Akane “Little Storm” Watanabe is everything you can expect from Japanese fighters. She’s tough, she never backs down and she wants to win at all costs. She is the reigning Lightweight champion of Germany.
Hailing from Tokyo, she was born in the same city on 4 January 1997. She had a trouble-free childhood and has learned traditional Japanese values. Her workaholic father spent most of his time at the office, in a law firm, while her mother stayed at home to raise the kids.
Strongly encouraged to break free from those values by both parents, who wanted her to do more than making and raising babies, she did extremely well in school. She was on the path to law school, having been accepted as a student, but she dropped out in the first term. Her love for boxing prevailed. Her inspiration was Naoko Kumagai, the kickboxer who destroyed so many opponents, including Regina Halmich.
Although smaller than the average in the division, Akane has fought as a Super Lightweight and she is seen as a superior talent. She went on to win her first three fights before losing to Alesia Schumann by knockout. She has found her winning ways again, only to lose by knockout once again in the 10th round of her rematch against Alesia.
Right after the fight, she took a chance and asked to join Alesia and Regina in Munich. They accepted enthusiastically. Moving to Germany, Akane adopted a more European haircut. She was moved to the Lightweight division.
The young woman went on a winning streak, ending the run with a German title win against Maya Cerci. However, disaster struck when her vengeful sister and former coach Naomi set up a trap to make her lose her citizenship, and a Japanese title fight, in Osaka.
The new German has restored her confidence with the early destruction of Elena Kuzminska in Poland in late 2020.