Teen prodigy Mizuki Inoue scored the biggest victory of her combat sports career tonight at Shoot Boxing 2012: “Road To S-Cup, Act.1” in Tokyo, Japan. The 17-year-old striker upset current Shoot Boxing Japan Women’s Flyweight Champion Ai Takahashi in a non-title bout on the card.
Inoue has maintained a very active schedule competing in shoot boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts over the past 18 months. She used her superior boxing skills to wear Takahashi down through three close rounds and won the fight on all three judges’ scorecards after an extension round.
Inoue (2-1 SB) countered early front kicks from Takahashi (11-3 SB) with a right cross and left hooks to the head and body. Her constant movement allowed her to evade many of Takahashi’s strikes, but Takahashi managed to land a pair of front kicks and closed the distance for a clinch. Inoue kicked at Takahashi’s leg and punched free with her left hand. Takahashi looked to score with combinations in the final minute, but Inoue’s head movement prevented Takahashi from landing much of anything.
Takahashi threw more front kicks in the second round and managed to trap Inoue in a Thai clinch, where she landed knees and kicks in close. Inoue broke away and scored with left and right hooks while keeping her distance. Takahashi landed another knee and clinched, but Inoue punched over the top and avoided damage from Takahashi’s strikes. She again tried to clinch late in the round, but Inoue answered with punches that set off an exchange of fast-paced strikes in the dying seconds.
Inoue continued to get the better of the boxing exchanges in round three, prompting Takahashi to clinch up. Inoue looked for a throw, but Takahashi’s foot became tangled in the ropes. Inoue put together a nice combination of punches after the restart and connected with a one-two combo. She landed more punches in the final minute as Takahashi countered with front kicks and a knee in close.
After three rounds, one judge scored the bout 30-29 in Inoue’s favour while the remaining judges returned scores of 30-30 and 29-29, respectively, for a Majority Draw. The fight then went to the first of an unlimited number of extension rounds until a winner could be determined.
Takahashi tried to close the distance to clinch in the final round, but Inoue moved side-to-side in close to prevent Takahashi from securing a grip around her neck. Inoue landed straight rights and more left hooks to the head and body to escape Takahashi’s clinch attempts. Takahashi relented and engaged Inoue in a striking battle until late in the round, and Inoue’s superior boxing once again proved to be the difference maker.
This time, all three judges were united in awarding the victory to Inoue, who upped her shoot boxing record to 2-1. The White Heart Karate Association prospect sports pro records of 3-1 and 2-1 in kickboxing and MMA, respectively, with her lone MMA defeat coming via competitive decision against Jewels champion Ayaka Hamasaki.
Winner: Mizuki Inoue by Unanimous Decision (10-9, 10-9, 10-9) after one extension round.
Earlier on the same card, 16-year-old Mio Tsumura kept her unblemished SB record intact by defeating the much older and more experienced Tsubaki Oshima. Sporting the ring attire of mentor and two-time Girls S-Cup Champion Rena Kubota, Tsumura landed a nice right cross and kicks early in the preliminary bout. Oshima clinched, but later kept her distance with kicks from the outside.
Tsumura landed more effective punches in the second round and both fighters attempted throws, but neither could secure a high-arc throw worthy of a Shoot Point. The pace increased in the final round as Tsumura connected with right crosses and body kicks and the southpaw Oshima fired back with left hands. Oshima closed the distance and Tsumura punched to the body to make space. Both fighters landed left hooks as the third and final round wound down.
One judge saw the bout even, while the remaining two sided with Tsumura, who earned her fourth victory.
Winner: Mio Tsumura by Majority Decision (30-29, 30-29, 29-29) after three rounds.
(Photo Credit: Jewels blog)