By Joe Koizumi
Unbeaten southpaw sharp-shooter, WBC#13 Etsuko Tada (4-0, 2 KOs), 103.75, battered WBC#8 Korean Hemin Kim (2-4-1, 2 KOs), 103, to the punch, swept all rounds and pounded out a shutout decision (60-55 twice and 60-54) over six lopsided rounds in a main event on Sunday in Osaka, Japan.
Kim previously failed to win the WBC atomweight (102-pound) belt from Japanese defending titlist Momo Koseki by a unanimous nod (97-93, 98-92 and 99-92) in Tokyo last December. But Tada, one of the most brilliant female boxers here, belonged to a different class, as the southpaw girl (whose amateur mark was 47-3) had defeated the current WBC ruler Koseki twice in their amateur days.
Tada’s southpaw lefts were fast, sharp and accurate enough to almost stun the Korean pretty girl time and again. Tada, coached by ex-WBA 130-pound and 135-pound champ Takanori Hatakeyama, displayed her good form and smashing lefts to the Korean opponent all the way, piling up points in every round.
Had Tada accelerated her attack in the last two sessions, she would have easily finished the Korean loser, but Tada maintained her initiative without going for a knockout victory. Why? This was her tune-up go prior to an already scheduled title shot against WBA minimumweight belt against unbeaten Korean Cho-Rong Son in Osaka on April 11. It will take place beneath the WBA super-fly title bout between Nobuo Nashiro and ex-OPBF ruler Konosuke Tomiyama in a battle of compatriots. Tada probably wished to fight as long as possible to test her stamina in preparation for the world crack two months later.
Unlike in Europe, the female boxing is still least popular here in Japan. Many televisions coldly turned down such offers from promoters to show female world title bouts. Our people traditionally ask for elegance and beauty from pretty ladies rather than violence and strength from pugnacious girls. But it is time of equal rights between men and women. Why not strong girls can prevail? The Japanese audience, however, don’t like to see girls fighting, so ticket-selling of female fights have been least successful.
We have had such excellent female boxers here as Raika Fujin, Rie Fujimoto, Tsubasa Tenku, Tsunami Tenkai (who is slated to have an ambitious shot at the WBA super-fly belt against Chinese champ Zhang Xi-Yan here on February 26), et al. But they haven’t become household names even among hardcore fans here that still have prejudice against women boxers.
The technically best talented might be Etsuko Tada, 27, who throws a southpaw straight left like an arrow right to the button of her opponent. Her left hand was as sharp as that of ex-world champ Jiro Watanabe. It is fun to see such a talented girl who boxes much better than Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby.
Should the female boxing be prosperous in the future here, it may be due to Tada’s continually breath-taking performance. She is worth watching. Her flaw? That’s her deep, manly voice in her victorious interview after the fight. We just wonder why she spoke so loudly and so manly despite her brilliant victory.
Promoter: Yoshiyama Promotions.