Model, receptionist and now fighter – Japan’s Ayumi Goto hopes for nerves of steel in front of 8,000 Hong Kong fans
The 29-year-old is a bright prospect in the super bantamweight division and will be fighting in front of her biggest crowd at next month’s Clash of Champions 3
Japan’s unbeaten super bantamweight Ayumi Goto laughed when asked whether she could beat Hong Kong’s Rex Tso Sing-yu to the punch and become world champion before the “Wonder Kid” next year.
The tall, power punching fighter has taken the division by storm as she moves closer to a possible world title fight in Hong Kong in March 2018.
Goto will fight on the undercard of Clash of Champions 3 featuring the much-anticipated bout between Tso and former WBA world champion Kohei Kono on October 7 and she can’t wait to return to the scene where she recorded her fifth knockout success by overpowering Thai teenager Sumanthar Baenkham in May.
If Tso defeats Kono, it will mean the 30-year-old Hong Kong superstar will move towards a world title fight against possibly “The Monster” Naoya Inoue for the Japanese’s WBO super flyweight crown.
And that means Goto will also have a chance to challenge for the world title because she will most likely be fighting on the undercard – so glory could come quicker for her.
“I haven’t really thought about the world title yet. If it comes, I will be ready. But at the moment, I have to think about my next fight first,” said the 29-year-old former glamour model, who hails from Tokyo.
Goto, who works full-time as a receptionist at an architectural firm, is a huge prospect as the fourth-ranked Japanese boxer in her division. With her height advantage – she’s 1.74 metres tall – and long reach, she has managed to rack up seven straight victories (7-0). She is heavy favourite to make it eight on the trot against unheralded Indian Kirti Singh (3-0) next month.
Goto admitted she might be a nervous wreck the next time she steps into the ring when she fights in front of an expected sell-out crowd of 8,000 at the Exhibition and Convention Centre on October 7.
“Now that you mentioned that it’s going to be 8,000, I think I’m going to be nervous,” she laughed. “I fought in front of about 1,000 spectators [in Hong Kong] last time so it’s going to be eight times the crowd. I have never fought in front of so many people. It will be an experience,” she said from Watanabe Boxing Gym in downtown Tokyo.
“I have never fought an Indian opponent before but India has produced some good amateur fighters. The only thing I know about Kirti is her record, which is 3-0.”
Goto might also make Hong Kong her training base if she is signed by Tso’s promotion company, DEF Promotions, in the future.
“I will certainly think about it if the offer came. I love Hong Kong, especially it’s food. But I have to cut down on my weight. I have another five kilograms to lose [before the fight] but I think it’s OK because at this stage at my last fight, I had seven kilograms to lose. I just control my appetite and don’t think too much about eating!”
Warren Evison, Goto’s interpreter, knows the Japanese beauty will be going places based on what he has seen during the past few years.
Evison, a long-time resident of Japan and former boxer, said he was impressed by Goto’s fifth fight against Filipina Kim Actub, which she won by unanimous decision in March. “Her opponent was very aggressive and she threw a lot of hooks but Ayumi managed to slip away and used her jab and made a fight out of it. I was quite impressed with that.”