Yukari Yamaguchi Faces Emiko Matsumoto At Hoost Cup In NagoyaNewly-crowned J-Girls Mini Flyweight Champion Yukari Yamaguchi steps back into the ring on December 27th at Hoost Cup: “Kings Nagoya” in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. The 17-year-old rising star is set to take on prospect Emiko Matsumoto in a featured 48kg matchup on the event’s main card.

Yamaguchi earned the biggest victory of her young career earlier this month when she defeated Momi Furuta for the J-Girls mini flyweight title. She also won a Shoot Boxing Girls S-Cup title in 2014. Her opponent, Matsumoto, has bounced back with impressive wins after struggling early in her career.

Yamaguchi (12-2-0 amateur, 8-1-0 pro) followed the lead of her teammate, Deep Jewels Strawweight Champion Mizuki Inoue, by capturing the Shoot Boxing title this past year and then set her sights on becoming a kickboxing champion. Yamaguchi suffered her lone professional loss in late 2014 when she was defeated by J-Girls Pinweight Champion Chihiro Kira, but she moved up in weight to the 105-pound mini flyweight division and fought her way to a championship showdown against Furuta. On November 8th, she earned a five-round Unanimous Decision victory over Furuta to claim the title.

Matsumoto (7-10-4) got off to a rocky start early in her career, but key victories in recent years have led to a steady climb up the ranks. Matsumoto has been defeated only three times in her past nine fights, and she picked up arguably her biggest victory to date in July when she outpointed highly-touted MMA and kickboxing prospect Shino VanHoose. Matsumoto enters next month’s clash with Yamaguchi as a significant underdog, but she hopes to upset the hometown favourite in the three-round showdown.

Hoost Cup: “Kings Nagoya” takes place on December 27th at Nagoya Congress Center Event Hall in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan.

Hirofumi Sugi contributed to this report.



(Photo Credit: Bout Review)