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Japanese mother's record bid floored

A JAPANESE mother of two's bid to emulate George Foreman by winning a world boxing title at 45 has been floored after the World Boxing Council ruled she was too old.

Kazumi Izaki, who became Japan's oldest professional boxer last year, was poised to fight Mexico's Ana Maria Torres for the world superflyweight crown on February 28. But WBC officials suddenly pulled the plug on the Mexico bout on health grounds, fearing the former aerobics instructor could get hurt by the hard-punching Torres.

"The WBC said age was the biggest factor," the head of Izaki's gym Susumu Hanagata said. "It came as quite a blow to her."

Izaki, who has daughters at university and junior high school, took up boxing in 2001 but her career now hangs in the balance.

"We're waiting to hear from the WBC about whether they will sanction her fights in the future," said Hanagata. "We expect to hear from them this week.

"We sent them a video of her fights so we hope that will convince them she is in decent shape. With hindsight, we should have sent it earlier so the fight could go ahead as planned."

Izaki, who trains nightly after preparing the family dinner, could seek to be sanctioned to fight under the World Boxing Association if the WBC refused to let her continue, Hanagata said.

"At the moment we're looking for another opponent but we can't promote a fight until we hear from the WBC," said Hanagata. "If it's bad news we will take our case to the WBA."


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