By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Boxing Beat
WBA female light minimumweight (102-pound) champ, Japanese footworker Ayaka Miyao (16-5-1, 1 KO), 99.75, retained her belt for the third time as she fully utilized her speed and finesse to earn a unanimous decision (97-93 twice, 96-94) over mandatory challenger Gretchen Abaniel (13-5, 4 KOs), 101.5, Philippines, over ten fast rounds on Thursday in Tokyo, Japan. Miyao, making her third defense, started cautiously since the Filipina apparently aimed to throw solid counterpunches to the champ.
It was true that Abaniel was in command in earlier rounds, but Miyao solved the challenger’s strategy and made good use of feint and counter to pile up points in later rounds. The cute Japanese champ had the fading challenger in trouble in the final session to confirm her victory. Miyao’s manager/promoter and ex-WBC/WBA 108-pound ruler Hideyuki Ohashi praised her performance, saying, “It’s Miyao’s best fight. The challenger was as strong as expected, but Miyao overcame Abaniel’s power and clearly dominated the middle rounds on.” The third man was Pinit Prayadsab of Thailand.
In another title bout, Mexican Nancy Franco (12-5-2, 4 KOs), 104.5, impressively acquired the vacant IBF mini-flyweight (105-pound) belt by winning a unanimous decision (97-93, 96-94, 98-92) over 37-year-old Kayoko Ebata (7-5, 4 KOs), 105, over ten hard-fought rounds. The referee was Pat Russell from the US. Franco, 24, was aggressive from the outset, mixing it up so roughly and recklessly that she was in command with her positive attacks with or without precision.
Ex-WBA female super-fly champ Tsunami Tenkai, 117, stopped Filipina Leslie Domingo, 117.25, at 1:59 fo the third session.
WBA supervisor: Ken Morita, Japan.
IBF supervisor: Ray Reed, Australia.
Promoter: Ohashi Promotions in association with G-Legend committee.