By Joe Koizumi
WBC female atomweight (102-pound) champ Momo Koseki (24-2-1, 9 KOs), a 35-year-old Japanese southpaw, officially made an announcement on Monday to hang up gloves for good after she registered 17 successful defenses and acquired the WBC 105-pound belt by dethroning compatriot Yuko Kuroki in her last appearance last December.
Both belts, therefore, will become vacant with Koseki’s relinquishment. Koseki, cultivated by her long-time manager/promoter Masayuki Ariyoshi, has improved in every fight physically, technically and mentally so that she became a formidable champion, having broken even Yoko Gushiken’s thirteen consecutive defenses and having been unbeaten since 2008 to her credit.
Koseki, a skinny lefthander, will go to school to be a therapist in the future after her abrupt retirement. The female boxing world, in Japan, seems terrible and hopeless at this moment since people don’t pay great attention and customers don’t buy many tickets. The purses of female boxers are miserably low in comparison with those of male world champions.
Despite many male world champions, the state of the game in Japan isn’t necessarily sound and straight since there have been many problems such as disparity and/or inequality among boxers under influential promoters and small club owners; between males and females; between the professional fraternity and the amateur world.
This reporter wonders how much Koseki gained and saved money through her remarkable seventeen defenses. Koseki, a graduate from Nihon Female Athletic University, campaigned in the amateur contests and then turned professional in 2007. The path of her fistic career based on her great efforts and dedications might be lined with thorns, but her second life will be successful as a therapist to assist patients and older people, hopefully. Bon voyage!