first half saw Kikuchi attack to gain advantage, but Katsutani rallied back with constant one-two combinations in the later rounds. Let’s look for their next fights.