World Boxing Association

WBA female 115lb champ Fujioka to collide with Kawanishi today

By 06/07/2014

WBA female 115lb champ Fujioka to collide with Kawanishi today

WBA female 115lb champ Fujioka to collide with Kawanishi today. Photo Joe Koizumi

Having jumped up three classes to win the WBA super-fly belt, unbeaten Naoko Fujioka (11-0, 6 KOs) of Japan will risk her newly acquired belt against a talented and tall compatriot, OPBF titlist Tomoko Kawanishi (9-1, 4 KOs) on Monday in Tokyo, Japan. Fujioka, a 38-year-old Wilfredo Gomez stylist, kept her WBC 105-pound throne twice after dethroning Mexican Anabel Ortiz by an eighth-round stoppage in 2011. She had a difficulty being matched with any suitable challenger, and finally decided to shift her target to compatriot WBA 115-pound ruler Naoko Yamaguchi, whom she impressively dropped early to win a unanimous nod and capture the belt last November.

Kawanishi, a 5’7″ Carlos Zarate stylist, 27, annexed the OPBF 115-pound belt by demolishing Noriko Tsunoda in the fourth round in April of the previous year and impressively kept it twice to her credit. She can make good use of her advantageous height and reach to outpunch her opposition.

Both tipped the beam at the 115-pound class limit at the weigh-in at the office of the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC). The officials are as follows: referee Toshio Sugiyama; judges Takeo Harada, Kazunobu Asao and Kazutoshi Yoshida; supervisor Ken Morita (all of the JBC).

This title bout is staged by Takehara & Hatakeyama Promotions in association with Ichiriki Promotions. Both Shinji Takahara (160) and Takanori Hatakeyama (130, 135) were formerly WBA titleholders now handling Fujioka. The ex-middleweight champ Takehara (who once dethroned Jorge Locomotora Castro) said, “Fujioka, in sparring, was stronger than me.” No kidding.