REIGNING Women International Boxing Association (WIBA) minimum weight champion Gretchen Abaniel will fight Japanese Kumiko Seeser Ikehara for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) female mini flyweight title on September 20 in Osaka, Japan.
Abaniel, 28, who’s gunning for a second title said that she climbed up from 102 pounds to 105 pounds in order to fight Ikehara who has a 5-1-1 win-loss-draw record with three knockouts. Abaniel will fly to Japan on September 16.
“It’s going to be a tough fight. My opponent has one loss in seven fights and she knocked out three opponents already,” the Puerto Princesa, Palawan native Abaniel (15-5 record with six knockouts) told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Wednesday.
Abaniel cited the importance of nutrition in achieving her desired weight and speed. “I eat certain foods with more protein. I increased weight without sacrificing my speed,” she said.
Abaniel, one of the country’s five world boxing champions, is coming off two successive technical knockout victories against Buangern Onesongchaigym and Nongnun Mor Krungthepthon-buri of Thailand in February and May, respectively.
Her compatriots that are also world champions are Manny Pacquiao (WBO welterweight), Nonito Donaire Jr. (World Boxing Association Super featherweight), Donnie Nietes (WBO light flyweight) and newly crowned Randy Petalcorin (WBA interim light flyweight).