Miyao wins WBA female interim 102lb belt

By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda

Ex-WBA female atomweight champ Ayaka Miyao (23-7-1, 6 KOs), 101.5, acquired the vacant WBA interim 102-pound belt when she badly dropped 49-year-old veteran campaigner Nao Ikeyama (18-5-3, 5 KOs), 100, in the opening session, utilized her faster footwork and hand speed, and pounded out a unanimous verdict (97-92 twice, 96-93) over ten speedy rounds on Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan.
Having demolished Miyao twice within the distance in 2006 and 2016, Ikeyama, former WBO 102-pound champ having defended her belt six times prior to her forfeiture to Mika Iwakawa this July, was obviously a prefight favorite.

Miyao, fourteen years her junior at 35, was quite different and determined this night, showing her excellent footwork and well-timed counterpunching due to her well-prepared fight plan throughout the contest.

The opening session witnessed Miyao explode a very effective countering right, amazingly dropping the prefight favorite Ikeyama with a bad damage. Ikeyama couldn’t properly recover from her first-round punishment and monotonously kept stalking the fleet-footed Miyao only to absorb many solid counters.

It’s Miyao’s night by all means. She looked like a butterfly incessantly moving to-and-fro. It might be time for the badly-beaten veteran Ikeyama, only ten months short of her fiftieth birthday, to consider hanging up gloves for good.

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