By Joe Koizumi
Ex-WBC female 105-pound champ, unbeaten Japanese Naoko Fujioka (11-0, 6 KOs), 114.25, jumped up three classes and impressively captured the WBA 115-pound belt by pounding out an upset unanimous decision over defending titlist Naoko Yamaguchi (22-4-3, 18 KOs), 115, over ten hot rounds on Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan. Fujioka, 38, was an outstanding amateur champ and turned professional late at the age of thirty-four in 2009. Since then, she beat up everybody so convincingly that it became hard to find a suitable challenger with her WBC strawweight belt at stake. Fujioka made up her mind to have an ambitious crack at the WBA 115-pound belt against the champ and compatriot Yamaguchi.
The official tallies were as follows: Sugiyama and Yoshida both 97-92, Martin 98-91, all in favor of Fujioka, three years senior to the defending titlist Yamaguchi, who had been a prohibitive favorite. The referee was Kazunobu Asao. It was Fujioka that floored the champ with a flurry of punches in round three and kept her initiative nearly all the way.
Promoter: Shirai Gushiken Promotions.
(More to come)