Chihiro Imoto Wins Pro Kickboxing Debut At ACCEL 22 In JapanFollowing a stellar 151-fight amateur career, 15-year-old Chihiro Imoto made a successful pro kickboxing debut tonight at ACCEL vol.22 in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan. Imoto earned a Majority Decision victory over Michi Nakamura after three rounds to claim the vacant ACCEL women’s championship.

Imoto, already one of Japan’s most decorated female kickboxers, captured numerous titles during her amateur career and opted to make the move to the professional ranks after earning victory number 132 earlier this year. She will likely make a quick return to action for her second pro bout in 2013.


Imoto (132-18-1 amateur; 1-0-0 pro) brought a significant experience advantage into her professional debut against Nakamura (0-3-0 pro), who turned pro in February, but Nakamura was game and put on a solid showing in tonight’s featured fight. The use of protective headgear, a standard practice in amateur kickboxing bouts, is not permitted under professional rules, but the lack of headgear did not seem to affect Imoto’s strategy in the fight.

Imoto was able to score with punching combinations and quick kicks to the legs and body throughout the three-round bout. Nakamura managed to land some decent strikes of her own, but Imoto appeared to hold an edge in the exchanges and scored with knees in round three. Imoto had struggled with her weight cut and incurred point deductions as a result, which made the fight closer on the scorecards.

One judge saw the bout even due to the point deductions, while the remaining two scored it for Imoto, who earned both her first pro win and first pro title. The Kokushi Gym standout tasted defeat only one time in 14 total bouts this year. She won the Jewels 46kg Under-15 kickboxing title in December 2011 and became KJC women’s champion earlier this year.

Following the title bout, Imoto thanked those who had helped her to get to this point and stated that she was only just getting started in her career as a kickboxer. With 152 fights under her belt, Imoto is one of Japan’s most experienced kickboxers under the age of 20.

Winner: Chihiro Imoto by Majority Decision (28-27, 28-27, 28-28) after three 2:00 rounds. She improves to 1-0-0 pro and 133-18-1 overall, and becomes the first ACCEL women’s kickboxing champion.


Chihiro Imoto's Trophies And Championships
A collection of some of Imoto’s fight-winning trophies and championships.



(Photo Credits: Chihiro Imoto)