Five kickboxing matches have been added to Saturday’s Jewels: “20th Ring” event at Differ Ariake in Tokyo, Japan. Among them is a three-round bout between NJKF Bonita Boxeo champ and Jewels veteran Kozue “Azuma” Nagashima and South Korean amateur boxing champion Ji Yun Kim.
Thirteen-year-old “Muay Thai Genius” Saya Ito, a veteran of 84 fights, faces off against Emi Matsushita on the card, while Ito’s teammate Miiri Sasaki battles Kayoko Yamazaki. In 52kg amateur tournament action, Wano Sato faces Mari Suzuki and Reina Matsuda squares off against Ayumi Otaki.
Saturday’s card is headlined by a pivotal 52kg rematch between final Valkyrie Featherweight Champion “V.V” Mei Yamaguchi (9-4-1) and grappling specialist Emi Tomimatsu (5-4-0). Yamaguchi narrowly defeated Tomimatsu in the pair’s first bout in 2007, but she has dropped two of her past three fights and needs a big win to get back into title contention. Tomimatsu, meanwhile, has won three straight fights since returning from a lengthy injury hiatus last year. The winner of the rematch could move on to challenge Jewels Lightweight Queen Champion Ayaka Hamasaki later this year.
The MMA portion of the event also features a third bout between former Valkyrie rivals Yasuko “Ikuko” Tamada (12-8-3) and Naoko Omuro (13-8-4) and the return of top Jewels star Shizuka Sugiyama (6-3-0), who faces veteran Megumi Yabushita (19-19-0). Elsewhere, Yukiko Seki (11-21-0) takes on Satomi Takano (1-0 amateur; pro debut) and an amateur bout pits newcomer Naomi Taniyama (0-0-0) against Nana “Chanchin” Ichikawa (0-12-0).
Team Shobukai will have a significant presence in three kickboxing bouts on the card. Led by teen prodigy Ito (71-10-3), fellow gym members Sasaki and Suzuki will look for their first Jewels victories.
Jewels: “20th Ring” takes place on July 21st at Differ Ariake in Tokyo, Japan.
Jewels: “20th Ring” Fight Card (to date; subject to change):
- “V.V” Mei Yamaguchi vs Emi Tomimatsu [52kg Jewels Official MMA Rules - 2x5]
- Yasuko “Ikuko” Tamada vs Naoko Omuro [46kg Jewels Special MMA Rules - 2x5]
- Shizuka Sugiyama vs Megumi Yabushita [62kg Jewels Special MMA Rules - 2x5]
- Kozue “Azuma” Nagashima vs Ji Yun Kim [60kg Jewels Kickboxing Rules - 3x3]
- Yukiko Seki vs Satomi Takano [46kg Jewels Official MMA Rules - 2x5]
- Saya Ito vs Emi Matsushita [45kg Jewels Amateur Kickboxing Rules - 2x2]
- Miiri Sasaki vs Kayoko Yamazaki [48kg Jewels Amateur Kickboxing Rules - 2x2]
- Reina Matsuda vs Ayumi Otaki [52kg Jewels Amateur Kickboxing Tournament Bout - 2x2]
- Wano Sato vs Mari Suzuki [52kg Jewels Amateur Kickboxing Tournament Bout - 2x2]
- Naomi Taniyama vs Nana “Chanchin” Ichikawa [48kg Jewels Amateur MMA Rules - 1x4]