Naoko Fujioka | Knuckle Up with Mike and Cedric
EPISODE: Episode 35
Mike and Cedric discuss Naoko Fujioka (born 18 August 1975), a Japanese professional boxer. She is Japan’s first ever five-division world champion, having held the WBA female flyweight title between March 2017 to April 2022. She also previously held the WBC female minimumweight; WBO female junior-flyweight; WBA female super-flyweight; and WBO female bantamweight titles between 2012 and 2017. As of September 2020, she is ranked as the world’s best active female flyweight by The Ring and BoxRec.
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[, Music ]: what up talking fight fans thanks for tuning in to today’s episode of knuckle up with mike or cedric ben in the den? And today we got a good one for you, man.
We got a fellow female for our female friday out of japan.
I want to want to talk about this girl here, honestly, true, true warrior still doing it big at 46 years old, huge 46 years old, guys she’s coming off a unanimous decision, loss against marlon esperazza, but she came off a majority decision when, before that against salem Arena – and that was their first two fights on american soil and honestly, at 46 years old, this girl can still throw down uh she’s, still a beast in the ring flyweight she’s, 19, 3 and 1, with seven knockouts she’s ranked number one out of nine flyweights in Japan and ranked 3 out of 178 flyweights in the world, and this 5-2 63 and a half inch reach girl is a beast.
Uh cedric you’ve been watching some of the fights yes, yes, i was uh studying this fight with her and marlon esparza who’s.
A very highly uh high level boxer herself as far as it was a high level, decorated, amateur um and then she’s also, you know been fighting at the top level as a professional.
So for uh for her to be able to perform at that level and she hurt she hurt as far as a couple of times in this fight a couple of good right, hands and she’s in it the whole time um like i would have.
Never, if you i would have never guessed, she was 46 years old um.
You know um still competing at the highest level.
Um shows yeah, like you said, a tough warrior mentality and that is pretty serious, definitely naoko.
When we talk about female boxing with fans of the sport, there are two distinct camps.
There are those who accept that some female fighters are incredibly talented women who have every right to box as the elite men.
Unfortunately, we have those fans who refuse to even accept women’s boxing and seem to call for its banning at every opportunity.
Thankfully, though, japan has arguably some of the most talented gifted female fighters on the planet and now that type of fighter who can prove that women can be just as impressive in the ring and uh as men, we talked about naoko, fujioka um.
You know five.
This girl, man, you know born august 18, 1975 and raised in the town of osaki uh in japan, um.
You know she competed as an amateur and her boxing record was 20 wins, with three losses and as the five-time japanese amateur champion in 2001, 2003, 0407 and 09.
, she now trains at hatakayama takira, a boxing gym in tokyo.
The japan boxing commission chose to recognize women’s boxing from the beginning of 2008 and noyoko began her pro boxing career in 2009 at age 34.
She made her pro debut um september, the 15th 2009, weighing in at only 107 and three-quarter pounds and winning by tko.
At 127, in the second round um, you know, she’s she’s got what it takes.
Man and honestly they they stand behind her in japan and she’s uh.
Definitely one of these fighters.
You know she became the first japanese boxer to be crowned world champion of five different weight classes – uh, you know, and at 46 man.
You know she she’s still doing it.
Man and she still believes she has what it takes to be in the ring and still perform at those elite levels.
You know we talked to sugar and sugar says that um.
We would call this a crone uh, a cronie she’s hearing that crohn’s uh that crow’s title she gets in there.
Does it big? Does some damage gets out? She ain’t afraid to get hit, she’s a brawler uh.
She can definitely hurt man.
She can definitely hurt for sure and uh you know.
She is one of these girls that uh, i think we will be seeing her a little more often on u.
You know she’s coming off that fight against esperanza, but you know, unfortunately, was a unanimous decision loss, but it’s only the beginning of her us uh, her u.
s uh run really right and honestly guys.
I think you got to get behind this one because at 46 she doesn’t got a you know.
Maybe two long left in the game, but while he’s here she’s willing to throw down and and get with it man, he is mad.
It’S crazy, like i said, to to it’s one thing just to get in there at the days it’s nothing to to still be able to compete with the best in the world at that level.
Esparza is definitely top five in in that weight, class and um yeah.
So it’s very impressive i i did not realize she was that old.
I was just watching the fight and analyzing the skills and seeing how it’s a it’s: a back and forth fight.
There’S no um! There’S no clear winner in these rounds like every single every single one of these rounds, as a matter of fact this, if this was a more if this was on the under card, i’m saying this.
I, like you, guys, are seeing the same fight on this was on the undercard of of a big fight.
This would be like fight of the year yeah.
This would be like fight of the year, so yeah yeah, yeah, yeah fujioka first started making her name in boxing at the turn of the century when she took up amateur boxing, although she was well into her 20s when she began fighting her natural talent was phenomenal And it took just a few years for her to establish herself as among the very best domestically, in fact, so good was fujioka as an amateur that she won five japanese national titles between 2001 2009 and as well as the national amateur titles.
That fujioka was racking up uh.
She also managed to amass an impressive two.
You know 20-3 record in the unpaid ranks and claim various international medals.
Have you not taken up the sport? So she was, you know well into her 20s and having claimed her final amateur title in 2009, it’s obvious that fujioka was well in her 30s.
By the time she finally turned professional uh for many, that would have been a limiting factor for you know in any success uh they would be able to yeah for fujioka.
However, it was really there was no barrier to her skills uh.
You know she would debut professionally in september on the debut she stopped uh, her opponent and honestly after four rounds as a professional, it was clear that fujioka had serious potential potential that was on show as uh.
She scored her third success.
Second round stoppage.
Um, you know to move to three and over three knockouts, rather than continue to defeat low-level opponents.
Fujioka would step up significantly in her fourth professional contest and she took on uh, talented, uh cook, all right, i’m gon na try and i’m gon na i’m gon na wreck this one trying to pronounce it, but it’s cookie, jim uh for the vacant opbf title um, Who had given both sanchez tough contest was no match for fujioka, who took a very clear decision in what was her first uh 10 round contest, so her first 10 round contest after her fourth fight huge man, that’s big things so guys you heard it here, man, This girl, she’s a true warrior: 46 years old, started her career late man, amateurs in the 20s well into her 30s.
By the time she turns pro five-time national champion.
You know racked up 20 and three amateur record she’s now sitting at nineteen three and one with six knockouts, guys or sorry.
Seven knockouts correction uh be on the lookout for her to hit some u.
s soil fights soon, man and uh.
Just let you know japan is doing it big.
The japanese got some very good talented fighters.
I’Ve been telling you we told you yesterday.
This is not tekken promotions.
She has fought on golden boy uh.
She is not involved with tech promotions.
Who we’ve been talking about? All week, but just to show you taking uh promotions, you know founded in 1926.
, so japan has very very deep boxing roots man turn to the earliest century, and they’ve been producing world champions ever since guys.
You heard it here mike or at four with my man.
Cedric ben and you know what time i’m telling just to remind you guys again everything that mike just said, you would have never known again.
You guys would have never known any of those stats, including myself, if he didn’t take the time to to research.
This only on talk and fight, this is the only place where you’ll find that those you know these these specific details about um these, these fighters, that that mostly people, you know, would fly under the radar.
So you know thank you very much again mike for taking the time to do that.
You guys, like i said, take, take a minute to go.
Look at this fight between between uh uh, naoka and marlon esparza.
I swear if this was on the undercard of a bigger, bigger, bigger fight.
This probably would have been fight of the year, not just female fight of the year, but just boxing general fight of the year again in their late 40s at the highest.
I can’t believe that, like people, you know most professional athletes, most professional athletes retire in their mid-30s mid to late.
Third, that’s when, in all sports, all across the board, there’s very few physical sports.
Where you, you know, that’s that’s around the age so to be able to last a decade longer um.
You know at that.
That’S that’s! Just crazy, shout out to scrapbook boxing.
Thank you very much for uh.
You know i just want to let you know that she is from.
She is from the region that suffered the greatest damage occurred against that uh.
During that major earthquake and tsunami of uh march 11, 2011.
uh yo man just goes to show you that uh she’s a survivor, she’s, strong and um.
You know man we’re gon na get to see this girl on u.
s soil man she’s been on there twice.
She’S fought in italy once she’s fought in germany rest of time, she’s fought in japan.
She is the elite top professional female in japan.
You know what it is.
You heard it here mike gorad for cedric ben in the den bringing you these wonderful women from around the world, that you must appreciate for their hard work, heart and skill in that ring man paving the way for all these young girls up and coming so guys Join us tonight, 7 p.
On the panel you know what it is we’ll be joined by greg towns, tim witherspoon uh, i think sheila stafford is joining us from atlanta as well and probably miss sugar.
So it’s going to be a great uh, great event.
Tonight seven o’clock guys come join us we’re gon na be talking boxing and what’s going on this weekend, don’t forget sunday, 11am scorecard with cedric ben.
What fights will you be scoring this weekend? Um? What’S our main events again, what’s our main events again, we have.
I will let you know all the main events coming right now.
So, as we pick this, we have meg and pascal we have andre.
Oh andrade and parker has been postponed.
Sorry guys to let you know that um yeah we got mang pascal uh, the 21st.
We got bowati richards and alec ala, camunali and dignum and as well as benavidez and lemieux.
So we got lots of things going on lots of fun.
See bowasi will probably be in the afternoon for us on saturday and then benavidez will be at night time yeah.
So we got megan paschall at 9, 00 p.
m, benavides and rich.
Oh sorry, watson richards is at 2 p.
m and then 9 p.
m and 10 p.
We got alan kunali so guys we got a great stacked weekend of fights so make sure you come join us seven o’clock.
Will we break down that talk about it? Talk about all the controversy going on around these fights and we’ll probably make some predictions so come, join us and don’t forget, scorecard 11am with cedric ben and join us 4 p.
On sunday for the knockout of the week award with myself and my man cedric, we’ll see you next time.