Japan Reporting: Ex-Champ Yuko Kuroki Wins Convincingly
By Yuriko Miyata
Former WBC female minimumweight champion Yuko Kuroki successfully earned a victory by unanimous decision over Momoko Kanda, a former OPBF 102lbs titlist, on Tuesday night at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
It was a coming back fight for the popular ex-world champion after a bitter defeat in her sixth defense against Momo Koseki, the champion of 17 defenses of the WBC atomweight division, four months ago.
Kuroki spoke in the post-fight interview: “I am sorry not to show a brilliant performance to my supporters. I wanted to knock my opponent out, but I was a little strained as it was my coming back fight since last December. ”
Not bad at all.
Southpaw Kuroki (18-5-1, 8 KOs) showed her skills and prevailed whereas Kanda (6-7, 3 KOs) came aggressively, sometimes roughly the whole fight. Kuroki used her right jab constantly to keep distance to keep her timing in the first round, then started frustrating Kanda with accurate left straights in second round.
Kanda, a former world challenger, was determined to try to get inside, but every time she stepped in, her left hook twined around Kuroki’s neck so that she could not make an effective offense. In the third round Kanda’s left eye lid was swollen already and Kuroki focused to box her with quick four-punch-combinations and stepped outside to avoid further crushes and clinches. Although Kuroki was a little bit disturbed by Kanda’s attack in the sixth round, she had never let go of the initiative and the fight was scored 79-73, 79-74, and 78-75.
It is evident Kuroki has the capability to crown herself again and being one of the most popular female fighters she draws crowds into the capital of Japanese boxing even though she resides in the far west town of Fukuoka.
“I heard many of the audience shout ‘ K.O!. K.O!’ I wanted to show you that but I was involved in rough play when I got inside so I lost accuracy. Though I lost my belt of the world championship last December, I promise I’ll get it back in my hand. Please keep being with me guys.”
Hard hitting bantamweight Yoshie Wakasa (5-0,2KOs), rated No.4 by the JBC Japan Boxing Commission, defeated Rimin Shimano (1-1, 1KO) who is rated #7 at featherweight by the commission by unanimous decision in the undercard. Wakasa dominated the fight with heavy jabs and right uppercuts and crosses from the first round. But she was a little careless in defense and got unnecessarily hit. Shimano, known as a former professional cycle racer, suffered a forehead lump and nose bleeding midway through and got tired as it was just the second pro boxing contest for the athlete with confidence in her power. Wakasa kept herself undefeated and it would be an attractive fight when she gets a chance to challenge current Japanese champion Miyo Yoshida.