By Joe Koizumi
British pretty girl WBA #8 Shanee Martin (9-4-1, 5 KOs) will come and have a shot at the WBA female super-flyweight belt against defending champ Tsunami Tenkai (13-3, 4 KOs) in Kobe, Japan, on February 7. It will be held beneath the WBA flyweight title go between defending titlist Denkaosen Kaowichit and Daiki Kameda at the World Memorial Hall there. The 27-year-old Martin is supposed to arrive in Tokyo with her trainer Rocky Dean on February 3 after her birthday on the last day of this month and move to the beautiful port city Kobe prior to a press conference a day before the title bout.
It is very rare that British boxers came here to have a world title shot against our world champs. Within this reporter’s memory, there were only three British boxers who fought for the world belts in Japan.
Ex-champ Terry Allen came to Japan only to lose a close decision to our first world champ Yoshio Shirai in 1953. Beatle-haired Alan Rudkin had an ambitious shot at Fighting Harada’s then undisputed bantam belt only to lose a unanimous nod in 1965. Excellent jabber Ken Buchanan once visited here to regain the world lightweight throne from Guts Ishimatsu and surprisingly dropped a hairline but unanimous verdict (144-142, 145-144, and 149-141) in 1975.
Shanee had failed to win the international belt twice, losing a split duke to Viktoria Milo in a WIBF 112-pound title bout in Hungary and being stopped by Susi Kentikian in a quest for the WBA flyweight belt in Germany, both in 2007. Tenkai, a cute Japanese girl, captured the WBA throne by earning a split nod from defending Chinese champ Zhang Xi-Yan in February of the previous year. It will be her first defense, which, however, may become a tough and competitive battle because of Martin’s advantageous height and reach.