Above are highlights from the Girls S-Cup in Japan, August 25th of this year. These girls fight relatively close to my weight class and I’ve had my eye on Erika Kamimura after her knock out of Denise Mellor for the WBC Female Muay Thai Light Flyweight World Championship last year (video below). Erika’s highlight starts at about 8:36 and goes to 10:00. (I was slated to fight Mellor in England about two years ago, but because there was not an option for full-rules decided such a trip at that point in my fight path was not interesting. The fight with Kamimura happened some months after that.) Erika is a young fighter. I think now just out of her teens, and she has a lot of power in her hands which is really evident when she lets them go. She’s also really aggressive and unrelenting when she smells blood in the ring.
Erika gave a really nice interview before the S-Cup (English subtitles) where she talks about Shoot Box and the difficulty with the rules. She currently is in something of media-generated battle with RENA – the most popular Shoot Boxer at this weight as far as I’ve seen – and this S-Cup was expected to be a showdown between the two of them. They’ve fought before with RENA coming out the victor, but the “bad blood” between them is exciting for those who follow this stuff. The showdown never took place at this year’s S-Cup as Erika was eliminated in an early round when she was matched against a notably larger opponent, Muay Thai fighter Lorena Klijn who didn’t make weight and was later eliminated by Mei who went on to the final against RENA. The obvious disparity in size between Klijn and Kamimura led some followers of female Shoot Box like Frank Posen to suggest that Erika was sandbagged.
In any case, Erika and RENA are both fighters who I enjoy watching when I have the chance. I’m sure they will meet in the ring again in the future. RENA has a lot of calm and a stylish fight energy, and a nice array of weapons and Erika is a little power-house whose training videos make me want to sprint mountains. Also, the outfits and hairstyles these ladies sport in the ring are amazing.