Report by Joe Koizumi
Photos by Boxing Beat
In a contest ballyhooed as “Battle of Beauties”, newly crowned WBA light-minimumweight champ Ayaka Miyao (10-1, 1 KO), 99.75, kept her belt as he floored grudge rival Masae Akitaya (8-4-2, 3 KOs), 101.75, in the sixth session and pounded out a unanimous decision (98-91, 98-92, 96-93) over ten give-and-take rounds on Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan. The pretty girls kept swapping hot and fast rallies all night, but Miyao proved a little more accurate in catching the moving target. Miyao, who had dethroned Mari Ando in her previous bout, may respond to the ex-champ’s demand of a rematch in the next defense.
WBA#13/OPBF#1 Japanese minimum champ Ryuji Hara (14-0, 10 KOs), 105, barely retained his national belt as he hit the deck in the second, desperately fought back and was awarded a close but unanimous verdict (95-94 twice and 97-94) over Yuma Iwahashi (9-5-1, 1 KO), 104.25, over ten furious rounds. Hara, formerly national high school champ who had once attempted to be a jockey, wasn’t what he used to be—without showing his usual good speed and snapping punches. The taller challenger was lazy but good at countering the aggressive champ, who dominated the close affair down the stretch. The short winner said, “The auto accident that I suffered last year might have badly affected my balance and rhythm.” If really so, he had better go to doctor to fully recover from the incident.
An upset happened, as JBC#2 ranked ex-national super-feather champ Seiichi Okada (16-4, 9 KOs), 129.5, was surprisingly halted by unheralded and unexpected Yuta Matsuda (9-7-2, 3 KOs), 129, at 2:21 of the opening session in a scheduled eight. Okada, who fought a grueling battle with world-rated Alejandro Sanabria despite an eventual TKO loss in Mexico last August, was a prohibitive favorite, but was careless enough to absorb Matsuda’s opening shot, a southpaw left to the button. Though barely regaining his feet to resume fighting, his legs were apparently gone with the heavy damage. The ref wisely called a halt to the upset victor’s onslaught.
Unbeaten prospect Ryo Matsumoto (6-0, 6 KOs), 116.5, needed just 123 seconds of the first round with a one-two-three combination to stop Indonesian John Bajawa (11-3, 6 KOs), 114.75, in a scheduled eight.
Promoter: Ohashi Promotions.