Yamanaka becomes first Japanese sister/brother world champ

Brother Sister03 1

By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda

Unbeaten southpaw puncher Sumire Yamanaka (8-0, 3 KOs), 101, captured the IBF female atomweight belt as she kept battering defending champ and compatriot Mika Iwakawa (12-7-1, 4 KOs), 101.5, to win a unanimous decision (97-93, 96-94, 99-91) over ten two-minute rounds on Friday in Tokyo, Japan. The 22-year-old Sumire, the younger sister of ex-WBO minimum champ Ryuya Yamanaka, became the very first in Japan that the brother and sister both acquired the world championship belts. Sumire, a short but stout-built southpaw hard-puncher, took the initiative with southpaw right hooks all the way despite the 40-year-old Iwakawa’s too late retaliation down the stretch.

Promoter: Shinsei Promotions.


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    • You might be right but the only name that comes to mind is Serrano at 108, but she has a sister who was a champ also. Good trivia question.

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