Saya Ito Defeats Chihiro Kira, Retains WPMF Title At BOM 7 In TokyoWPMF Japan Women’s Pinweight Champion Saya Ito successfully retained her title with a five-round Unanimous Decision victory tonight at Muaylok: “The Battle of Muay Thai 7” in Tokyo, Japan. The 16-year-old star defeated J-Girls Pinweight Champion Chihiro Kira in a competitive matchup.

Ito overcame a slow start in round one and took a lead on the scorecards in the later rounds by effectively countering Kira’s body kicks with punches and throws. Earlier on tonight’s card, Yoshimi “443” Hatayama picked up a well-deserved Unanimous Decision win over Kira’s younger sister, Yuuki.


Ito (78-12-3 amateur, 6-2-1 pro) and the elder Kira (12-4-1) traded front kicks and body kicks throughout the opening round. Ito caught a kick from Kira and threw her to the mat in the final minute, but neither fighter held a clear edge and all three judges scored the round even at 10-10. Ito picked up the pace in round two and she landed some nice knees in the clinch before catching a Kira body kick and throwing her opponent to the canvas. The offence was enough to earn Ito the round on one judge’s scorecard.

The third round was largely contested in the clinch, where both young women landed knees and tried for trips and throws after catching body kicks. Ito dumped Kira to the mat in the late stages and took the round 10-9 on all three judges’ cards. She landed a series of kicks to Kira’s midsection in round four, but Kira connected with a nice left hook and the fighters continued to battle in close.

In the final round, Ito swept out Kira’s leg early on, which only seemed to anger the J-Girls champ. She rushed forward with punches and followed with knees, but Ito defended well and she blocked most of her opponent’s strikes. The bout went to the scorecards and judge Shinkao had it 50-46, while judges Aramiya and Narunchon both saw it 50-48. All three scored it for Ito, who retained her WPMF title and extended her winning streak to five. She remains one Japan’s brightest young stars.


In a featured three-round matchup, Hatayama (7-5-2) outstruck the younger Yuuki Kira (5-9-2) with punches and elbows en route to a Unanimous Decision win. Hatayama countered early combinations from Kira by repeatedly scoring with standing elbow strikes in close. The fighters battled back and forth in the clinch and Hatayama appeared to hold a slight advantage in the exchanges.

As the fight progressed, Hatayama took control of the action by keeping Kira off-balance with front kicks and body kicks. Kira tried to close the distance, but Hatayama cracked her with a counter flurry. It was more of the same in round three and Kira was unable to overcome Hatayama’s impressive arsenal of kicks. When Kira dashed in with punches, Hatayama ducked under and fired back with a hard combination. She landed a spinning backfist before the final bell.

Judge Arakawa scored the bout 30-27, while judges Shinkawa and Noppasate both had it 29-28. All three sided with Hatayama, who gained a measure of revenge after losing to Kira’s older sister, Chihiro, in the finals of a one-night J-Girls tournament in December.


The men’s main event tonight featured a WPMF super bantamweight bout between reigning J-Network Super Bantamweight Champion Yuta Watanabe and Kyohei Hotoda. Watanabe mixed things up with punching combinations and leg kicks early on, and he countered Hotoda’s flurries with hooks to the body. He hurt Hotoda with more kicks and punches to the midsection in round two and dropped him shortly before the bell with a liver kick.

Watanabe continued to dominate the fight with kicks and knees in the third round and the referee was forced to give Hotoda a standing count after Watanabe landed a barrage of unanswered strikes in close. Hotoda made it to the bell, but Watanabe punished him with more knees in round four. He landed a final left hook that knocked Hotoda out and ended the fight at the 1:23 mark of the fourth round.



(Photo Credit: Shobukai)