Saya Ito Turns Pro, Faces Hye-Young Park At Muaylok 2014: 1stKickboxing prodigy Saya Ito will make her long-awaited professional debut on April 27th at Muaylok 2014: 1st in Tokyo, Japan. The 15-year-old “Muay Thai Genius” is set to face off against once-beaten South Korean prospect Hye-Young Park in a five-round bout on the event’s featured main card.

Ito is one of Japan’s most decorated female kickboxers and she has captured numerous titles during her 11-year career that dates back to the young age of four. The 93-fight veteran now makes her domestic pro debut against Park, who brings an impressive record into her first fight in Japan.

Ito (78-12-3; 22 KOs) is a four-time champion for the respected M-1 kickboxing promotion, holding titles at 35kg, 40kg, 45kg and 50kg. Even more impressively, many of the teen striker’s victories have come against older male opponents. In late 2012, Ito claimed the World Professional Muaythai Federation (WPMF) women’s interim pinweight title in Thailand. She returned to the country this past August and retained her interim belt, but lost the championship to The Star Sor.Klinmee on December 4th.

Though she has competed under “professional” rules in Thailand where there are no age restrictions, next month’s fight against Park will mark Ito’s official pro debut in Japan. With a victory, Ito is hoping to branch out in her career with future fights in both the United States and Italy.

Park (14-1-0) travels to Japan for the first time to face Ito and she brings along a considerable amount of professional experience. The 23-year-old has tasted defeat just one time in her home country and she is highly regarded for her striking technique. While still an unknown in the Japanese kickboxing scene, Park will pose a solid test for Ito and she will look to spoil the teen’s first pro fight.

In other action on the card, Ito’s Shobukai teammate, Miiri Sasaki, also makes her domestic pro debut against Yoko Odamaki. The Sasaki-Odamaki bout will be contested over three rounds.

Muaylok 2014: 1st takes place on April 27th at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan.



(Photo Credit: eFight)