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Manami Arima
 
   

5'2" junior bantamweight Manami Arima (aka "Tenkai Tsunami", 天海ツナミ) was born on August 13, 1984 in the distant island province of Okinawa, Japan.  When her family moved from Okinawa to Kagoshima to seek a better life on the mainland, her stepfather's relatives wanted to adopt Manami and her five siblings but her mother kept the family together. Manami says that the children lived with their grandparents who brought them up in strict traditional ways. After high school, she got a job at a car parts factory in nearby Kyushu where her mother also worked. One day in 2003, her friend Mutsumi Maedo ("Tenku Tsubasa", 天空ツバサ) called to say that she was moving to Tokyo to become a boxer and asked Manami to join her there.    

Manami now boxes professionally out of the Yamaki Gym in Tokyo under the ring name Tenkai Tsunami.  She and Mutsumi Maedo both train with Toshihiro Yamaki, the former kickboxer who had introduced women's boxing to Japan in 1999. Yamaki saw Manami Arima's potential and thought he could make her into a champion, guiding her to a world title in just four years. The Yamaki Boxing Gym follows the samurai way of "Bushido".  Although she is a  gentle girl outside the ring, Manami sees herself an athlete who follows samurai rules of fair play and good manners while "putting on a show and kicking butt" once inside the ring.

She made her pro debut at the Town Hall in Kitazawa, Tokyo on June 12, 2005, winning by a third-round TKO over fellow debuter Maki Ochiai who has not fought since.

On October 1, 2005 at Roppongi Velfarre in Tokyo, Junko Minigawa (116¾ lbs) won a four-round decision over Manami (116¾ lbs), evening her own record at 1-1.

On November 12, 2005 at Okcheon Gymnasium in Okchun, South Korea, Manami (112 lbs) won a ten-round split decision over Ji-Hyun Kim (112 lbs) of South Korea for the vacant OPFBA Flyweight Title. Kim fell to  2-5 (0 KO's) and has not fought since.

On November 20, 2005 at Okayama, Japan, Manami won a four-round unanimous decision over Junko Kanbara of Japan, who was making her pro debut.

On April 22, 2006 at Shingoo University in Seongnam City, South Korea, Ju-Hee Kim (107¼ lbs) of Seoul, South Korea won a 10-round unanimous decision over Manami (108 lbs) for the IFBA Junior Flyweight title.  Kim improved to 10-1-1 (3 KO's) with the win. 

On October 12, 2006 at Halla Gymnasium in Jeju, South Korea, Manami (117½ lbs) won a six-round unanimous decision over Tian Meng (117¾ lbs) of China, who fell to 2-2 (0 KO's) with the loss.

On December 15, 2006 in Tokyo, Manami (113¼ lbs) TKO'd Seri (112 lbs) in the first round of a scheduled four-rounder, dropping Seri's record to 0-1-1.

On April 15, 2007 at Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, Manami won a six-round decision over 28-year-old Tomoko Koga of Hakata Kyoei Boxing Gym in Fukuoka, Japan, who fell to 3-4-4 (2 KO's).

On May 13, 2007 at Okayama, Japan, Manami won a four-round unanimous decision over Aya Tamaki of Japan who fell to 2-2 (0 KO's).

On June 24, 2007 at Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, Manami (108 lbs) knocked out Ayaka Miyao (108 lbs) of Yokokama, Japan in the second round of a scheduled eight-rounder. Miyao fell to 4-4-4 (0 KO's) with this loss.

On August 13, 2007 at Yongsan Gu Park in Seoul, South Korea, 21-year-old Young-Mi Jo (5'4", 123½ lbs) of Seoul won an eight-round majority (76-76,77-76,77-76) decision over Manami (121¼ lbs) and advanced her own record to 6-1 (1 KO).


On November 10, 2007 at Shinjuku FACE, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, Manami (111 lbs) won an eight-round unanimous decision over 44-year-old Kazumi Izaki (5′7½", 111¼ lbs) of Yokohama, Japan who fell to 6-6-3.
[Video]

Manami Arima
© Copyrighted photo by Samart

 On May 18, 2008 at Yangcheongu Hall in Seoul, South Korea, Manami (116¾ lbs) won a ten-round unanimous (97-96,98-94,96-94) decision over Eun-Young Kim (5'5",118 lbs) of Daegu, South Korea for Kim's IFBA Bantamweight title.  Kim fell to 8-3-0 (0 KO's) with the loss.  

On August 15, 2008 at Citizen Gymnasium in Daegu, South Korea, Manami (117¾ lbs) won a ten-round majority (96-95,95-94,95-95) decision over Eun-Young Kim (117¾ lbs) in a rematch for the IFBA bantamweight title. Kim fell to 8-4-0 (0 KO's) with the loss.

On November 30, 2008 at the Convention Center in Ginowan, Okinawa, Japan, Manami (116½ lbs) won by a fifth round TKO over Soo-Hyun Oh (5'3", 117 lbs) of Seoul, South Korea in the fifth round of a scheduled six-rounder.

Manami Arima vs Shanee martinOn February 26, 2009 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan, Manami (114 lbs) won a ten-round split (97-95,98-92,95-96) decision over 28-year-old former world amateur champion Xiyan Zhang (113¾ lbs) of Hei Long Jiang, China for the WBA Junior bantamweight title.

According to Joe Koizumi of FightNews.com:  "Tsunami ... kept on stalking defending champ Zhang Xi Yan, a Chinese southpaw, and overcame her early deficit on points to earn a split decision ... It was such a hairline verdict as either could have been the winner ... It was the very first WBA female world title bout ever held in Japan, a good market for smaller divisions. Regardless of the debatable decision, it was a very good contest where the skillful footworker (Zhang) and the non-stop puncher (Tenkai) displayed all they had. It might become a beginning of solving our discrimination against the women’s boxing. From the start Zhang made good use of her speed in punching and moving side-to-side, displaying sharp combinations to the cautious challenger. The braided-haired Chinese, 28, was in command in the first three rounds, as the short-haired Japanese, four years her junior, didn’t start her engine yet. The fourth saw Tenkai, ex-IFBA bantam ruler, recklessly began boring in and connected with solid left hooks to the lefty champ’s cheek. Making full use of her feet, Zhang dominated the fifth with versatile combinations upstairs and downstairs, while Tenkai missed more powerful but less accurate combos. The cute Japanese girl accelerated her attack from the sixth onward and kept stalking the elusive champ to occasionally score with her trademark left hooks. Zhang rode a bicycle to avert mixing up with the aggressive and pugnacious challenger, who attempted to work the body and stop the champ’s still shifty footwork.  Zhang kept retreating to keep her distance, but Tenkai continually went forward to throw solid combinations in round seven and eight. The champ, still more technically excellent, often threw her busy punches without hitting with her knuckle part, while the challenger showed her abundant stamina and kept throwing solid shots to the face and belly. Aware of the contest being very close, Tenkai desperately tried to come close to the cagey champ who kept moving and attempted to counter the willing mixer. The Japanese seemed to dominate the last two sessions, which might or might not offset her early deficits on the scores. The jubilant winner and the first WBA female champ Tenkai cried for joy, and said, “I’m very happy to show my power. I wish to express my whole-hearted thanks to my supporters."  Zhang fell to 7-2-1 (2 KO's) and has not fought professionally since, instead working with the Chinese amateur team as they prepare for the 2012 Olympics. 
[Video pt 1] [Video pt 2] [Video pt 3] [Video pt 4] [Video pt 5]

Manami was now acknowledged as a true world champion by the Japan Boxing Commission, which recognizes only the WBA and WBC titles.

Manami Arima vs Shanee Martin
Manami Arima vs Shanee Martin
© Copyrighted photo by Samart

On February 7, 2010 at World Memorial Hall in Kobe, Japan, Manami (114 lbs) defended the WBA Junior Bantamweight title with a ten-round unanimous (100-90,100-90,99-91) decision over Shanee Martin (5′5½″, 114 lbs) of Colchester, England who fell to 9-5-1 (5 KO's). [Slideshow]  WBAN correspondent Samart told us that Manami Arima said in a post-fight interview that she would like to fight Germany's Susi Kentikian in the near future.
Kayoko Ebata vs Manami Arima

On May 17, 2010 at the Super Arena in Saitama, Japan Manami (113¾ lbs) again defended the WBA Junior bantamweight title with a ten-round unanimous (97-92,96-93,98-92) decision over 35-year-old Kayoko Ebata (113½ lbs) of  Tokyo who fell to 3-3 (2 KO's).  Joe Koizumi reported that "Tenkai ... took the leadoff with her trade-mark left hooks to the elusive challenger. Ebata, a 34-year-old footworker, attempted to counter the onrushing champ and took a point in round four. Tenkai, however, overpowered the lanky counterpuncher all the way from the fifth onward. Ebata was penalized a point for pushing down the champ’s back-head repeatedly midway in the eighth."

Rie Fujimoto vs Manami ArimaOn December 6, 2010 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan, Manami (114¼ lbs) retained the WBA Junior Bantamweight title when former OPBF champion Rie Fujimoto (5'4", 114¼ lbs)
of Kyoei Boxing Gym retired at the end of the eighth round. Manami put on a show of her boxing skills as she used anticipation and movement from her waist to slip Fujimoto's punches while taking her own pot shots almost at will. Late in the fight, Manami often boxed with both gloves down relying on her quick and accurate counterpunching to dominate the durable Fujimoto, who fell to 9-5-2 (4 KO's). 
[Video]

On May 12, 2011 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Manami Arima (114 lbs) TKO'd Nucharin Yoohanngoh (112¼ lbs) of Bankok, Thailand at 1:25 in the third round of a scheduled ten-rounder for the WBA Junior Bantamweight title.  The Thai boxer, who fights under the ring name "Petchsairung Looksaikongdin", fell to 1-11 (0 KO's) with the loss.  (WBAN thinks it is absurd that a boxer with Yoohangoh's losing record is considered eligible for any world title fight.) 

On July 9, 2012, Manami Arima (114 lbs) returned to Korakuen Hall after almost fourteen months out of the ring and lost a ten-round unanimous (97-93,97-93,97-94) decision to Naoko Yamaguchi (114½ lbs) of Tokyo, Japan for the WBA Junior Bantamweight title.  Yamaguchi, who had boxed professionally since 2001, improved her record to 19-2-3 (16 KO's) with the win.

On October 6,  2012 at El Palenque de la Feria in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico, undefeated Janeth Perez Vigil of Mexico won a ten-round unanimous (100-90,99-91,99-91) decision over Manami Arima for the WBA Bantamweight title. Perez improved to 17-0-2 (4 KO's) with the win.

On December 15, 2012 at Arena Coliseo in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Mariana Juarez (115 lbs) of Mexico City won a ten-round unanimous (100-90,100-90,99-91) decision over Manami Arima (115 lbs) in a non-title fight.  Juarez improved to 36-6-3 (KO's) with the win. [Video]

On March 2, 2013 at Gimnasio de las Liebres in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, Zulina Muñoz (114¾ lbs) of Mexico City won a ten-round unanimous  (95-93,97-92,95-93) decision over Manami Arima (114½ lbs) of Tokyo, Japan for the  WBC Junior Bantamweight title.  Arima fell to 18-7 (7 KO's) with the loss whileMuñoz improved to 37-1-2 (24 KO's).

On July 27 2013 at Palenque de la Fería in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico, Jessica Chavez (113 kbs) of Mexico City won a ten-round unanimous (99-91,99-91,97-93) decision over Manami Arima (111½ lbs). Chavez improved to 19-3-2 (4 KO's).

On Novermber 28 2013 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Manami Arima (117 lbs) TKO'd Leslie Domingo (117¾ lbs) of Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Philippines at 1:59 in thethird round of a scheduled eight.  Domingo fell to 4-2-1 (3 KO's) with the loss while Arima advanced to 19-8 (8 KO's).

Manami's plan when she stops boxing is to follow in her mother's footsteps and work at a nursing home for the elderly.  "After you have done something for yourself, you should do something for others", she says.

Other Manami Arima links

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Page last updated: Tuesday December 10, 2013

 
     
     
     
     
 

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