Hisae Watanabe Draws With Jeong Eun Park At VTJ In OsakaFormer Deep champion Hisae Watanabe was fortunate to escape with a Majority Draw in a competitive atomweight matchup on Sunday night at Vale Tudo Japan: “VTJ In Osaka” in Osaka, Japan. Watanabe faced off against 19-year-old South Korean prospect Jeong Eun Park in the co-main event.

Sunday’s bout appeared to belong to Park, who kept Watanabe on the defensive with a varied arsenal of kicks and quick punching combinations. Watanabe’s best success came in the form of right hooks, and a brief knockdown late in round one was enough to even the fight on two cards.


Watanabe (20-6-1) circled on the outside and darted in and out with right hands and body kicks early on. The fighters traded punches near the midway point of the round and Park (1-2-1) landed kicks of her own. She flurried with punches and backed Watanabe up with an overhand right. Park continued to mix up her strikes with side kicks and lead right hands, and she countered a Watanabe leg kick with a hard right hook, but Watanabe knocked her down with a lunging right just before the bell.

Watanabe landed leg kicks in round two until Park answered with a spinning backfist. She rushed in with punches and a side kick, but Watanabe stayed calm and countered with jabs. Park remained aggressive and she connected with quick punching flurries. Watanabe blocked a head kick, but Park kept her guessing with kicks and spinning attacks. In the final 90 seconds, Park pressed the action with kick-punch combos and Watanabe replied with jabs and right hands.

Park’s aggression and control of the striking exchanges appeared to be enough to earn a victory, but only one cageside judge scored the two-round bout 20-18 in her favour. The remaining judges both awarded round one to Watanabe due to her late knockdown and returned scores of 19-19 for a Majority Draw. Watanabe shook her head following the announcement and appeared to feel that Park should have been given the victory. Park’s record, which includes razor-thin losses to Japanese standouts Emi “Kamikaze Angel” Fujino and Satomi “Sarami” Takano, belies the teen prospect’s formidable talents.



(Photo Credit: eFight)