Chihiro Imoto Defeats Akari Nakamura At Rise 96 In TokyoDespite a last-minute opponent change, teen sensation Chihiro Imoto made a successful debut for the Rise kickboxing promotion on Monday night at Rise 96 in Tokyo, Japan. The 16-year-old star earned her 139th career win by defeating Akari “Eneos” Nakamura in a three-round professional bout.

Nakamura stepped into the fight on mere hours’ notice after Imoto’s original opponent, Tomomi Soda, fell ill and was removed from the card. Imoto wore Nakamura down with numerous strikes to the body throughout the action-packed fight en route to a Unanimous Decision victory on the scorecards.


Imoto (135-18-1 amateur; 4-0-0 pro) was aggressive from the start and she immediately targeted her opponent’s midsection with left and right hooks. She mixed in body kicks and the southpaw Nakamura (5-4-1), who has been active in shoot boxing competition this year, returned fire with overhand lefts.

In the second round, Imoto landed more punches to the body and straight right hands to the face, but Nakamura began to find her range and she answered back with some nice combinations. She picked up the pace in the late stages of the round and both fighters scored with punches in an exchange.

Imoto took back control of the fight in the final round, however, and Nakamura began to noticeably slow down from Imoto’s targeted attacks to the body. Imoto landed left hooks to the liver and dominated the action until the final bell. All three judges scored the entertaining fight 30-28 for Imoto, and the reigning ACCEL Vasillis 48kg Women’s Champion remains perfect in her young pro career.

Winner: Chihiro Imoto by Unanimous Decision (30-28, 30-28, 30-28) after three 3:00 rounds. She improves to 4-0-0 as a professional.



(Photo Credit: RISE)