Unbeaten Japanese girl Etsuko Tada (5-0, 2 KOs), 104.75, captured the WBA female minimumweight belt by winning a nearly lopsided decision (99-91 and 98-92 twice) over previously unbeaten defending champ Cholong Son (10-1, 3 KOs), 104.5, Korea, over ten fast rounds. Former multi-year amateur champ Etsuko Tada used to be a street-fighter beating up boys at the same age. Many people said Tada was an excellent female boxer, but they might not expect her to win the world belt so early in her fifth pro bout.
Tada, 47-3 as an amateur, turned professional last May, defeating world-rated Lilly Rachaprachagym in her debut in Tokyo. In eleven months since then, Tada gained the WBA 105-pound belt to her credit.
As expected, Tada toyed with the defending champ Son with her superior speed from the outset. The champ began streaming blood from the side of forehead after an accidental butt in the opening session. Tada, a well-balanced southpaw, steadily piled up points with quick combinations except in the fourth, when Son landed a couple of big rights to the still nervous Japanese.
Tada, five years her senior at 27, swept all rounds from the fifth on, utilizing southpaw jabs and busy combinations. Referee Pinit Prayadsab occasionally asked Son’s corner in later rounds whether she would quit as there might be no hope of victory, having lost so many points. But Son insisted to go on, and withstood Tada’s accelerated attack especially in the seventh, eighth and ninth. Son had a narrow escape.
What we want more from Tada in the near future is her more convincing power, but her brilliant speed and excellent balance are really her assets. Tall as a 105-pounder, Tada may move up to the 108-pound or 112-pound division to collect more belts, but we celebrate her initial coronation today
The official tallies by the judges were as follows: Mark Nelson, Freddie Ledesma (both US) both 98-92, and Chalerm Prayadsab (Thailand; who collaborated with his elder brother Pinit, the third man) 99-91, all in favor of the Japanese Million Dollar Baby.