November 1, 2014
WBC female strawweight champ, pretty lefy Yuko Kuroki (12-4-1, 6 KOs), 105, successfully made her initial defense when she outlegged and outboxed official challenger Katia Gutierrez (19-5, 4 KOs), 105, from Mexico, by a split verdict over ten hard-fought rounds on Saturday in Fukuoka, Japan.
Franz Malti (Switzerland) and Furuta (Japan) both tallied 96-94 for Kuroki, and Herminio Cuevas (Mexico) had it 97-93 in favor of Gutierrez. The referee was Yuji Fukuchi (Japan).
Kuroki annexed the belt from compatriot Mari Ando in Osaka this May, and had to make the first defense against such an experienced challenger as Katia, former IBF 105-pound ruler who kept it on four occasions. Kuroki, a southpaw footworker, utilized her feet, kept circling and displayed fine hit-and-run tactics. But occasionally did Katia connect with looping let hooks to the face of the champ, who desperately retaliated with fast but right combinations. After the first four sessions, the scores were announced as follows: 39-37 twice for Kuroki, and 39-37 for Gutierrez.
Though the Mexican connected with a looping right to the face to take a point in round five, Kuroki showed a good retaliation to be in command in the sixth and seventh sessions. The second announcement of the tallies were made after the seventh session: 68-65 twice for the defending titlist Kuroki, and 67-66 for Gutierrez.
They mixed it up hard in the last three rounds. Katia threw many combinations in round eight, and they shared the last two round each other. Kuroki, 25 like Katia, is so cute and charming that some followers were supporting her in the first defense at the home turf. After Kurokifs triumph was announced, some cried for joy and celebrated Kurokifs tough but successful defense before her adherents.
Promoter: YuKO Fitness Boxing Gym in association with Chikuho Promotions.
WBC supervisor: Major Lee (Korea).
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