Photos by Naoki Fukuda  –

Do you know who’s a current world champion under 100 pounds? The WBO female atomweight titlist Nao Ikeyama is the one. Do you know who’s the oldest current world champ? Nao, 47 years old, is the one, too. Nao Ikeyama (18-3-3, 5 KOs), 99.5, barely kept her WBO 102-pound belt as she was held to a split draw (96-94, 94-96, 95-95) by younger and fresher Saemi Hanagata (13-6-4, 7 KOs), 101.75, over ten hard-fought rounds on Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan.

It’s Nao’s sixth successful defense, and the tallies were completely same as their previous encounter with the WBO belt at stake in June of the previous year. Hanagata, fifteen years her junior, took the initiative with her opening attack, but the veteran champ, having fought since 2003, came back hard with her trademark non-stop attack in the second half. Hanagata may deserve their rubber battle.



Date:  Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Location:  Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan

Promoter:  Watanabe Gym Promotions / Mr. Kazutaka Yoshiro

Supervisor:  Leon Panoncillo, Jr.

Referee:  Katsuhiko Nakamura 

Judges:  Takeshi Shimakawa (96-95), Surat Soikrachang (94-97), Masakazu Murase (95-95)

Results:  The WBO Female Atomweight Title was kept by the Champion Nao Ikeyama and held to a split draw against Saemi Hanagata.


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By Joe Koizumi
Photos: Sumio Yamada

40-year-young WBO female bantamweight champ Naoko Fujioka (15-1, 6 KOs), 117.5, impressively kept her belt when she withstood the opening attack of ex-WBC flyweight titlist Go Shindo (16-4, 11 KOs), 117.75, took back the initiative with her furious retaliation and finally pounded out a very unanimous verdict (98-91 twice and 97-92) over ten grueling rounds on Monday in Tokyo, Japan. It must be Fight of the Decade, as our people never saw such a furious give-and-take battle in female boxing history in Japan.

The opening session witnessed Shindo almost topple the defending champ with a vicious right cross twice, and the crowd sensed that the end would come soon with the challenger victorious, but it was Fujioka that displayed desperate retaliations from the second round onward. Piling up points, Fujioka finally caught up with the game and hard-punching Shindo, taller and bigger than the champ, and floored her with a solid right to the face in the closing seconds of the eighth. 

Shindo, who had lost a controversial split duke to Mariana Juarez in quest of the WBC 112-pound belt in Los Angeles four years ago, showed her heart with desperate attacks with full power in round nine, but the champ gamely fought back hard with faster and more accurate combinations toe-to-toe in the squared circle. Japan’s Katsuhiko Nakamura finely controlled the hard-fought contest.

In the first WBO title bout, 46-year-young Nao Ikeyama (10-2, only one KO), 100.75, barely kept her 102-pound belt by a split draw (96-94, 94-96, 95-95) with Saemi Hanagata (12-7-2, 6 KOs), 101.77, over ten. Danrex Tapdasan of the Philippines was the third man.

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The Women’s World Boxing Championship which was held at the Stein Studios, Ratmalana ended on Saturday that pitted a defending champ against a vicious opponent and had the ingredients for a brilliant encounter.

Nao Ikeyama ,the WBO Atom-weight champion was confident from the start and did not seem swayed by her small yet ferocious opponent, Jujeath ‘Bad Girl’ Nagaowa.

Jujeath came out in to the ring with the championship belt in mind and did not falter to deliver some quick jabs and swinging around to catch the defending champ slightly surprised in the first three rounds. Ikeyama came back and found her rhythm to smartly dodge and block the fast paced jabs and came at her opponent with counters that was seemingly more efficient.

The experience of the champ showed as she watched her opponent before throwing punches but the fighting sprit of Jujeath kept the 45 year old on her toes and did not leave room for mistakes.

As the fight entered the 9th round the challenger from Philippines was trailing close behind in the judges scores but as the 10th and final round came to an end the Japanese defending champ had done her due diligence and managed to out-punch her opponent.

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44-year-old-champ-ikeyamaPhotos by Boxing Beat –

Article by Joe Koizumi –

A female world title twinbill took place on Saturday in Osaka, Japan, with a couple of Japanese girls emerging victorious as new champions.

44-year-old Japanese Nao Ikeyama (14-3-1, 4 KOs), 102, became the WBO’s first 102-pound champ as she put on an incredibly fast pace and battered previously unbeaten Filipino southpaw Jessebelle Pagaduan (6-1, 4 KOs), 102, from pillar to post en route to a lopsided decision (99-91 twice and 98-92) in an elimination bout for ten hot rounds.


Ikeyama, a middle-aged woman whom the Japanese commission (JBC) had made promise to retire upon a defeat before the bout, became a Fighting Harada, as she kept throwing punches so continually in every round entirely in the combat. Where did the 44-year-old lady’s abundant stamina come from? Though the hard-punching Pagaduan dominated the opening session by a slight margin, Ikeyama fully opened her engine from the second round onward, whipping and battering the game opponent upstairs and downstairs thereafter. Danrex Tapadasan, a good referee from the Philippines, might have stopped the one-sided contest early especially in round nine when Ikeyama so incessantly kept punching the fading foe with an effective two-fisted attack.