Mizuki Hiruta Wins by Knockout in Tokyo and Other Fights
By David A. Avila and Yuriko Miyata
Only the strong survive.
Mizuki Hiruta was the only world champion to survive the Friday night blues and she did it by knockout. The other two champions fell short.
Hiruta (6-0, 2 Kos) entered the prize ring in a white and pink bell shaped gown with a large pink heart and promptly beat down South Korea’s Ji Hyun Park (26-4, 8 KOs) in front of a large crowd at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall. She retains the WBO super flyweight world title.
Looks can be deceiving.
Though Hiruta looks more cosplay than fighter, the pink flamed-haired boxer immediately showed her strength from the first round on. Korea’s Park tried to exchange early with the powerful southpaw Japanese fighter.
Right hooks smacked those ideas right out of Park.
Park tried exchanging whenever necessary as she looked for a method to engage without getting hit. But Hiruta was shiftier and more accurate during the exchanges.
Another plan had to be devised by the Korean fighter.
Park sought to engage inside against Hiruta but discovered once again that the Japanese fighter’s superior strength was not to be tested in close quarters. And when Park tried to escape the pocket there was that long right hook or left cross to deal with over and over.
Hiruta was stunning Park repeatedly in almost every round. By the sixth round the Korean fighter was running out of ideas and perhaps believed it was time for an all-out war. She let all guns fire and was met with equal firepower by Hiruta. It was a brave attempt but Hiruta’s blows were too damaging especially after 10 consecutive blows were unleashed. The referee wisely stopped the machine gun barrage.
Mizuki Hiruta was the winner by technical knockout at 1:45 of the sixth round and retains the WBO super flyweight world title.
Sumire Yamanaka (8-0, 3 Kos) defeated the taller Mika Iwakawa (12-7-1, 4 Kos) with a strong inside attack and won by unanimous decision after 10 rounds to take the IBF atomweight world title.
Eri Matsuda (7-1-1) won by a close split decision over WBA and WBO atomweight titlist Yuko Kuroki (22-8-2, 9 Kos) to become the new world champion. Both southpaws battled it out but Matsuda was able to use her height and reach advantage to convince two judges she was the winner. This was Matsuda’s third attempt at a world title and she gets two at once.