Shoot Boxing Japan Women’s Flyweight Champion Ai Takahashi earned a spot in the finals of the “2012 Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup 53.5” tournament tonight at Shoot Boxing 2012: “Road To S-Cup, Act.3” in Tokyo, Japan. Takahashi defeated Rio Kamikaze in the second of two semi-final bouts.
The convincing victory sets up a rematch between Takahashi and teen prospect Mizuki Inoue in the Girls S-Cup 53.5 final on August 25th. Inoue upset Takahashi in a non-title bout on February 5th and advanced to the tournament final with a third-round stoppage win over Mina in April.
Takahashi (12-3-0 SB) was sent to the mat by an early front kick from Kamikaze, but she got back to her feet and fought off Kamikaze’s throw attempts. Punches were exchanged and Takahashi connected with straight rights. Takahashi began to establish her jab and she defended well when Kamikaze closed the distance in search of high-arc throws for Shoot Points. Takahashi stayed on her feet and landed kicks and a knee to the body late in the round.
Kamikaze looked to land kicks of her own in the second stanza, but found herself in a tight standing guillotine choke that earned Takahashi a Catch Point for the submission. After the break, Kamikaze jabbed and Takahashi fired back with more right hands and knees. She continued to dominate the fight in the final round by avoiding Kamikaze’s throws and putting together combinations of punches and knees to the body.
At the conclusion of the bout, the ringside judges had little trouble in determining a victor. All three scored the fight in favour of Takahashi, who now faces Inoue on August 25th to determine the first Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup 53.5kg Champion.
Winner: Ai Takahashi by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26) after three rounds. She improves to 12-3-0 (SB) and advances to the finals of the Shoot Boxing “2012 Girls S-Cup 53.5” Grand Prix.
(Photo Credit: Jewels blog)