Matsuda dethrones WBA, WBO female 102lb champ Kuroki

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By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda

It might be called “Night of Upsets” as we watched three new champions in five female title bouts on Friday in Tokyo, Japan. In the main event, fast-moving Rie Matsuda (7-1-1, 1 KO), a southpaw counterpuncher, surprisingly dethroned WBA, WBO atomweight champ Yoko Kuroki (22-8-2, 9 KOs), 101.5, by eking out a split decision (96-94, 97-94 for Matsuda, 94-96 for Kuroki) over ten speedy rounds on Friday in Tokyo, Japan. Kuroki, 32, kept stalking the elusive footworker, 29, all the way with Matsuda occasionally countering the willing mixer. The verdict seemed controversial since Kuroki was an aggressor in almost all rounds, while Matsuda kept circling and only occasionally countering the aggressive champ. Kuroki may deserve a rematch.

Promoter: Shinsei Promotions.


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