Azalea Taisho in Osaka, Japan played host to two world title contests this past weekend. In one match up, WBO atom-weight champion Nao Ikeyama (15-3-1, 4 KO’s) made her first title defense against Masae Akitaya (9-5-2, 3 KO’s). Ikeyama is a former WIBA title holder as a minimum-weight as well as a JWBC champ early in her career. She won the WBO strap in May, defeating Jessebelle Pagaduan at the same venue. Akitaya had challenged on three prior occasions for a world title, but the closest she’d ever come was a draw with Momo Koseki in a 2010WBC atom-weight clash.
The challenger’s luck wouldn’t change this night, but she would come close. A unanimous decision with scores of 95-94 twice and 96-93 all in favor of the champion were made possible by a second round knockdown scored for Ikeyama, saving her from a draw or possibly a close loss.
In the nights second title bout, Kumiko Seeser Ikehara (6-1-1, 3 KO’s) and Gretchen Abaniel (15-6, 6 KO’s) fought for the vacant WBO minimum-weight title. It was Ikehara’s first opportunity at a world title and Abaniel, a former WIBA champion in the same division, was looking to regain her championship status. She had also challenged unsuccessfully for the IBF and WBO world titles in 2011 and 2012. Ikehara would come out on top, going 10 rounds for the first time, and taking a split decision by scores of 98-92, 97-93, and 94-96.
Also on the card, Tamao Ozawa (7-2, 2 KO’s) defeated Kai Johnson (5-5-3, 2 KO’s) by eight round decision and Aiko Yamagishi (4-0-1, 2 KO’s) dealt Chie Higano (3-1) her first loss, stopping her in two rounds.
Two world champions also saw action in Holzminden, Germany, though both bouts were non-title affairs. Nikki Adler (13-0, 8 KO’s), holder of four world super middleweight titles, stopped Rita Kenessey (4-10, 2 KO’s) in four rounds. Adler holds belts for the WIBA, WBU, WBC and WBF all as a super middleweight. Her first world title was won in 2013 in her ninth pro bout after briefly holding the German title in the same weight class. She followed with three more title winning contests before meeting Kenessey.
Also on the card, Natalia Smirnova (9-0, 6 KO’s), currently in possession of five titles, defeated Hasna Tukic (3-3, 3 KO’s) by sixth round stoppage. Smirnova holds three world titles and two regional belts in two weight divisions. A newcomer to the pros, she had just five bouts and five months experience when she won the WIBA International lightweight title and GBU super featherweight title in the same contest; a third round stoppage over Veronika Hornyak. She followed by winning the WBF Intercontinental lightweight title in her next bout, and the WIBA and UBO super featherweight belts would follow.
Eva Wahlstrom (12-0-1, 3 KO’s), the EBU super featherweight champion, defeated Halanna Dos Santos (14-7, 9 KO’s) by six round decision in a non-title contest in Finland. Wahlstrom won the belt in March of 2012, and made her one defense this past August.
Former WBA world bantamweight champion Irma Garcia (11-1-1, 2 KO’s) took part in her third bout of the year, winning a 10 round decision over Simone Da Silva Duarte in Sinaloa, Mexico. Garcia held the title in 2013, defeating Janeth Perez and winning a return bout three months later. After a non-title loss to Jessica Gonzalez, she defended and won against Magali Rodriguez. Duarte briefly held the WIBA South American bantamweight title, and went on to lose five title challenges.