Top Japanese prospect Mizuki Inoue captured her second straight Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup 53.5-kilogram title tonight at the 2013 Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup Japan Midsummer Festival in Tokyo. Inoue defeated rival Ai Takahashi for a third time in tonight’s tournament championship final.
Another teen prospect also captured her second straight title on tonight’s card. Mio Tsumura outlasted two opponents to become this year’s Shoot Boxing JKS48 high school girls’ tournament champion. Tsumura’s mentor, three-time Girls S-Cup winner Rena Kubota, was also victorious tonight.
Inoue (7-1-0 SB) wore down Takahashi (17-5-0 SB/KB) over time in the championship fight. She landed quick counterpunches and knees, and avoided a guillotine choke attempt from Takahashi in the opening round. Takahashi got off to a good start in round two, but Inoue continued to score with crisp counters and she mixed in uppercuts in the clinch.
In round three, Inoue rocked Takahashi on two occasions. She swarmed with punches, but Takahashi stayed on her feet and fired back with strikes of her own. Inoue continue the assault until the final bell and her strong finish to the fight earned her a close win on the scorecards.
All three judges scored the fight 30-29 for Inoue, who earned her third victory over Takahashi and claimed her second consecutive Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup 53.5 Championship in the process. Inoue has won seven straight kickboxing matches in addition to her ongoing success in MMA.
Kubota (22-5-1 SB/KB), who won the main Girls S-Cup tournament in 2009, 2010 and 2012, returned to action on tonight’s card in a non-tournament bout against Dutch standout Lorena “Lady Pitbull” Klijn (3-2-0 SB). Kubota looked to counter Klijn’s haymaker punches in round one with knees in the clinch, but Klijn responded with a big knee of her own. She caught kicks from Kubota and dumped her to the mat, but Kubota answered with some nice combinations late in the round.
It was more of the same in rounds two and three. Klijn threw more heavy punches, but most were blocked and she began to slow down. Kubota stuck to her strategy of countering with hooks and quick flurries. She tried for an arm-triangle choke in the third round, but Klijn escaped and the bout went to the judges. Scores were 30-29 Kubota, 30-30 and 29-29 for a Majority Draw, promoting an extension round.
In the fourth round, Kubota picked up the pace with punch-kick combos and a spinning backfist. The fighters traded body shots and Kubota scored with two big right hooks. Both women attempted throws and the fight ended with an exchange of wild hooks. One judge ruled the extension round even at 10-10, but the remaining two awarded Kubota with 10-9 scores for a hard-fought Majority Decision victory.
Kubota’s protégé, Tsumura (10-1-0 SB), made short work of Yuuki Kira (3-4-2 SB/KB) in the JKS48 tournament final. Tsumura landed heavy punches from the outset and she kept Kira on the defensive. She ducked under an axe kick from Kira and landed a powerful right cross. Kira stumbled and Tsumura floored her with a right hook for the knockout victory at the 1:08 mark of round one. The commanding win earned Tsumura the 2013 Shoot Boxing JKS48 Championship.
Earlier on the card, Inoue defeated “Jet” Izumi Noguchi and Miyo Yoshida in succession to earn her spot in the 53.5kg tournament final. In quarterfinal action, Inoue landed quick combinations to the head and body en route to a Unanimous Decision win over Noguchi with scores of 30-27 and 30-28 twice. Inoue’s semi-final with Yoshida was closer, but the teen prodigy jumped in and out with three-punch combos and right crosses that snapped Yoshida’s head back. After three rounds, Inoue received a trio of 30-28 scorecards for a Unanimous Decision win that propelled her to the finals.
Takahashi also bested two opponents on her way to the final round. In her quarterfinal fight, Takahashi countered punches from Wei-Ting Chen with a guillotine choke. Chen escaped the hold, but Takahashi later locked on a second guillotine that finished the fight at the 1:24 mark of round two. Takahashi moved on to face Rio Kamikaze in a hotly-contest semi-final bout that required an extension round. The fighters battled back and forth through three rounds to a Majority Draw with scores of 30-29 Takahashi, 30-30 and 29-29. In the extension round, Takahashi was aggressive with punches and throw attempts, and all three judges rewarded her with 10-9 scorecards for a Unanimous Decision win.
Elsewhere in the 53.5kg tournament, the aforementioned Rio Kamikaze and Miyo Yoshida advanced to the semi-finals with commanding wins in their respective quarterfinal fights. Kamikaze destroyed shoot boxing newcomer Matsukuma Kikukawa with knees, throws and submission attempts. Kamikaze earned multiple Shoot Points en route to a lopsided Unanimous Decision win with scores of 30-21, 30-22 and 30-24. Yoshida overcame opponent Kanako Oka’s sizable reach advantage and dropped Oka for a standing eight count early in round two. Yoshida remained aggressive in round three and took a Unanimous Decision win with scores of 30-27 and 30-26 twice.
Tsumura punched her ticket to the JKS48 final by outpointing Comachi in a semi-final bout. Tsumura countered Comachi’s strikes in round one and attempted a series of hip toss throws in the middle stanza. Finally, after many attempts, Tsumura scored a throw that was worthy of a Shoot Point in round three. The late throw secured the victory for Tsumura on the scorecards, and she earned a Unanimous Decision win with scores of 30-29 and 30-28 twice.
Kira endured a last-minute opponent change when Michi Nakamura was injured in a traffic accident. Replacement foe Anna Murayama was no match for her and suffered a quick and decisive defeat. Kira battered Murayama with punches right away to earn a standing eight count. Muraya continued on, but Kira swarmed on her with more punches until the brief bout was waved off at the 52-second mark.
Rounding out the card, two-time Girls S-Cup finalist “V.V” Mei Yamaguchi (8-5-0 SB) dominated late-replacement opponent Chihiro Kira in a non-tournament bout. Yamaguchi scored Shoot Points in each of the first two rounds, as well as a Catch Point in the second stanza for a standing arm-triangle choke. Yamaguchi landed knees and tried for more throws including a suplex in round three. She cruised to a Unanimous Decision win with scores of 30-27 and 30-26 twice.
Rena Matsuda landed stiff jabs and right hands en route to victory over Nako Otsuka in a preliminary card matchup. Otsuka worked for arm-triangle chokes in close and clinched often, but Matsuda fought free and punished her with knees as the bout progressed. After three rounds, the judges handed Matsuda a Unanimous Decision victory with scores of 30-27 and 30-28 twice.
Opening the action tonight, Akari “Eneos” Nakamura outpointed Tomomi Souda in a three-round bout. Nakamura was ultra aggressive with her striking in round one and she scored with combinations of punches and leg kicks throughout the fight. Souda tried to rally in the later rounds, but it was not enough and Nakamura took the Unanimous Decision win with a trio of 30-28 scorecards.
Play-by-play for the 2013 Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup Japan Midsummer Festival can be found here.
(Photo Credit: Shoot Boxing)