Saya Ito Defeats Little Tiger, Wins WPMF World Pinweight TitleSixteen-year-old “Muay Thai Genius” Saya Ito picked up the biggest victory of her 12-year career in a high-profile matchup tonight at Suk Weerasakreck 10 in Tokyo, Japan. The talented young striker defeated Ayaka “Little Tiger” Miyauchi to become the new WPMF Women’s Pinweight World Champion.

Ito, who already holds the WPMF Japan pinweight title, captured the world championship with a clear-cut Unanimous Decision victory over Miyauchi after five rounds. Also on the card, WPMF Japan Women’s Bantamweight Champion Madoka Jinnai narrowly defeated Yoko Odamaki for a third time.


Ito (78-12-3 amateur, 10-2-1 pro) countered early leg kicks from the southpaw Miyauchi (27-13-5) by landing hard kicks to the body and standing elbows. She mixed in straight right hands that snuck past Miyauchi’s defences. In the second round, Miyauchi targeted Ito’s lead leg and liver with kicks, but Ito’s counter body kicks had much more force behind them and she began to take control of the fight by putting together combinations of punches and kicks to the upper body of Miyauchi in round three.

Miyauchi rallied back in the fourth round and she scored with quick combinations and more kicks to Ito’s midsection. Ito returned fire with straight right hands and powerful kicks to Miyauchi’s left arm and ribs. Seeing that her tactics were working, Ito attacked Miyauchi with hooks, elbows and body kicks – all from the right side – throughout the final round. Miyauchi struggled to land anything in return and she had to resort to blocking as many of Ito’s strikes as possible.

At the end of five rounds, the judges returned scores of 50-48 and 50-47 twice for Ito, who effectively unified the WPMF Japan and World Pinweight Championship titles with the win. The 16-year-old star, who is believed to have had well over 100 undocumented amateur fights that do not appear on her already impressive record, has won numerous title belts throughout her career. Tonight’s win was her biggest, however, and she now holds one of the most prestigious female Muay Thai titles in Asia.

Winner: Saya Ito by Unanimous Decision (50-47, 50-47, 50-48) after five 2:00 rounds. She improves her professional kickboxing record to 10-2-1 and becomes the new WPMF Women’s Pinweight World Champion.


Earlier on the card, Jinnai (19-5-1 KB/SB) retained her WPMF Japan women’s bantamweight title by defeating rival Odamaki (9-5-0 KB) in a five-round trilogy fight. Odamaki put together kick-punch combos in the opening round and she landed some nice right hands. Jinnai replied with body kicks and straight rights, and she controlled rounds two and three by landing short knees and elbows in the clinch.

Both women landed knees in clinch battles during the fourth round, and Jinnai scored with straight right hands, but Odamaki was game and she kept the action close. Jinnai was the more effective striker in the final round and she kept Odamaki at bay with knees and body kicks.

The competitive fight went to the scorecards and Jinnai took a Unanimous Decision victory with scores of 50-47 and 49-48 twice. She has not lost since June 2014 when she dropped a razor-thin four-round Split Decision to former Shoot Boxing champion Ai Takahashi under shoot boxing rules.

Winner: Madoka Jinnai by Unanimous Decision (50-47, 49-48, 49-48) after five 2:00 rounds. She improves her combined kickboxing and shoot boxing record to 19-5-1 and remains the WPMF Japan Women’s Bantamweight Champion.



(Photo Credit: Hirofumi Sugi)