Shoot Boxing Japan Women’s Flyweight Champion Ai Takahashi looks to rebound from a non-title defeat in February when she returns to action at Shoot Boxing 2012: “Road To S-Cup, Act.3” on June 3rd in Tokyo, Japan. Takahashi faces off against Rio Kamikaze in a matchup announced today.
The bout between Takahashi and Kamikaze is the second of two semi-final fights in the “2012 Girls S-Cup 53.5” tournament. The winner advances on to face teen prospect Mizuki Inoue in the S-Cup finals in August. Inoue upset Takahashi on February 5th and defeated Mina in her semi-final matchup.
Takahashi sports an impressive 11-3 shoot boxing record that includes a number of notable wins. She advanced to the finals of the 2010 Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup tournament before dropping a five-round decision to two-time champion Rena Kubota. Takahashi won three straight fights, including two by stoppage, to set up a rematch with Kubota in June for the vacant Shoot Boxing women’s flyweight title. In what most considered an upset, Takahashi defeated Kubota to win the championship, but her 2012 campaign got off to a shaky start when she lost a Unanimous Decision to Inoue after an extension round in February.
Kamikaze brings a solid kickboxing background into the June fight, but she remains inexperienced in shoot boxing competition and will be a significant underdog to the reigning titleholder. In one of her more notable bouts to date, Kamikaze faced Miku Hayashi at Jewels: “13th Ring” under kickboxing rules, but dropped a close decision. She looks to follow in Inoue’s footsteps by upsetting Takahashi to advance to the finals, where Inoue awaits the winner.
Inoue earned her spot in the inaugural tournament final with a third-round TKO stoppage of Mina in April. Should Takahashi get past Kamikaze, she will have an opportunity to avenge her loss to the 17-year-old Inoue when the tournament concludes on a date to be determined in August. The tournament will crown the first Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup 53.5kg Champion.
Shoot Boxing 2012: “Road To S-Cup, Act.3” takes place on June 3rd at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
(Photo Credit: Jewels blog)